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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Plateau communal dispute results in multiple fatalities

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Many people have been reported killed and property destroyed in a dispute over land in Ponglong in Lalin district of Mikang Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Locals said the violence began began on Saturday night and continued until Sunday morning before security agents restored order.

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The chairperson of the transition committee of Mikang LGA, Daniel Kunmi, confirmed the incident to journalists in Jos on Sunday.

Mr Kunmi said: “Within a short time, the situation degenerated, leading to the burning down of houses and barns. Several criminal elements took advantage of the unfortunate incident and rustled cattle as well as other valuables.”

He said the local authorities reported the violence to security operatives “who moved swiftly to the affected community to restore law and order.

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“I just returned from the affected community and the situation is under control, but for now, we cannot ascertain the number of persons killed in the clash.

“I am also in touch with the Langtang North Local Government Council Transition Chairman, Hon Nanmwa Kumzhi, and we will be holding a critical stakeholder meeting soon as this clash affects people of his council too,” he said.

He added that the Commissioner of Police in the state was expected to visit the affected community.

The state’s Commissioner for Information, Musa Ashoms, said the clash was over a contested piece of land.

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He said: “I have just called the Mikang Local Government chairman over the issue. He told me that it is something that could have been avoided and not allowed to escalate to the point that people lost their lives.

“It started as a result of a land dispute. The land in question cannot even produce six bags of rice, and you know when people are attached to their land, they can go the extra mile.

“It is something they could have controlled, but somehow, it got to a point where others too joined them and houses were burnt down and people were maimed.”

The spokesperson of the police in the state, Alabo Alfred,said the security personnel in the area were also investigating the development after restoring peace.

Inter-communal clash in Plateau

There have been recent violent communal disputes in Wase, Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Qua’an Pan, Shendam, Mikang, and Langtang North and South of Plateau State.

Human Rights Watch said between 2,000 and 3,000 people have been killed in violent crises in the state from September 2001.

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