The Plateau State Police Command on Sunday confirmed the arrest of a herdsman with an AK 47 assault rifle just as it confirmed that 16 people were killed in herdsmen-farmers clashes in the Daffo rural communities in Bokkos Local Government area of the state.
Police Public Relations Officer, Terna Tyopev, while confirming the arrest in Jos, gave the rifle’s number as HC2614.
He said that the herdsman, Muhammadu Musa Bimini, was arrested by mobile policemen on March 8, at Daffo.
The PPRO said that the suspect had been transferred from Bokkos to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Jos and was already being interrogated.
The police spokesman said that 16 people had been confirmed killed in the multiple attacks on several villages that took place between Wednesday, March 7, and Friday, March 9.
He said that the command had deployed more personnel to restore peace to the troubled areas, and advised the people to remain calm and avoid taking laws into their hands.
However, leaders of the affected communities have told newsmen that 25 people were killed in the attacks.
The community leaders, who briefed newsmen on Sunday in Jos, said that many others were still missing.
Represented by Rev. Mamot Adams and Mr. Macham Makut, the community said that the bodies of those killed were recovered and given two mass burials – one on Friday, and another on Saturday.
The leaders blamed the attacks on “our Fulani neighbours”.
They listed villages attacked to include Nghakudung, Shilim, Morok, Mandung, Faram, Filla and Hotom. Also attacked were Dai, Kungul, Hurum, Dahua, Malul, Warrem, Josho and Ganda. They said that more than 5,000 people had been displaced, adding that some of them were in camps run by Churches.
They called on security agencies to intervene toward halting the attacks so as to restore permanent peace to the communities.
“We want government to take urgent steps to end the attacks because our youths are already agitated”, the leaders said.