Many feared killed, houses burnt in another Plateau State crisis
Plateu State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has declared a 24-hour curfew on the Mangu Local Government Area of the state with immediate effect.
The development was confirmed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere.
He said the decision followed the deteriorating security situation in the area.
The statement read in part, “Governor Mutfwang took the decision after consultations with the relevant security agencies.
He stated that only persons on essential duties are allowed to move within the local government area until further notice.
“He urged all citizens, especially residents of Mangu Local Government Area, to comply with the directive and assist the security personnel by providing reliable information to restore peace and order in the area.
“He lamented that some people are still determined to create an atmosphere of insecurity in the state, despite the government’s efforts to end the activities of terrorist elements.
He expressed his sympathy to the families of the victims and the injured and assured them that the government would not relent in ensuring lasting peace in the state.
“He promised that the curfew would be reviewed as soon as the security situation improves.”
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security and Homeland Safety, Brig.-Gen. Gakji Shipi, in an interview with journalists, blamed the unrest leading to the imposition of the curfew on a misunderstanding between two individuals in the council area.
“The current situation in Mangu is a result of two people that escalated. The crisis is not political or has anything to do with the farmers-herders crisis. It was just two human beings that had an altercation and by coincidence, one of them happens to be a herder and the other person is a native.
The native was crossing with his motorcycle and the Fulani was grazing his cattle and crossing the road and that obstructed traffic and there was an altercation between them. When that happened, the Fulani people came in support of their own and the natives also came in support of their own and the thing just got out of hands and that led to the imposition of curfew in Mangu,” he said.
It was learnt that during the unrest, several houses including churches and mosques were burnt down.
A former lawmaker representing Mangu South, Bala Fwangji, confirmed the arson while lamenting the situation.
Fwangji said, “What happened today in Mangu is not good at all. We just woke up to hear that some people are burning houses in Mangu and attacking anyone in sight. I cannot tell you how many houses were burnt, or the number of people attacked or killed, but these things happened today. But we thank God the security agents have been deployed and the situation is calm now.”
The Secretary-General of Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives, Nanle Gujor, however, confirmed that four persons were killed during the unrest.
He said, “I returned to Jos from Abuja and given what happened in Mangu today, we are not happy. We are still assessing the situation, but I was told that four persons were killed. I will let you know the details of the situation when we are done.”