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Plateau: Gunmen kill, burn corpses of 67-year-old man, sister, three children

The five-member Mallum family was among the many victims of the mass murder that took place in the Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State on Tuesday. The family was completely destroyed by gunmen.

The five-member family that was slaughtered lived in Mangu but was originally from the state’s Langtang North Local Government District.

A sister to the head of the family, Mrs. Juliana Danjuma Kwamji, described the facts surrounding the problem and how the marauders carried out the heinous act. She stated the family lived in the Soho Kasuwa area and that’s where they saw the disturbance.

Earlier that day, houses, commercial buildings, and places of worship were set on fire, causing the vast business community of Mangu to see scenes of hell. The arsonists also targeted the well-known corn market, which attracts vendors from all over the nation every Friday.

Mrs. Kwamji stated that although they were aware of the violence in the local government region before to her brother and his family members’ deaths, they had never imagined it would extend to their neighbourhood.

She said, “On coming out of the house, they noticed that some of their neighbours were outside their houses discussing the unfortunate incident in town in a hushed tone. And someone accosted my sister, who was taking her daughter to school, to postpone the move as a result of tension in town.

“She obeyed and returned to the house, and while they were deliberating on what to do, they suddenly saw their neighbour’s house on fire and decided to call the owner of the house to call security agents and fire service to put out the fire.

“In the twinkling of an eye, the gunmen, in connivance with some of their neighbours, began to set houses on fire. At that time, no one could run out again, but when the situation was becoming intense, the little schoolgirl who was with them and at the moment with me was thrown out of the window and she ran to the next house.”

“The hoodlums forced their way through the window into the house and killed my elder brother, Dauda Mallum, a 67-year-old man who was a retired civil servant and had been battling stroke. They killed him and four other family members, namely, Beatrice Mallum (29 years old), Emmanuel Mallum (31 years old), Tabitha Mallum (20 years old) and a sister to the man, in a gruesome manner.”

Mrs. Kwamji, amid tears, said the five victims were stabbed to death and the house set on fire by the assailants who waited to ensure that they were burned beyond recognition.

“Before they were burned, the people collected their phones and took away some valuables.

“There were five people in the house: three were his children and one was his sister who came to take care of him because he was down with stroke. But a girl, who is about four years old, was thrown out of the window and escaped to a neighbour’s house. The girl is with me presently,” she said.

According to Mrs. Kwanji, she kept an ear on the murdered individuals over the phone from the moment they were captured till their execution. She continued by saying that when she later dialled one of the phones, the person on the other end just said that they were now in the Niger Republic.

The incident has not stopped drawing criticism. According to a statement issued by Mr. Nangor Ndam, National Secretary of the Tarok socio-cultural development association Ngwang Ishi O’tarok (NIO), the victims were Tarok families residing in the Mangu Local Government Area.

The association, headed by Mr. Nanpon Danjuma Sheni, was informed of the occurrence and had communicated with the investigating security services, according to the statement.

The association further stated that for a thorough briefing on the circumstances in Mangu, the association president had communicated with his counterpart, the president of the Magaghul Development Association.

The organisation stated that since security officers were on top of the matter, there should be no reason for retaliatory action and urged all Tarok sons and daughters to remain composed and law-abiding while the investigations were ongoing.

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