Youths in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State yesterday took to the streets brandishing dangerous weapons and setting ablaze three Fulani communities.
NewsWireNGR had reported that a first class traditional ruler in Plateau State, the Saf Ron Kulere, Sir Lazarus Agai, who is also the Chairman of Bokkos Traditional Council, was on Monday murdered in his home village, Sha, by suspected Fulani herdsmen. He was the traditional ruler of Bokkos, the hometown of the former governor of the state, Chief Joshua Dariye.
Daily Trust gathered that the unrest was a reaction to the assassination of the Bokkos community paramount ruler, Lazarus Agai, the Saf Ron Kulere.
The first class chief, his son, daughter in-law and aide (a police inspector) were ambushed and killed Monday evening while they were returning from a farm in Sha village.
The aggrieved youths yesterday, suspecting that the fatal attack on the paramount ruler and those with him was carried out by Fulani herders, burnt the three Fulani settlements, namely Fokkos, Danan and parts of Kwatas.
The Ardo of Bokkos, Yakubu Dabo Boro, and State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Nuru Muhammad, who spoke to our correspondent, blamed the burning of Fulani communities to reports carried by certain media organisations and peace NGOs that accused Fulani herders of the killing.
Muhammad said men of Operation Safe Haven had controlled the destructions in Fulani communities but stressed, “Our homes have been burnt, we have told security agents that anyone found responsible for this atrocity whether Fulani or Challa, should face the law.”
The Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer ASP Tyopev Mathias Terna said investigation into the killing was on but no arrest had been made.
The representative of Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) and Islamic Counselling Initiative of Nigeria (ICIN) in the area, Dan Maren, said insinuations that the paramount ruler was killed as a result of a tussle over his seat was not true.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong yesterday said he was pained by the killing of the traditional ruler and assured citizens that Government would fish out all enemies of peace in the state.
Senator Joshua Dariye who represents Plateau-Central in the National Assembly and who hails from Bokkos, has called for calm, saying, “It is very confusing and emotions are running high and nobody has been able to establish a concrete reason for the killing of this great man. I have been talking to people to calm down. I can imagine the reaction from the people; the paramount ruler had been doing all he could to bring peace to the land.”
Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Simon Lalong, had declared a curfew in Bokkos in connection with the killing of the monarch and his aides.
A statement by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the governor, Mr. Emmanuel Nanle, on Monday, a preliminary security report before the governor had confirmed the attack.
The statement read, “The incidence took place at about 3pm yesterday (Monday) while the chief was on transit from a neighbouring village.
“The governor has therefore summoned an emergency meeting of security agencies tomorrow (Tuesday) so as to come up with strategies to prevent reprisals from aggrieved groups.
“To avert any breakdown of law and order, the government has decided to impose a curfew on the area.”