The Plateau State Police Command has attributed the killing of 16 persons on Sunday by suspected herdsmen in the state to reprisal attacks by the herders.
The command said it has nothing to do with the terror alert issued by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.
The state Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, gave the clarification on Tuesday in a statement in Jos by the command’s spokesman, Ubah Ogaba.
The IG had on May 19, issued a circular to the two commissioners of police in the FCT and Plateau, alerting them to an intelligence report indicating that terrorists planned to attack Abuja and Jos.
A few days afterwards, gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, attacked two communities in the Jos North and Riyom local government areas, killing 16 persons, including a pregnant woman and children.
The police blamed the killings on the “skirmishes between the herders and locals” in the affected communities.
“The attention of the Plateau State Police Command has been drawn to insinuations from some quarters that there is a link between the unintended and viral spread of an internal directive issued to the commissioners of police in Plateau State and the FCT from the Inspector General of Police’s Office and the unfortunate incidents that occurred on the night of Sunday, May 23, 2021, at Dong community, near the Wildlife Park in Jos North and Kwi village in the Riyom Local Government Area, where suspected herdsmen attacked the two communities resulting in the death of a total of 16 persons,” he said.
“This is far from the truth. In the past couple of weeks, the command, other security agencies and the state government have been managing skirmishes between locals and herders in Jos North, Jos South and Bassa local government areas.
“In the conflicts, some herders were killed, hence it is suspected that the attacks of last night were reprisals. Investigations are geared in this direction. Any useful information from the public will be welcomed.
“Meanwhile, joint patrols by the police and military personnel are ongoing at the affected areas.”