There is no let up in the killings in Plateau State as gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen struck again yesterday, killing a vigilante and stealing nine cows belonging to the Anglican Archbishop of Jos, the Right Reverend Benjamin Kwashe.
The State Police Command spokesman, Terna Tyopev, said the incident occurred at Kangan community of Jos South Local Government Area.
Also yesterday in Jos, the Plateau State capital, the Berom demanded the return of their 52 villages allegedly seized by suspected herdsmen.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Tyopev as saying: “Today, at about 7a.m, we received information that nine cattle, belonging to the Anglican Archbishop of Jos were rustled by men suspected to be herdsmen”.
“In the process, one Adamu Dung, 46, vigilante in the area was shot and killed by the rustlers,” Tyopev said.
The body has been deposited at the Bingham University Hospital, Jos.
The police, he said, had begun investigation into the matter.
Last Sunday, suspected herdsmen attacked Barkin-Ladi, Riyom, in Jos South Local Government Areas of the state, killing no fewer than 86 people.
The Berom people alleged that rampaging Fulani herdsmen have seized and are forcefully occupying 52 Berom villages across the state.
They want the herdsmen to vacate the villages and return them to the owners in the interest of peace.
The Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives (PIDAN), the umbrella body of all the ethnic nationalities in the state, asked the federal government to intervene and order a thorough investigation into last Sunday’s attacks on several communities in the state by herdsmen.
It said the culprits should be prosecuted.
PIDAN President, Dr.Aboi Madaki told reporters that 22 of the sacked villages are in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, 18 in Riyom LGA, seven in Bokkos LGA and five in Bassa LGA.
He also advocated a review of the current security system in the country to “allow the chief security officer of the State have power to draw on the security operatives in the early phase of any attack without making recourse to the President .”
He added: “This arrangement will certainly reduce the level of loss of lives and property in future. It is pertinent to note that the constitution places all security matters under the presidency. This situation has left many state Governors, as chief security officers of their states, without power to immediately stop any crisis.
“This, we believe, has placed enormous restraint on our governor’s efforts in addressing the spate of attacks in the State.”
He also called for more police posts at the village level and the strengthening of the village-level vigilante system to work effectively towards enhanced community policing thereby improving security at the community level.
Besides, Madaki advised the government and security agencies to “conduct a thorough search of all the Fulani settlements in the State with a view to arresting those with weapons of mass killings and those foreign to the conflict areas and settlements.