Both local government areas came under attack over the weekend when a slew of heavily armed assailants, suspected Fulani herdsmen, swept into villages, killing innocent civilians and destroying property.
Further chaos descended on the restive central state when suspected herdsmen also attacked the mass burial held on Sunday for victims killed in the attacks of the previous day. More lives were claimed during the funeral, including that of Plateau state senator, Gyang Dantong and state lawmaker Gyang Fulani.
As many as 100 people are feared dead in Plateau’s weekend violence and not all the bodies have been collected.
Simon Mwadkon, a representative, told state Governor Jonah Jang on Monday that corpses of innocent victims still litter the streets in Matse. He said relatives of the victims are still fearful of removing them, following the “horrifying” attack.
War and curfew
Mwadkon, one of the officials who came under fire during the attacks on mass burial attendees on Sunday, said he was still reeling from the shock of it all. The representative described the shooting as being “so intense as if we were in a state of war”.
There were no escape routes as the burial grounds are surrounded by mountainous terrain and those who attempted to scale it were felled by flying bullets.
“The corpses of many of the victims still litter the scene because their relatives are afraid to go and remove them as the Fulani are still hiding in the mountains,” he said.
Mwadkon believes the “illegal Fulani settlers” were sharing the mountainous regions with an al-Qaeda base, but his allegations have not been confirmed by police or security officials.
The Federal Government is of the opinion that deep poverty in the central and northern states is a key reason for the growing violence in the troubled regions.
Dressed in mourning black, lawmakers convened for an emergency meeting on Monday where they noted that security in Plateau state has worsened since the FG assumed control of it.
Meanwhile, the streets of the restive region still remain deserted as the government-imposed curfew continues.
The curfew did little to stop angry youths from staging a protest against the killings of many civilians, including two government officials, NAN reports.
The report said they were barely restrained from embarking on reprisal attacks. The dusk to dawn curfew was extended after further review on Monday and will now take effect from 6 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.