By; BUHARI B. BELLO, Jos
The Plateau State Command of the Police has confirmed that no fewer than 10 persons have been killed by gunmen in an attack in Chando Zerreci village, venue of a cultural festival in Bassa Local Government Council of the state.
Police Relations Officer (PPRO), Uba Ogaba, said the incident was the second in the series of the unfortunate attacks that destroyed several property in the area.
He explained that the state police Command has already drafted security men to restrore normalcy in the troubled area, adding that,” We are on top of the situation”
Eyewitnesses said that the gunmen suspected to be fun men launched the attack while the Irigwe annual ritual festival ‘Zerreci’ was ongoing.
The National Publicity Secretary of Irigwe Youth Movement, Comrade Lawrence Zongo confirmed the attack in a statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday in Jos.
The statement reads, “The National Leadership of Irigwe Youth Movement (IYM) condemns the attack of the Irigwe people on her annual ritual festival ‘Zerreci’ the festival that will usher them into the rainy farming season.”
They group alleged that they were attacked by herdsmen late Saturday night at about 11pm at Chando Zerreci in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.”
Zongo further added that 10 persons were killed and 19 people survived gunshots wounds, and are currently undergoing medical treatment at Enos Hospital Miango, while others are receiving treatment in Jos.
The statement further called on government to come to their aid.
“The Nigerian government has a responsibility to promote and protect human rights, including the right to life, and a duty to protect civilians from attacks by taking effective measures to prevent and deter attacks on the Irigwe people.
“The government must as a matter of urgency, investigate the attack on Irigwe land and bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure families and other victims are adequately compensated.
“Brutal attacks on Irigwe communities are becoming rampant and frequent. This is unacceptable. The government must take more concrete steps to protect lives and property across Irigwe chiefdom and neighboring communities.”
The Irigwe nation further pleaded to International communities to come to the aid of the people and to support them with humanitarian aid.
The Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong who expressed concerns over the escalating killings and bloodshed in the local government area, called on security agencies to be up and doing in arresting the perpetrators.