Home » Gombe, Latest Politics, Plateau, State News » Fresh Violence: 17 Feared Dead In Jos, Gombe Clashes

Fresh Violence: 17 Feared Dead In Jos, Gombe Clashes

No fewer than nine persons were killed in a fresh wave of violence that erupted in Jos, the Plateau State capital, during the ward congresses of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) at the weekend.

Making the weekend bloodier, a group of masked and armed bandits walked into a beer parlour in Gombe, Gombe State, opened fire and killed eight people, leaving several others with bullet wounds.

Eyewitnesses said they heard sporadic shooting at about 8:30pm to 9:00pm within the Federal Low-cost area of Gombe metropolis, adding that five persons died on the spot while the others later died in a hospital.

In Jos, LEADERSHIP SUNDAY gathered that about eight persons, all young people, who were on their way back from a wedding at Mangu Halle, a village at Mangu local government council of the state, were attacked and killed at Bisichi Junction in Barkin Ladi local government area of the state.

At about 10:30 Saturday morning, there was pandemonium in Bauchi Road Street in Jos metropolis, the venue of the CPC ward congress, with sporadic gunshots and thick smoke enveloping the atmosphere. Soldiers fired into the air to disperse youths burning tyres in the central city of Jos in protest at the reported killing of the youths at Bisichi junction.

The incident created fear in residents around Bauchi Road and bus terminus areas, disrupting business activities; markets and shops along the said areas were hurriedly shut and pedestrians took to their heels.

LEADERSHIP SUNDAY gathered that the CPC ward congress scheduled to hold at Jossy Royal Hotel was suddenly moved to Bauchi Road by the organisers without informing security operatives of the change in venue.

Protesting the killings, some youths along Bauchi Road, Dilimi and Kwararafa took to the streets. They attacked passersby, burned and vandalized cars and houses owned by innocent citizens.

But, in a telephone interview, Plateau State police commissioner Abdulrahman Akano told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that a clash between  factions of the CPC at their ward congress in the Jos metropolis culminated in a breakdown of law and order. “Some warring factions of members of the CPC went wild and started attacking each other while burning vehicles and houses. This led to the death of one person while three vehicles including a luxurious bus and one motorcycle were burnt,” he said.

Meanwhile, special taskforce “Operation Safe Haven” has rescued about 19 passengers from a luxurious bus that was attacked along the Zololo Junction on Bauchi Road in the Jos metropolis.

According to the spokesman of the taskforce Captain Charles Okeocha, “The passengers were on their way to Yola from Lagos when they where attacked at Zololo Junction.”

On the alleged killing of the eight youths, Capt Okeocha stated that the taskforce had not received any report on the matter, neither had they discovered the car or the corpses of the youths.

The Ulama Elders’ Council in the state has attributed the recent breakdown of law and order in the state to the silent killings of their members in the state.  In a statement signed by its secretary Barrister Lawal Ishaq, the council said over 42 of their members had been missing since after the Christmas Eve bombings.

Ishaq stated: “Last Friday at about 3pm, some youths were on their way to a friend’s wedding; one Umaru Sabo and Lasisi Makanju were attacked in a street in Jos, and a Mazda vehicle which was carrying eight wedding guests is now missing and the occupants feared to have been killed.

“The driver of the vehicle, one Rufa’l Mohammed, called the groom Umaru on phone and screaming, informed him that they were going to kill them. The line went off immediately.”

The Plateau State government said, in a statement signed by the drector of press and public affairs Mr. James Mannok, that it has directed the special taskforce to immediately arrest those involved in this inhuman act and ensure that they face the full wrath of the law. The state government also expressed concern over the violence linked with the CPC ward congress in some part of Jos city, which has created panic amongst the populace. It called on religious and community leaders to calm their followers as the security agencies are fully on ground to restore normalcy and ensure the protection of lives and properties.

In Gombe, LEADERSHIP SUNDAY learnt that two of the gunmen, without uttering a word and in a manner reminiscent of Rambo in the Hollywood movies, blocked the east and western exits of the beer parlour while the other two lowered their AK 47 riffle and shot randomly.

Paulina Maigari, owner of the joint and four others were said to have died on the spot while the other three died while receiving medical attention in the metropolis. A few others, however, escaped without bullet wounds.

Speaking to newsmen, Isa Patrick, who managed to escape with injuries received from the gunshots, said he had been at the adjoining beer parlour since about 7pm until around 9pm when he was forced to take to his heels because of sounds of random gunshots at close range. He added that five people, including the proprietress of the beer parlor. were killed instantly while three others died in the hospital.

Shortly after the gory incident, the unknown gunmen left the place without touching a single item in the place, giving room to speculation that the killers were not armed robbers.

Also narrating his ordeal, Mohammed Shamsudeen said he got three bullet injuries in one leg while trying to escape from his room on hearing the sound of gunshots.

When contacted, the police public relations officer, DSP Abdullahi Kamba, said he was yet to get details  on the crime.

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Posted by on Jan 9 2011. Filed under Gombe, Latest Politics, Plateau, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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