- Published on Sunday, 08 July 2012 18:24
- Written by Elombah.com
UPDATE: A 6pm to 7am Curfew has been imposed on Jos South, Jos North, Riyom, and B'ladi LG Areas - The natives of Anguldi Zawan near Bukuru are RIGHT NOW exchanging gunfire with military men elombah.com has learnt. The natives are said to be protesting the murder of two Plateau Lawmakers by Fulani herdsmen this
afternoon when trouble broke out. Senator Gyang Dalyop Datong (Plateau North, PDP) was shot dead by gunmen while attending a burial ceremony today. "The senator representing Plateau north, Gyang Dantong, and the majority leader of the state assembly, Gyang Fulani, were gunned down today by Fulani herdsmen," said Pam Ayuba, spokesman for the state's governor
Another member of the house of representatives was also injured in the attack.
Military authorities in Jos are said to be sending reinforcement to the Anguldi Zawan area to quell the trouble.
The deaths occurred a day after at least 52 people were killed in Christian villages near the Nigerian city of Jos, the latest religious violence to hit the country.
Mustapha Salisu, spokesman for a special task force made up of policemen and soldiers deployed in the area to curb years of violence, said assailants launched "sophisticated attacks" on several villages near Jos early Saturday.
"They came in hundreds," said Salisu, "Some had (police) uniforms and some even had bulletproof vests."
He said the special task force fought back for hours and lost two policemen in the battle.
He initially said that 37 people were killed including 14 civilians and 21 assailants.
However, later in the day, Nigerian Red Cross Andronicus Adeyemo said that aid workers had counted 52 dead and more 300 displaced people from the attacks. He did not give a breakdown.
But elombah.com reporter from Jos said the lawmakers were ambushed after they visited one of the affected areas in the company of the Commissioner of Police, who traveled with them after the mass burial.
"When the Commissioner of Police left to return to Jos, the lawmakers decided to visit another nearby village were they were ambushed by the gunmen and killed."
Raids similar to the Friday attack have been blamed on Muslim herdsmen in the past.
Mark Lipdo, who runs a Christian advocacy group known as the Stefanos Foundation, gave a list of the 13 villages where he got reports of attacks. He said they were all Christian.
He blamed Muslim herdsmen of the Fulani ethnic group for the attacks.
Elombah.com also learnt the Fulani herdsmen deliberatly set their Cattle to graze in the farms belonging to the Christians on Friday night, and deliberately set gunfire on the natives when they came out to investigate what was going on around 4-5 am on Saturday morning.
However, Nurudeen Abdullahi, Plateau State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Fulani Herdsmen Association, denied any involvement by the herdsmen.
"This a usual propaganda used on our people but we are not the ones that attacked the villages in the area," he said.
Abdullahi accused Christian farmers of attacking Muslim settlements and stealing their cows.
Jos and surrounding Plateau state have been torn apart in recent years by violence pitting its different ethnic groups and major religions – Christianity and Islam – against each other. While divided by religion, politics and economics often fuel the fighting.
These are just the latest killings to target the Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas, regions of farmlands that supply produces like potatoes, corn and tomatoes to the rest of the nation.