No fewer than 30 people were killed as soldiers invaded Kadarko, Kurmi and Wadata villages of Wase local government area of Plateau following the alleged killing of four soldiers by some unknown persons.
The house of the traditional ruler of the Kadarko, Ponhzi Kadarko, Chief Lot Nde, was also said to have been torched.
Our correspondent gathered that the soldiers who arrived the villages in over 40 trucks were in revenge mission over the alleged killing of their colleagues at Angwan Nanmi in Karin Lamido Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Executive Director of Stefanos Foundation, Mr. Mark Lipdo, quoting sources from the village told our correspondent that the soldiers arrived and opened fire on innocent people and burnt houses.
Lipdo said, “ Information says soldiers in over 40 trucks arrived Kadarko, Kurmi and Wadata of Wase LGA in Plateau State today(Saturday) following report of alleged killing of four soldiers at Angwan Nanmi, Karin Lamido LGA of Taraba State. According to residents, the soldiers arrived and opened fire on innocent people, burning houses. It is not clear why soldiers would open fire on the people they are supposed to defend.’’
He added, “Sources speculate that it is in retaliation for the killings of their colleagues. Others denied this, moreso that two of the four soldiers killed were even Tarohs from the area. Villagers would rather believe it is a deliberate plan by the outgoing governor to intimidate their area, following the overwhelming votes from the area that changed the results of last election.”
Spokesman for the Special Task Force, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha while reacting to the allegation, said there was no truth in the claim that its members attacked anybody.
He said that the operation was meant to check gunmen who had been terrorising residents and security personnel in the area.
According to him, following frequent attacks on communities around the Plateau-Taraba border by some militiamen, the STF and soldiers from the 3 Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army had been carrying out operations targeted at flushing out the militiamen, and that soldiers who were working to protect innocent civilians could not turn around to kill the same people. Punch