The Plateau State Commissioner for Information, Yiljap Abraham, has disputed reports that 40 people were killed in the two days violence that rocked Wase Local Government Area of the state.
Mr. Abraham stated the government’s position on Wednesday evening in Jos at a joint press conference held in collaboration with the media officer of the Special Task-Force, STF, on Jos Crisis, Salisu Mustapha.
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He said 18 people as opposed to 40 people lost their lives in the Wase mayhem. He also said many others sustained injuries. He said the injured persons are being treated in hospitals.
The commissioner said the figure given by the press is an imagination of some people who do not mean well for the state; saying a team of experts and security has visited the scenes of the incident and made available the number of casualties to government.
The information commissioner asked journalists to always cross check their facts before filling in reports, particularly of violence; maintaining that the trend was capable of aggravating the already tense situation.
On his part, Mr. Mustapha, while commenting on efforts of the security agents in bringing the situation under control, said an additional nine persons died in Langtang South as a result of the violence in Wase.
Mr. Mustapha informed that the Wase crisis has been brought under control, but security forces were still staged in more prone insecurity areas of the zone to avoid re-occurrence.
The Security Council meeting over Wase killings had traditional and community leaders from Southern Plateau in attendance.
Wase was under siege on Tuesday as gunmen took over the communities leaving many dead. Witnesses gave figures of casualties as ranging from 30 to 40 persons.
Earlier on March 21, 35 people were killed in a bloody clash according to residents of Wase Local Government Area; however, Mr. Abraham also described that figure as exaggerated.
While the state government continues to deny the figures as provided by residents of the council, residents and survivors of the violence ask for real security measures to be taken to forestall violence and deaths regardless of the number.