The city of Jos and its environs experienced palpable tension on Wednesday following the killing of several persons in Yelwa Zangam village in Plateau State.
Vexed by the latest assault which left many others injured on Tuesday night, a group of young persons stormed the Plateau Specialist Hospital where the corpses of victims had been deposited and evacuated them into vans.
They later proceeded with the corpses to the State House of Assembly, blocking all roads leading to the area.
Despite the address by the Speaker of the House who sued for calm, the youths were not satisfied with the response and proceeded to the Government House where the corpses of the victims were laid.
In the meantime, authorities in Plateau have summoned an emergency Security Council meeting presided by the deputy governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden, to discuss the present situation in the state.
Several persons were reportedly killed on Tuesday at Yelwa Zangam in Jos-North Local Government Area. Sources alleged that herdsmen invaded the community at the dead of night, leaving several people – mostly women and children dead.
Many others were injured in the wake of the attack and several houses were burnt.
The State Specialist Hospital on Wednesday that no fewer than 16 corpses were at the morgue, while the injured were receiving treatment.
According to witnesses, the corpses at the funeral parlour do not include another set of over 15 persons that were burnt in their houses and have yet to be evacuated.
The latest attack tends to add salt to injury and further threatens to cut the brittle thread that currently holds the peace within Plateau State.
It comes just days after Governor Simon Lalong imposed a curfew on Jos North, Bassa, and Jos South Local Government areas following an attack on Rukuba Road in Jos North.
A curfew became imperative after 23 people who were travelling from Bauchi en-route Jos to Ikare in Ondo State were killed and 23 others were left injured.
At noon on Wednesday, the Plateau State Government ordered a reinstatement of the 24-hour curfew earlier relaxed in Jos North Local Government Area.
According to Governor Lalong, the 24-hour curfew will come into force from 4pm on August 25. He said the decision is a proactive one aimed at nipping further attacks and reprisals in the bud.
It is expected that the curfew will also enable security agencies deploy their operatives appropriately to maintain security as the search for the attackers of the villagers continues.
The Governor appealed to the citizens of Jos North to cooperate with the government by abiding by the 24-hour curfew, as security agencies have been mandated to ensure that those who violate the curfew are arrested.
Lalong further noted that the 6pm to 6am curfew in Jos South and Bassa LGAs still remains in place until further notice.
“Only people on essential duties such as health personnel, journalists, fire service and para-military and others, are to be exempted from the curfew but should carry means of identification with them at all times,” the governor stated in a communique.
He called for calm, saying he is seriously grieved by the attacks and sympathises with the victims.
The governor also urged the people to show restraint and allow the government to handle the matter, lest the state experiences an implosion.