It was a bloody weekend as three attacks in at least three parts of the country: Plateau, Adamawa and Bayelsa States, claimed 31 lives.
In Plateau State, the recurring attacks on villages continued when rampaging gunmen suspected to be Fulanis descended on the village of Karkashi in Langtang South Local Government, leaving behind seven people dead and many with serious injuries.
According to a source, the gunmen then proceeded to attack another village in Wase Local Government Area of the state called Zango and burnt down many buildings, but were fought back against by the villagers, who killed four of the gunmen.
The spokesman of the Special Task Force in charge of security in the state, Captain Salisu Mustapha, confirmed the killing, saying that the gunmen stormed the village at about 2am and killed seven people, while many others sustained gunshot wounds.
He added that four of the attackers were arrested and were being interrogated to know the level of their involvement, saying they would be handed over to the police for prosecution as soon as investigation was concluded.
Captain Mustapha enjoined the people of the affected villages to remain calm and go about their lawful businesses and report any suspected movement to the law enforcement agencies.
In Adamawa State, the town of Madagali was attacked in the early hours of Saturday, with the personal residence of the Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari, being the target.
According to eyewitnesses, the attackers first tried breaking into the house without success, before proceeding to arresting an aide of the deputy governor who lives in another house in the town, whom they forced to lead them into the house which they ransacked and carted away valuable properties.
“The attackers went from house-to-house, picking out their victims, who they even called by name.They also went to the house of the Deputy Governor, Mr Bala Ngalari in the village where they shot some people and wounded some.They killed many people but I don’t know exactly how many were killed or injured because I fled the village,’’ said the eyewitness
A source claimed that the personal aide to the deputy governor and a security man at the residence were killed.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Mohammed Ibrahim, in confirming the incident, said, “So far, the information available to me is that 11 people lost their lives in the village, including two private security men at the deputy governor’s house.”
In Bayelsa State, former militants killed 13 policemen in Azuzuama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in protest at what they perceived as ‘perpetual shortchanging’ by their former leaders.
This comes after a threat to resume hostilities by midnight of Friday from the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) to the Federal Government over complaints that their leaders on the amnesty programme had consistently shortchanged them over funds released as their monthly emoluments.
The policemen were killed at a funeral ceremony where they were shot several times by the suspected former militants and left for dead in a pool of their blood. The villagers abandoned the funeral ceremony and ran for safety to avoid being hit by stray bullets.
Sources say that the trouble started when the former militants were agitating for their money, alleged to have been used by one of their leaders to organise the burial of his late father.
One of the killed policemen were sergeants, one of whom was said to have been identified as Jack, and others in the rank and file.
In the meantime, the killing of the policemen has caused panic among policemen posted to Southern Ijaw localities, even as men of the state police command were seen in groups discussing the development.
The state capital, Yenagoa, was also enveloped in fear over the killing.
Meanwhile, the B (Operations) Department of the State Police Command had dispatched another team of policemen to the scene of the crime to recover the corpses of the slain policemen.
The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Kingsley Omire, at a press briefing, confirmed the incident where he said that 15 policemen were on official assignment before they were ambushed by the ex-militants.
However, he denied that 13 members were killed saying four policemen were rescued while 11 were still missing and that they were on top of the situation.