No fewer than 100 people, including a pastor and three soldiers, were killed at the weekend and Monday in Plateau and Taraba states.
Seventy of the deaths were recorded in Karim Lamido and Takum local government areas of Taraba State and 30 in two villages at the Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State.
It was learnt that suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded Vat and Zakupang , killing Pastor Luka Gwom of the Church of Christ in Nation and 29 others in the early hours of Monday.
Spokesman for the Special Task Force, Ikedichi Iweha, told our correspondent in Jos that the herdsmen took the action following the theft of about 400 of their cows. More than 300 of the stolen cows, according to him, were later found and returned to their owners.
He explained that the cows were stolen in Jos East and taken to Barakin Ladi, a development that made the herdsmen to launch the attacks.
The Chairman of Barkin Ladi LGA, Emmanuel Lomang, who also confirmed the incident to journalists in Jos, said the attackers killed 17 people in Vat and 13 others in Zakupang, where the Minister of Water Resources, Serah Ochekpe, hails from.
Lomang decried what he called “incessant attacks” on his people and challenged the security agencies, especially the Special Task Force to arrest the perpetrators.
The village head of Kapwen in Foron District, Gwom Ishaku Pam, confirmed Gwom’s death.
He added that a lady, Pualina, who got married two weeks ago, was among those killed by the herdsmen.
Pam said the series of attacks on the villagers had been causing them sleepless nights.
Efforts to contact the state Police Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Abuh, proved abortive as his telephone could not be reached.
The latest Plateau incident came as the Taroh people in Wase condemned the invasion of three of their communities by soldiers on reprisal on Saturday.
The soldiers were said to have arrived Kadarko, Kurmi and Wadata in about 40 vehicles following reports of alleged killing of six of their colleagues at Angwan Nanmi in Karin Lamido LGA.
Although Iweha said that 28 people were killed, the traditional ruler of Kadarko, Lot Nde, put the figure at 39.
The STF spokesman added that the soldiers, who destroyed an armoury in Kadarko, had succeeded in flushing out militiamen that had been terrorising people along the Plateau -Taraba border.
He said, “I want to give you an update on the military operation to flush out militia from Kadarko. I wish to let you know that the operation is completed and soldiers killed 28 of the militia. One soldier was killed in the encounter. Our men also destroyed an armoury used by the militiamen in Kadarko.
“The incident actually started on April 28 when the militiamen ambushed and killed six soldiers. The manner these soldiers were killed was dehumanising because their eyes were plucked out; heads decapitated and their bodies severed.
“Four of our men are still missing. All these prompted the 3 Armourd Division and STF to carry out an operation to flush out these militiamen.
“We have now completed the exercise and calm has been restored to the area. We implore residents to cooperate by giving us information that can help us to do our job.”
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights, Beni Lar, condemned the invasion , saying it was a conspiracy against the Taroh.
Lar, in a statement in Jos on Monday, vowed to report the incident to the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and the National Human Rights Commission.
“This attack is a serious violation of human rights to and an attack against humanity,” the lawmaker added, calling on relevant government agencies to investigate it.
Like Lar, the Secretary General of Ngwang Ishi ‘O’ Taroh, Pastor Nanlir Napbut, described the killings as genocide against the Taroh.
In Karim-Lamido LGA of Plateau State, 27 people also lost their lives following a reprisal by the military on Saturday.
It was gathered that suspected Fulani gunmen had ambushed and killed six soldiers between Amar and Kambari villages in the council. Three other soldiers were reported missing after the incident but their bodies were later found in bushes.
The soldiers were said to be on a routine patrol of the area when they were ambushed and killed.
The Chairman of the LGA, Bobboi Bendu, could not confirm the casualty figure, but he said there was an exchange of fire in the area.
“Two villages were razed but I can’t tell the exact number of casualties at the moment. The report I am getting indicates that some persons were killed,” he added.
In Takum LGA, 21 people were killed on Sunday by suspected Kuteb youths.
The youths were said to be also on a revenge mission over the killing of 13 of their kinsmen along the Takum-Katsina-Ala Road and Takum-Kashinbilla Road by gunmen on Friday and Saturday .
It was gathered that while the soldiers were in search of their missing colleagues, suspected gunmen opened fire on them but they replied, killing over 27.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Joseph Kwaji,who said he was not aware of the killings in Karim Lamido, stated that nine people were killed in Takum following a clash between the Tiv and Kuteb.
Tension is however said to be mounting in Takum and its environs as the Kuteb youths are alleged to be attacking the Tiv.
The development made the council Chairman, Caleb Babafi, imposed a 24-hour curfew on the town.
Meanwhile, a group known as the Concerned Taraba Tiv Youth Frontier, has condemned the killings in Takum and its environs.
The group, in a statement by its Vice- Chairman, Kater Amah, called on the state government to quickly intervene and ensure the protection of lives and property.
It called on both parties to lay down their arms and embrace peace in the interest of unity and development of the council and the state.