Plateau massacre: It was horrible seeing my four children lowered into mass grave, says survivor

…my heart is heavy, says Gov. Lalong as 106 victims get mass burial 

…we must carry arms for self defence -Rep

Anya Ali has almost cried his eyes out. With four of his children hacked down by gunmen who invaded Kukawa village, Kanam Local Government area of Plateau State on Sunday morning, he remains inconsolable.

Six other relations of his were also killed in the massacre which left about 106 residents of 10 communities in Kanam and Wase Local Government areas dead. About 70 others were injured while 100 houses were razed.

Perhaps more devastating to Ali is the gory sight of the stream of blood resulting from the attack and the mass burial of the victims.

“I am yet to recover from the gory sight of this attack. It is painful to see my loved ones being lowered into a mass grave,” he said, shaking his head and biting his lips.

“Some were butchered like goats. Their blood was everywhere…” he cried.

Isamail Isa, another resident of Kukawa, escaped death by a whisker. But lost to the attack were his cousin and houses belonging to his relations.

His house is now like a refugee camp, offering accommodation to about 20 villagers who were rendered homeless by the invaders.

Six days after the attack, much of the state was yet to recover from the shock yesterday.

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State said his heart was heavy.

He vowed to improve security at the state’s  borders, following incessant attacks in some communities in Kanam, Wase and Bassa local government areas .

The governor spoke during an interactive session with key stakeholders and community members of Kanam Local Government Area in Dengi.

Efforts, he said, were being made to deploy security agencies to forestall further attacks in the area.

“Kanam shares border with Taraba and Bauchi states and there is a need to address its porous nature through improved security at the borders,” he said.

He added: “The decision to improve security at the borders is not only exclusive to Plateau but a resolution by the Northern Governors’ Forum to address insecurity in the region.

“We will do all our best because it is our primary responsibility to protect lives.

“Those who committed this heinous crime may think that they have escaped, but I can assure you that we will never allow them to go free, no matter how long it takes.

“I am sure that God will also not allow them to go unpunished for taking the precious lives of others without reason.”

“I came here with a heavy heart and with all heads of security agencies to comfort you.”

He urged the people not to take the law into their hands through reprisals, but cooperate with security agencies by giving them information that would to enable them to discharge their duties effectively.

The governor assured the people that the state was working with the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to insecurity on the Plateau, the North Central and the entire North.

He said he had already briefed President Muhammadu Buhari and appealed for a coordinated approach to tackling terrorists’ attacks in the North Central, particularly at border areas and ungoverned spaces which have become operational bases for the terrorists who criss-cross communities, causing damage to lives and property.

Kanam LG Chairman,  Dayyabu Garga, said 106 people were buried in the aftermath of the attack.

He said that the area was becoming a hideout for bandits and the development was affecting the source of livelihood of his people who are mostly peasant farmers.

Garga called for deployment of more security personnel in the area to protect lives and appealed for the provision of relief materials.

Also speaking at the interface, the President of Jhar Development Association, Mr Amos Gizo, called for construction of access roads in the area to facilitate quick response to distress calls. – The Nation.

 

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