The Special Military Task Force (STF) on Jos crisis in Plateau State has ordered some villagers to vacate their settlements within 48 hours. This is to enable it carry out a military operation in order to smoke out those behind the incessant killings in the state.
The affected villages, according to a statement signed by STF spokesman and made available to National Mirrorr in Jos yesterday [July 14], include Mahanga, Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh and Shong 2, all in Barki Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of the state. The statement also urged other neighbouring communities not to panic throughout the period the operation will last.
It will be recalled that the crisis in the state escalated last Sunday [July 8] with the killing of the chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Gyang Dantong, and the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon Gyang Fulani, while a member of the House of Representatives, Hon Simon Madwakom escaped by a whisker.
A day before, gunmen numbering about 200 had invaded Barkin-Ladi and some parts of Riyom Local Government Area of the state, killing over 100 people.
The three lawmakers, along with other top government functionaries, were at Maseh village for the mass burial of about 63 people in the area on the day of the incident.
It was gathered that while the mass burial was going on, about 50 suspected Fulani herdsmen stormed the venue and opened fire at random at the sympathisers at the burial site, in the ensuing stampede, the lawmakers reportedly slumped, while many people also sustained varying degrees of injuries.