No fewer than 17 persons have been confirmed killed following an attack on Acha community of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State by gunmen, who also burnt several houses in the early hours of Wednesday.
An eyewitness from the community said that the gunmen stormed Acha and shot sporadically into the air before they began their operation.
Confirming the attack, the military Special Task Force on Security in Plateau (Operation Safe Haven), in a statement signed by its Information Officer, Major Ishaku Takwa, said: “In the late hours of Tuesday, 11 January 2022, 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 added that the troops are on the trail of the assailants and details of the pursuit would be made available later.
The statement also said that the Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Maj Gen I. S. Ali, commiserates with the families of those that lost their lives during the attack, and has reiterated his resolve to ensure perpetrators of evil deed face the consequences of their action.
Vexed by repeated attacks in the state in recent days, Governor Simon Lalong 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.
Lalong, in a statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Simon Macham, said the attack which was carried out on Tuesday night is another sad tale in the unending cycle of violent attacks in the area which has continued despite several measures taken by government.
He asked the GOC, 3rd Armoured Division and Commander Operation Safe Haven, the Commissioner of Police, Department of State Services, Operation Rainbow and other security organs in the state to utilise intelligence available from survivors and other sources to ensure that the perpetrators of the attack and indeed other attacks are apprehended and exposed.
While commiserating with the families of those killed and survivors, the governor directed the 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 commended security forces for bursting 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 the state.
Also, the state police command has arrested the killer of the 300 Level student of the University of Jos, Miss Jennifer Anthony, whose lifeless body was found mutilated on January 1, 2022 at Domus Pacis Guest House, Jos.
Briefing the press, the state Commissioner of Police, Bartholomew Onyeka, paraded Moses Oko, a 20-year-old boy as the suspect and boyfriend to the deceased, adding that he fled after committing the crime.
“The command, in a bid to arrest the perpetrator, launched an aggressive manhunt on the suspect and tactically trailed him to Benue State where he was arrested by hawked-eye police operatives of the command. The suspect will be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed,” he said.
The CP said the command has also rescued one Dr. Micah Samaila of Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, who was kidnapped by gunmen, adding that the kidnappers, on sighting the operatives, engaged them in gun duel but were overpowered by the superior gunfire of the police and in the process, they abandoned the victim and fled into the bush.
The police urged residents to cooperate and synergize with its personnel by providing timely and useful information in order to fight all forms of criminalities.
Other criminals arrested by the police included cultists, armed robbers, and human traffickers.