The Irigwe Development Association, IDA, on Wednesday lamented the killing of 18 members of the community at Ancha village of Miango District, Rigwe Chiefdom of Bassa LGA of Plateau State.
Spokesman for the association, Davidson Malison, said in statement made available to DAILY NIGERIAN that the attack occurred on Tuesday night.
“The Rigwe Nation has been visited by yet another deadly and lethal attack by Fulani Terrorists (as testified by victims that survived) in the early hours of 12 midnight of Tuesday January 11 ,2022 at Ancha village of Miango District, Rigwe Chiefdom of Bassa LGA, Plateau State,” he alleged.
He said 6 other people were injured, while some houses were torched.
However, Fulani leadership under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, denied carrying out the attack.
The state chapter chairman of MACBAN, Muhammad Nuru Abdullahi, said in a statement that they received with shock the unfortunate attack that led to the killing of 18 persons at Ancha village of Bassa LGA.
“While we condemned the the said attack, we however, frown at the high level allegation leveled against our people, the Fulani, that they carried out the attack.
“We see this allegation by the National Publicity of Irigwe Development Association, Malison David, as absolute falsehood, that lacks merit, and more of hype than substance.
“It will be recalled that the Irigwe people have recently burnt down more than 10 houses of Rukuba people, another three set of houses belonging to the Chawai, and what becomes of their atrocities against other people.
“It is worrisome to say that whenever the Irigwe people are attacked or killed, they are quick to shift blame on us.
“We challenge both the Irigwe People and any other person to prove their assertions against our people.
“We are calling on all Fulani to remain calm, peace loving, and law abiding. We further call on them to report to the security agencies any suspicious movement of persons,” he said.
The spokesman for Operation Safe Haven, OPSH, Ishaku Takwa, confirmed the attack, but could not ascertain the death toll.
Mr Takwa, a major, said in the late hours of Tuesday, troops of Operation Safe Haven received a distress call of an attack on Acha Community in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau.
“The troops responded swiftly and mobilised to the village.
“On reaching the community, the attackers had fled the village.
“Houses were destroyed and some villagers lost their lives during the attack,” he said.
Mr Takwa said troops of Operation Safe Haven are on the trail of the assailants and details of the pursuit would be made available later.
The state governor, Simon Lalong, has also condemned the attack.
In a statement by his spokesman, Makut Macham, Mr Lalong expressed deep sadness over the attack, “which left many dead and properties destroyed.”
He ordered security agencies to ensure that they fish out the attackers at all costs, as bringing such perpetrators to justice is the only way to halt the barbaric killings.
While commiserating with the families of those killed and survivors, the governor directed the Plateau State Emergency Management Agency and the Peace Building Agency to move in and assess the damage as well as offer immediate humanitarian interventions.
Meanwhile, the governor has praised security forces for busting a kidnap group and rescuing some victims in Barkin Ladi, describing the action as heart warming and a proof that criminals will not be allowed to rest in Plateau State.
He directed further investigation and arrest of the fleeing suspects to be prosecuted, promising that those found guilty will face the law, which prescribes death penalty for convicted kidnappers.