By V. AL-PEA
The violence in Barkin Ladi, which peaked on Thursday, November 24th, 2011, had its roots on Sunday the 19th. Apparently, three young men were shot dead by Hausa youths as they rode their motorbikes, prompting reaction from the natives, which resulted in the deaths of some Hausa residents the next morning.
According to an eyewitness, Enginner Toma Dung, whose nephew was killed, they woke up to the sound of “gunshots followed by religious chants– Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar!” at about 11:00 p.m. Wednesday night. Dung quickly gathered his family members and while they attempted to escape to safety his elder brother’s son, Pam Emmanuel Dung was shot and killed by the assailants. They then set his car and house ablaze, burning it to the ground. The violence, which peaked on Thursday, is a product of revenge attacks.
Confirming the incident, the Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yiljap Abraham said the attacks were unfortunate. Accompanied by Pam Ayuba, Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity, Abraham disclosed that about 60 people have been arrested and are being interrogated by security agents in connection with the disturbance. He further stated that the situation had been brought under control, as a 24-hour curfew has been imposed on the town. Abraham also said that the cause of the disturbance will be investigated even as security is fully in place to forestall future breakdown of law and order.
An undisclosed number of innocent people lost their lives and property. Many residents who have been displaced have taken refuge in the Divisional Police Headquarters. Some of the internally displaced victims who spoke to TMV lamented the violence since the state had been experiencing some relative peace prior to these attacks.
The flow of traffic on the road to Barkin Ladi has become cumbersome since security agents stop and search vehicles traveling in that direction.
We are looking to write a follow up report on this recent violence.