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Fresh Bloodbath in Bauchi, Jos

jos_081111.jpg - jos_081111.jpg

Jos riot

A serving riot police officer, Corporal Mohammed Uba, was yesterday arrested along with 29 other Fulani gunmen following an attack on three villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government area of Plateau State in which at least 12 people were killed.

Another four persons were confirmed killed in Bauchi State, while several others sustained injuries in the fresh crisis that erupted in Tafawa Balewa Local Government area of the state. Unconfirmed reports, however, put the casualty figure at 10.

The Human Rights Watch said last night that sectarian violence in Plateau State since December 24, 2010, had led to the death of more than 200 people.

The victims, including children, have been hacked to death, burned alive,

“disappeared,” or dragged off buses and murdered in tit-for-tat killings.

The Federal Government should act swiftly to protect civilians of all ethnicities at risk of further attacks or reprisal killings, and allow the United Nations secretary-general’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Francis Deng, to visit the state, Human Rights Watch said.

Meanwhile, security agents are now on red alert in Gombe State following the tension in the state in the wake of the arrest of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Robison Waza, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The attackers in Jos had allegedly gone to Dorowa, Jong, Sunkut and Lohana villages in search of their lost cattle at about 10pm on Wednesday, a development which alarmed the villagers.

In the process, the marauders attacked the villages killing at least 12 people and injuring three others. Several houses were also torched in the villages.

The Special Task Force (STF) in the state which confirmed the attack while parading the arrested persons said it got a report of an attack in a Dorowa village in Barkin Ladi Local Government area at about 1 pm.

The soldiers quickly swung into action, but on getting to the village the attackers were already fleeing. But the youths and the women quickly rallied round the soldiers, showing them the direction of the fleeing attackers.

STF Spokesman, Captain Charles Ekeocha, said: “On sighting our men who had pursued them into the hills, the attackers opened fire on them. And in the exchange of fire between the attackers and men of the STF, two Fulani were killed and 29 captured alive.

“One of our soldiers was also shot during the operation, and he is currently receiving treatment. Two AK47 riffles, two locally made revolver pistols, and several quantities of live ammunition of different calibre were also recovered from the Fulani marauders.

“One of the arrested Fulani attackers is a member of the police mobile force serving in Abuja. He gave his particulars as No S. 220015, and his name as Corporal Mohammed Uba, of 44 Police Mobile Force, Abuja.

“He was arrested with a sickle, four life cartridges in his pocket, a box of matches and a catapult.”

Ekeocha commended the courage of the youths and women of the villages for the support they gave to his men, and urged other communities to emulate them.

He also said one of the AK47 riffles and a revolver pistol was recovered from a mosque in the area.

In Bauchi, the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Indabawa, who confirmed the killing of four persons during crisis, explained that the problem started in Tafawa Balewa Local Government on Wednesday evening.

He said two youths who were playing snooker game had a misunderstanding with each other, a situation which led to the incident.

“The situation was put under control yesterday but surprisingly this morning some unidentified youths went to the market and set the place of the snooker game ablaze but a troop of policemen have been deployed to the area and the situation is under control,” he said.

Two bodies of the killed persons have been found.

An eyewitness told THISDAY that at least 20 houses were torched in the crisis.

Movement in and out of the troubled area has already been restricted.

The eyewitness said the attackers were mainly strangers wearing army and police uniforms

He said the misunderstanding between the two youths playing snooker boiled over as one stabbed the other. The one that was stabbed was quickly rushed to the hospital for treatment but the situation later triggered problem in the area, he said.

And disturbed by constant threat to peaceful co-existence in Tafawa Balewa Local Government, the state Governor Isa Yuguda has summoned religious leaders over the crisis.

Addressing the religious leaders in the state, Yuguda said: “If it means relocating residents of Tafawa Balewa to other areas to achieve peace, my administration is prepared to do that. We cannot continue like this. It is always happening in Tafawa Balewa and so far no one is ready to claim responsibility. This shall be the last and I shall deal decisively with anyone or group caught to be behind the recent disturbance.”

Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting with Yuguda, the Chief Imam of Bauchi, Alhaji Bala Ahmed, and Chairman of the state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Musa Tula, advised the government to punish the perpetrators of the crisis in order to serve as deterrent to others.

Meanwhile, in Gombe, Waza was picked up by EFCC around 2pm yesterday. He is the Chairman of Billiri Local Government area of the state.

He was said to have frustrated the recent bid by Senator Ajuji Waziri, husband of EFCC Chairman, Farida Waziri, to return to the Senate in the April election.

It was alleged that Senator Waziri engineered Waza’s arrest in a bid to pay him back.

Reacting to the development, EFCC spokesman, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said:  “The arrest of the chairman of Biliri Local Government Area in Gombe State by the EFCC today (yesterday) is in connection to a case of forgery and money laundering for which he has been under investigation for over a year and has been reporting every week to our office in Gombe since he was first arrested well over a year ago.

“As such the allegation of political persecution by his wife is nothing but cheap blackmail.”

The source said PDP stakeholders in the state including Governor Danjuma Goje were billed to meet last night to ratify Waza as running mate to the party’s governorship candidate in the state, Mallam Ibrahim Dwankwabo.

“It is very unfortunate that Waziri could allow her husband to use her to fight a political course. It is only in this country that this kind of a thing happens,” said the source.

He said Waza’s refusal to work for Senator Waziri, who comes from the same area with him, was based on a gentleman agreement by the party in the senatorial district.

According to him, “Waziri was elected as a senator via bye-election; we agreed that he would only serve out the tenure of his late predecessor, but Waziri failed to keep that agreement when he insisted recently on contesting the primary again.”

In a bid to avoid a breakdown of law and order, the state police command last night warned political leaders to avoid any action capable of creating political crisis in the state

-ThisDay

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Posted by on Jan 29 2011. Filed under Bauchi, 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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