Armed ViolenceNews

Villagers Chased From Their Homes By Midnight Attack In Nigeria’s Plateau State

Some people have not yet been able to return to their farming communities in Mangu, two days after an attack by terrorists. A local government-ordered curfew has not been effective and people fear the assailants are still in the area.

Unidentified attackers have launched a series of armed assaults on villages in Plateau state that have sent villagers running for their lives, many have not yet returned days after the attacks started.

The number of casualties from attacks in communities around Kubwat and Fungzai in Mangu local government area north central Nigeria is not yet known. It is unclear whether the attackers have yet left the area.

The attack started in the early hours of May 16, the assailants went from village to village in the district. Residents were woken by the sounds of shooting nearby and fled their homes. 

A curfew banning movement around the district ordered by the local government chairman on May 16 does not seem to be having much effect, local residents say. In the town of Mangu the streets are quiet, but in the countryside around it, where the attacks have been taking place, security is still lacking.

The Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong condemned the attack: “This is yet another attempt by crisis merchants and criminals to return the State to the dark days of pain and agony,” he said in a statement.

Although no group has claimed responsibility, some residents of the communities told HumAngle that they suspect Fulani terrorists are responsible. 

“It’s the Fulani herders. Before the Sallah celebration, the skirmishes started. But after the celebrations, the attack returned,” a resident said. 


“We were sleeping when they came. We didn’t know they were coming.” Plangkat Samuel, a resident of the Jognut community told HumAngle on phone in Hausa. 

“So we started hearing gunshots. We didn’t call security operatives because they don’t arrive early when we call them. They dont come on time until the tension subsides. The situation we are in is worse,” he said. 

Witnesses said the situation is still chaotic. A curfew has been placed on the area and information about the attacks is not complete. The full number of injured and killed is not yet known. 

Some people had been able to get back to their homes by Wednesday May 17. Samuel said: “We escaped narrowly. Now, we don’t sleep inside our homes. We sleep outside,” 

Only men left

“The curfew imposed by the government will  not change anything because these people don’t move on vehicles. They move around in bushes by foot. It’s not like they use motorcycles,” Samuel said. 

According to residents, at least 16 communities around Mangu have been attacked.

“We can’t count the number of communities. The attack affected almost all parts of the Mangu local government,” Samuel said.

“We (the men) are the only ones left. The women have fled to neighbouring communities.” 

The State Emergency Management Agency and the Peace Building Agency have been ordered by the Governor to visit the area and assess the humanitarian needs in order to provide aid to the impacted while a comprehensive inquiry is being conducted.

Another resident of Mangu said not long ago, Changal, a community in the same area, was attacked. 

Last month, Vwang, a community in Riyom local government area of the State was raided by suspected herders and six miners were killed. 

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Mahdi Garba

Mahdi Garba covers development, security, conflict, climate & disinformation at HumAngle. He heads the Humanitarian Desk at HumAngle. He tweets regularly @MahdiGarba.

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