From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The people of Heipang District of Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State have alleged that men of the Special Task Force (STF) responsible for the maintenance of peace in the state have in the last four years killed 33 persons and injured scores in the district.
The allegation was made by Heipang Community Leaders, while briefing journalists in Jos, over the recent killing of two women in the district.
Mr. Pam Choji, who spoke on behalf of the Community, said: “Our people have had bitter and traumatic experiences in the hands of the military, the memories of which has ingrained resentment for the military in the entire community.
Choji further explained that the men of the STF particularly Sector 7 in Barkin Ladi Local Council have killed 33 persons and injured several in the last four years in different villages in Heipang district of Barkin Ladi LGA of the State.
He said on August 15, 2011 nine people were killed in Heipang town; on September 3, 2011, eight members of a family of nine were killed in Tatu village; on December 15, 2012, four farmers were killed.
Also on November 26, 2012, 10 persons were killed in Heipang town while relaxing at a beer parlour. While on June 17, 2015, two women were kill in Heipang town, while protesting the establishment of a check point by the STF.
All the aforementioned allegations were against the STF in Barkin Ladi Local Council.
The group expressed it disappointment, describing the conduct of Col. C.O.C Ekulide who is the Commander of Sector 7, as “unprofessional”, with respected to the incident that occurred on the 17th, June, 2015, which led to the death of two women.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for withdrawing soldiers from roadblocks across the North.
The Community called on the President, the state governor, all security chiefs in the country and the Attorney General of the Federation, “to set in motion the process for the arrest and
prosecution of all those military men that carried out the attack, as well as the extra-judicial killings on 17th, June, 2015 in our community and to investigate other previous incidents mentioned.
“Where investigations have been carried out as regards previous incidents, we urge the authorities concern to make the report public and the step taken known especially to the affected Community as a means of restoring the peoples’ confidence in the security agencies, particularly the military.
“As representatives of our community, we demand heavy compensation from the military for the families of those murdered as well as those injured. The authorities must realise that their sincerity is being called to question in this matter,” the group stressed.
It further assured of its willingness to assist in investigation by giving relevant information and material evidence that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of the dastardly acts.
However, the STF, through its spokesperson, Captain Ikedichi Iweha, had denied killing the two women, saying it was the villageer who were shooting and in the process shot the women.