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Plateau youths, women, protest killings, demand justice

Angry youths and women on Wednesday stormed the Plateau State Government House at the Little Rayfield in Jos to protest the continued killings by gunmen in different parts of the state.

The protesters, comprising hundreds of youths, women and ethnic nationality groups, including the Christian Association of Nigeria, carried placards with different inscriptions expressing their frustration at the failure of the federal and state governments to stop incessant attacks and killings in the state.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read, ‘Our wives, husbands, children and girls are being killed or raped,’ ‘Where are the Plateau elders?’ ‘102 villages in Plateau grabbed by Fulani herdsmen’, ‘The GOC must go’, among others.

Last Sunday, 10 persons were confirmed dead while 19 others sustained injuries after gunmen attacked residents at a cultural festival in the Bassa Local Government Area of the state.

The incident occurred while the people of Irigwe ethnic nationality of the state were celebrating Zerreci, an annual festival meant to usher in the rainy/farming season.

Two days after the attack, gunmen suspected to be herdsmen attacked another community in the neighbouring Ariri village, killing three persons.

Following the attacks which also led to the destruction of property and rendered many people homeless, the protesters on Wednesday thronged the Little Rayfield Government House, calling on the state Governor, Simon Lalong, and security agents to stop the terrorists from visiting further violence on the people.

They were later addressed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, who urged them to remain calm as government was doing everything possible to address the security challenge in the state.

A terse statement issued jointly by a coalition of some ethnic youth organisations in the Northern Senatorial District of Plateau State and the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria, as well as the Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria after the protest insisted that government must bring the perpetrators to book.

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