Three members of a family were on Tuesday night killed at Wereng village in Kuru Station, Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Residents and the deceased’s family alleged that the killers entered the family’s bedroom at 10pm when they were asleep, and murdered them in cold blood.
The bed was soaked with blood yesterday when reporters visited the family’s home.
The deceased are: Philip Francis Pam, 37; his wife, Simi Francis, 28; and their only daughter, who was a few months old.
The couple had gunshot wounds on their chests and stomachs as well as machete cuts on their necks. The baby had machete cuts on her rib. Her little finger was severed.
Speaking in Hausa and Berom languages, the parents of the late Philip, Baba Francis Pam, and his wife, Ngo Mary Pam, narrated their experiences.
Francis Pam said: “I was not at home at that time. I was just on my way to the house when I heard shouts and gunshots in the house. I suspected a foul play and ran to alert others. I raised the alarm, and when the attackers knew people were awake, they ran away.”
The elderly man could not tell how the attackers entered the house.
He, however, said the assailants were Fulani herdsmen because of the pattern of attack.
Pam said: “Attacks have been happening in this neighbourhood and this is always the mode of operation: gunshots and machete cuts.
“They were not thieves because they did not steal anything in the house; they did what they always do at other places.”
Mrs Pam, who slept in another room from the slain family, said: “They (killers) came at about 10pm, when we had already slept. When I heard gunshots, I escaped through the window to alert neighbours.”
On her return, she said she found her son, his wife and their daughter dead.
The Special Adviser to Governor Jonah Jang on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ayuba Pam said the government was sad over the incident.
Ayuba said: “It is very sad that this is happening at the time the government has intensified efforts at sustaining the peace in the state.
“When I got the distress call in the night, I was very disappointed at this type of planned attack still persisting in the state.
“The government has kept faith by providing security, but some people are still bent on ensuring that the problem in the state continues.”
Ayuba praised the Special Task Force (STF) for its prompt response.
He urged the residents to be security-conscious to avoid falling preys to night attackers.
Two lawmakers representing Barkin-Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency at the National Assembly and Riyom State Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Samuel Mwadkon and Daniel Dem, said the efforts of the federal and state governments on peace was not yielding the desired result because of the alleged insincerity of security agencies.
They said: “We are the people at the grassroots. We know what is happening here and we have alerted the security personnel many times but they have refused to take action.
“There are places called Rankum and Rafin Acha, which the Fulani took from the Jol community. The Fulani live there and they have sophisticated weapons. They train in that place regularly. Series of meetings are held there regularly and they come out from there to attack any community at will without any arrest.
“We have appealed to the security personnel to investigate the activities of the Fulani there but no one listens. Those places are threats, not only to Riyom Local Government Area, but also to the entire Plateau State.”
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Family of three killed in Plateau night attack