Nine persons where on Tuesday night ambushed and killed, by unknown gunmen along Rim in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Our correspondent also gathered that Four persons were also injured and are currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
Spokesman of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), deployed to restore law and order in Plateau, Bauchi and Southern Kaduna, Captain Umar Adam, who confirmed the incidence described it as unfortunate.
He said the Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Maj. Gen. Anthony Otalagbe immediately moved to the scene of the ‘attack in Riyom LGA when the news got to them and have deployed air raids to comb the area.
“Efforts are made to arrest the perpetrators of the attack”
Captain Umar who spoke to our correspondent in Jos said “immediately we got the information we mobilized to the scene of the attack near Gako village in Rim district on receipt of the news”.
“The men of OPSH spent the night searching for the attackers around the affected community, the OPSH commander has directed a special condoning of the area.
“equally their is an air raid of the bushes as well as as our men have been deployed to the community to ensure that the culprits are arrested ” he said.
According to him”, the task-force personnel in the LGA were instantly mobilized to the scene on receipt of the information.
“By the time our troops arrived the scene, the attackers had fled but we are still doing our ground work to see if we can apprehend them,” he said.
Our correspondent however, reports that the victims who were returning from the Makera market on a Golf-3 car were reportedly ambushed by the assailants while offloading at Diyan junction near Gako village.
The assailants who were riding a vectra car, a source said had trailed the victims from the Rim junction in Makera village where a military checkpoint is located.
It was however not clear who was responsible for the attack, although a survivor claims he saw the attackers wearing Army uniform.
However, a source who does not want his name on print, told our reporter that the attack is a reprisal following a missing Fulani man some days back.
“The Fulani community had earlier reported to security operatives, that a middle aged man (Fulani), was missing, suspecting that his abductors are they locals from Riyom community: hence they have carried this attack as a reprisal”, he said.
Meanwhile, a group, the Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI), has condemned the latest killings in the strongest terms, calling it ‘callous and barbaric’. the Executive Director Of GOPRI, Amb Melvin Ejeh stated this when he paid an on-the-spot assessment visit to Rim community.
Ejeh also commended the Officers and men of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), for their quick response
“This act is painful, callous, barbaric and brutal, It is a criminal and very condemnable act.
“We cannot continue to live like this, life is precious and must be respected by all, irrespective of whatever the difference are.
“I also want to appeal to our youths to be mindful of how we make unguided and sentimental comments against the Nigeria military each time there’s an incident such as this, if we must truly win the war against terror.
“The Nigerian troops are our most reliable partners in this fight against terror and they must be supported to succeed.
“We all know criminals and terrorists have had access to military uniform in the past in order to perpetrate their nefarious activities: how could we have made hasty conclusions without cogent facts?
“We just deduced from our investigations that it was the timely response of the men of Operation Safe Haven that saved what could otherwise have resulted into a worse case scenario; they chased the attackers and brought the situation under control.
“As a matter of fact, It has been confirmed that the OPSH Commander and all his principal officers were physically on ground and even passed the night on patrol to ensure personal supervision of the operation which is still on-going”, Ejeh stated.
Daily Times reports that Tuesday’s attack is the latest in a series of violence visited on rural communities in Plateau, in the past few weeks.
Among communities that had come under heavy attacks are Wereh, Foron and Rim in Barkin Ladi Local Government, as well as Miango, Jebu, Taegbe and Ncha in Bassa Local Government.
By Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos