The peaceful atmosphere that characterized the Christmas celebration in Plateau State was shattered on Tuesday when two persons were reportedly killed while 16 others sustained various degrees of injury when a group of gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen stormed a church at Maiakworigold area of Maikatako village in Bokkos Local government Council of the state.
One other person was said to have been killed in Manguna area of Bokkos local government of the state in the wee hours of Wednesday.
It was learnt that during the crossover night service at the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Maiakworigold, some gunmen invaded the church and started shooting sporadically killing two people on the spot and injuring 16 others in the ensuing scramble for survival.
The third victim in Manguna area was said to have been killed by the gunmen as they escaped.
According to an eye witness, Augustine Bim, the night service to usher in the New Year was going on when the gunmen stormed the church and began to shoot at worshippers leading to the death of two persons and injuring 16 other that are now receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly and member representing Bokkos constituency, Mr. Titus Alams, who confirmed the incident, described it as regrettable.
He added that while five of the victims were currently on admission at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital and are in stable condition, 11 others were receiving treatment at Barkin Ladi General Hospital.
While commending the security operatives for their prompt response, Alams also urged them to do everything possible to fish out the perpetrators of this act.
“This latest incident is regrettable because we have been doing a lot to sustain the current peace we are enjoying in the state. We are appealing to security agents to do everything in their power to fish out those responsible for this heinous crime against humanity”, he said.
Alams appealed to youths of the area to remain calm and not to take law into their own hands. He also urged them to report any suspicious movement to law enforcement agents in their area.
While stressing the importance of protecting themselves against further attacks, the Speaker urged the people to avoid making themselves open to attack by gathering in large numbers at any point at night.