THISDAY HEADLINE: Despite Curfew, Gunmen Kill Six in Fresh Plateau Attack

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In spite of the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, six persons were in the early hours of Sundayreportedly killed in an early morning attack on Rahwol-Fwi village, a community in Fan District.

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The fresh attack underscored the inability of the security forces to restrain the wanton killing of citizens, particularly in the Northern parts of the country by bandits, a situation that would attract a full scale debate in the Senate Tuesday even as a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Ghali Na’Abba, and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Archbishop Mathew Kukah, censored the federal government for its failure to contain the incessant mass slaughter.

The fresh attack, which an eyewitness said lasted for almost an hour before the intervention of the military, also had a Baptist Church, its pastorium, Government Hospital and 17 houses burnt.

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Confirming the attack, the spokesman of the military Special Task Force (STF), Major Umar Adams, however, said only four persons died, adding that more personnel had been deployed in the community.

Adams in a text message to THISDAY said four persons had been arrested in connection with the attack, adding that the military high command had ordered the STF to relocate its headquarters from Jos to the troubled local council.

The attackers reportedly swooped on the village in motorcycles at about 2:45a.m. while the victims were asleep and wreaked havoc, escaping before the arrival of security operatives.

Police confirmation of the incident could not be obtained as the state command’s Public Relations Officer, Tyopez Terna, did not pick calls to his phone Sunday.

But the spokesman of Berom Youth Moulders (BYM), Solomon Mwantiyi, who condemned the attack, said Jol community of Riyom Local Government Area also came under heavy attacks the same night leading to destruction of farmlands.

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Governor Simon Lalong had imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the three councils ravaged by gunmen two weeks ago, leaving behind over 100 deaths and scores of property burnt.

Senate Resumes, Debates Killings, Other Issues

The Senate will Tuesday resume sitting after a three-week break with the incessant killings across the country especially the recent massacre of over 100 people in Plateau State slated for discussion by senators.

Reliable sources told THISDAY that the upper chamber of the National Assembly is seriously worried about the inability of the nation’s security agencies to put an end to the spate of killings and cited series of meetings held by the Senate with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the Defence Minister and Service Chiefs shortly before going on recess in June, saying in spite of the parleys, another round of killings was recorded last week in some parts of Plateau State.

Tuesday’s plenary, THISDAY learnt, will review the security situation in the country after taking a brief from the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who led a three-man Senate team on a condolence visit to the troubled state last week and take a definite decision on the way forward.

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The senator representing Abia South, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, is also expected to come under Order 13 of the Senate to intimate his colleagues about his experience in the hands of the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Abaribe was arrested on Thursday, June 21, by security operatives at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja and remained incommunicado for six days before he was granted administrative bail on Tuesday, June 26.

The Senate, it is learnt, would also determine the senator representing Kogi East in the National Assembly.

A Federal High Court had June 13, nullified the nomination and election of Senator Atai Ali of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as senator representing Kogi East senatorial district.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole had ruled that Ali was not properly nominated by the PDP to stand for Kogi East senatorial election in March, 2015 and, therefore, directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to swear in Ali’s challenger, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Isaac Alfa, as the authentic Kogi East senator.