- Five persons have been reportedly killed, while 2 were injured in a violent clash in Plateau state
- The police claimed it was a fight between cultists but villagers claimed it was an attack by herdsmen
The Plateau Police Command has confirmed five persons dead in what it suspected was a clash between rival cult groups in Jos.
Terna Tyopev, its spokesman, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, August 1, in Jos that the clash occurred Tuesday night.
“The police command received a distress call that four people were attacked at Rafiki area, along Rukuba Road in Jos, and immediately mobilised security operatives to the area.
“On arrival at the scene, we discovered that four people lost their lives in the clash that took place on a hilly area. At the scene of the crime, we discovered some exhibits like shells of AK47 ammunition, some wraps of Indian hemp and bottles of illicit drinks.
“We moved further and discovered the body of another dead person on the road. We suspect he was coming from somewhere and was attacked and killed in his car.
“The corpses of the quartet were taken to Bingham Teaching Hospital mortuary, while the corpse of the person killed on the road was taken to the Plateau Specialist Hospital,” he added.
The police spokesperson said that more security personnel had been deployed to the area to avoid breakdown of law and order.
On why he suspected that it was a clash between cult groups, Tyopev said the police found two tents at the scene where Indian hemp and illicit drugs were being sold. He however, added that the investigation would reveal what actually transpired.
NAN however, reports that the account of the incident by the locals was different from the claims by the police command.
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Audu Kogi, father of one of the deceased, told NAN that the attack took place at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening when a group of herdsmen invaded a “bush joint” where some youth in the community usually converge to relax in the evening after work.
“The youths recently told herdsmen grazing around the community to take their cattle elsewhere so as not to destroy crops. The herdsmen were said to have left in anger and promised to return. They did that last night and attacked the youths at the spot, killing four of them,” he said.
According to Kogi, his deceased son, Lucky, aged 25, left behind a two-year-old son and a pregnant wife.
Bala Agwom a member of the community, corroborated Kogi’s claims. “The community was earlier warned of the impending attack but did not know the exact date the assailants will come. When they came last night, we mobilised to hit back after we heard sounds of gun shots, but they fled," he said.
He gave the names of those killed as Moses Aruku, Lucky Kogi, Ifeanyi Mbanafo and one Sunday.
Agwom gave the names of the two persons injured as Ishaya and Paye, saying that they were currently on admission at the Bingham Teaching Hospital, Jos.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari is set to honour the 83-year-old Imam, Abdullahi Abubakar, who reportedly saved about 300 persons in June 24, 2018, when suspected herdsmen killed over 200 in 15 communities in the Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau state.
The Punch reports that the president has asked Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state to bring the Imam to Abuja for a handshake and national honour.
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