Following the violence that erupted in Jos, the state capital, which claimed at least 14 lives, and the attendant tension in the aftermath, the Plateau State Government, yesterday, imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the Tin city.
The violence was said to have started at the Rukuba Road area in Jos North Council, spreading later to other communities in the state.A press statement signed by the Acting Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Richard Tokma, said: “Sequel to breach of peace in some parts of Jos North, the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, has approved the imposition of a dusk-to-dawn curfew from 6:00pm to 6:00 am in Jos North and Jos South Local Government Areas with immediate effect.”
The statement urged the people to abide by the rule until further notice, saying security agencies had been directed to enforce the curfew, so as to restore law and order in the state.The State Police Command Control Room in Jos was said to have received a distress call alerting it of sporadic gunshots at Rukuba Road, Opposite Kowa Hotel, Jos.
The Command subsequently mobilised patrol teams to the scene of the crime. Command spokesman, Mr. Mathias Terna Tyopev, said unknown gunmen took advantage of the ongoing rain in the area to attack residents, forcing many of them to scamper to safety until the situation was brought under control by the combined superior gunfire of the Police and the Operation Safe Haven (STF).
The STF, while confirming the killing of 11 persons before it arrived the scene of the attack on Rukuba Road, lamented: “Despite the efforts of the STF on the peace process on the Plateau, some elements in the society are bent on scuttling it. “Peace on the Plateau is the most sought for essential commodity that all well-meaning people are striving to attain.”
In a statement by its spokesman, Major Adam Umar, the STF warned: “Any attempt, under whatever guise, to disrupt this effort will not be tolerated henceforth. The situation whereby youths will block roads to carry out preconceived dastardly acts will not be tolerated on the Plateau.”Umar assured that the task force and the other security agents were fully on ground in Jos metropolis and environs to ensure the situation was brought under control, even as investigations have commenced.
The entire streets of Jos were deserted as a result of the incident, even as security personnel embarked on a show-of-force around the city.Some residents close to the hills were rescued, while some others lost their lives as a result of the attack, with some others sustaining gunshot injuries and were rushed to Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, where they are receiving treatment.
The Command said the security agencies were out to contain the situation from spreading, urging the public to remain calm and law-abiding. Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yakubu Dati, in a press release, expressed Lalong’s condolences to the families of the bereaved and the entire community where the incident took place, saying security agencies have been mobilised and are on red alert to track down the perpetrators.He advised the people to go about their lawful businesses without any fear of molestation or intimidation, but shun fake news, rumour-mongering and provide relevant information to security agencies to ensure a secured and peaceful state.
Meanwhile, the senator representing Plateau North District in the National Assembly, Jonah David Jang, has described the attacks as mindless.In a press statement signed by his media consultant, Clinton Garuba, Jang observed: “Under the present administration, there is hardly a day without news of people getting killed by herdsmen or unknown gunmen, with ancestral lands forcefully occupied and people rendered homeless and internally displaced on their own land.
“The unprovoked attack, which targeted innocent unarmed natives in their homes, once again reveals the very short life expectation of our people, who are no longer safe wherever they are in our towns, villages and city.” Jang, a former governor of the state, charged youths and people of the state to be law-abiding, but to rise up to defend themselves within the perimeters of the law.