The Governor of Plateau State, Mr Simon Lalong, has assured residents of the state that the government remains committed to their security and is doing everything possible to ensure that perpetrators of the recent attacks are brought to justice.
In a condolence message to the victims of Saturday’s attack, he described the incident as sad, adding that it makes one question how much value is placed on humanity.
While he admitted that the incident has led to so much tension in the state, he, however, called on residents to remain calm and cooperate with security operatives to ensure that there are no further attacks.
“An attack on one, is an attack on all… Once again my heart and prayers are with families of victims of this attack as it affects every one of us.
“The call for peace and dialogue at this time in our dear state can never be overemphasized. Whilst I understand that tensions will be high at this grieving moment, I call on us to maintain calm and cooperate with security operatives to handle this unfortunate situation.
“Going to bed or waking up any day with the news that our people are attacked is something that leaves us with questions about our love and value for humanity… While we pray for the families affected by this sad act,
“I continue to assure you of my commitment as one of you, to remain unrelenting in working with the security agencies to investigate and fish out perpetrators of this inhumane act and ensure they are apprehended, and that justice for the victims is served,” the governor said in a tweet.
At least 86 persons were confirmed killed by suspected herdsmen during the attack on Gashish district of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Mathias Tyopev, told Channels Television on Sunday that six people were also injured while at least 50 houses, two vehicles, and 15 motorcycles were razed.
He confirmed the casualty figure and destruction after a search and rescue team from the Plateau State Police Command visited the communities affected by Saturday’s attack.
The six villages attacked by the assailants are Xlands, Gindin Akwati, Ruku, Nhgar, Kura Falls and Kakuruk, all in Gashish.
According to the command spokesman, the figure is an update of the initial 11 death toll he disclosed to the media.
He said, “I want to inform members of the public that we had earlier on in the day informed and confirmed the news of the attack on the Gashish district of Barkin Ladi and confirmed the death toll to be 11 persons.
“I was waiting for a report from the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations) who was sent by the Commissioner of Police to carry out a search and rescue operation in the district.
“When he came back, he came with an updated figure and the figure that we have now is that 86 people lost their lives in the attack.”
Tyopev explained that the initial death figure given by the police was not to deceive the public but to give the true position of what they had as at that time.
As apprehension mounts across the state, particularly LGAs sharing borders with Barkin Ladi, the state government imposed a dusk-to dawn-curfew in the affected local government as well as Riyom and Jos South LGAs.
Plateau State, which had previously enjoyed relative peace, has recently been hit by series of attacks mainly perpetrated by suspected herdsmen, resulting in the death of several persons.