Many residents have been feared killed, buildings, including churches and mosques were burnt in Sabon Gari area of Mangu local government area of Plateau State, in a fresh sectarian crisis that erupted in the state.
According to an eyewitness, Pansak Lazarus, who is a member of the affected community, he told journalists that the number of casualties cannot be determined for now.
“I cannot give you the exact number of people killed but many were killed, more than 15 houses were burnt as well as several shops destroyed,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Plateau State Police Command, DSP Alfred Alabo, who spoke to journalists, called for calm, saying their men were on top of the situation.
Similarly, the Media Officer of the Special Task Force (STF) in charge of security in Plateau and Bauchi State including some parts of Southern Kaduna, code-named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Captain James Oya, also confirmed the attack but declined to give any casualty figure.
According to him, troops of OPSH have been deployed to the affected area with a view to bring the situation under control.
He also added that normalcy has returned to the affected area.
Earlier, Plateau State governor, Caleb Mutfwang, declared a 24-hour curfew on Mangu Local Government Area of the state with immediate effect, following deteriorating security situation in the area.
According to a statement issued by the director of press and public affairs in the governor’s office, Gyang Bere, he said Governor Mutfwang took the decision after consultations with the relevant security agencies. He stated that only persons on essential duties were allowed to move within the local government area until further notice.
The statement urged all citizens, especially residents of Mangu Local Government area, to comply with the directive and assist the security personnel by providing reliable information to restore peace and order in the area.
He lamented that some people were still determined to create an atmosphere of insecurity in the state, despite the government’s efforts to end the activities of terrorist elements.
Governor Mutfwang also expressed his sympathy to the families of the victims and the injured, and assured them that the government will not relent in ensuring lasting peace in the state.
He promised that the curfew would be reviewed as soon as the security situation improved