Friday Olokor, Jos
Some yet-to-be-identified gunmen have killed one Azi Magaji, identified as the driver of the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Joshua Madaki.
The gunmen, who struck at about 9 pm on Saturday, also killed a security guard.
The killings came two months after suspected Fulani herdsmen killed over 200 residents in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The incident has thrown Jos and neighbouring towns into confusion as key political actors continue to discuss the issue in hushed tones.
Joshua Madaki, representing Jos East constituency, took over as the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly on July 11 after the impeachment of Peter Azi, representing Jos North West State constituency.
When contacted, the spokesperson for Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev, said the investigation into the killings had commenced.
He, however, said that Magaji was not driving the official vehicle of the speaker but the patrol vehicle of Operation Rainbow, the anti-crime outfit put in place by Governor Lalong.
Tyopev said, “Yesterday (Saturday, August 25, 2018) at about 2100hrs, a distress call was received to the effect that there were sporadic gunshots in the Zarazong area of Jos, which houses Jos University Teaching Hospital Gate 4.
“Immediately the information was received, the police mobilised to the area. On arrival, Azi Magaji, the driver to the Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, and Edward Ankpa Titus, a security guard with JUTH were found motionless. They were rushed to JUTH immediately but were confirmed dead by the doctor on duty.
“Kopdi Monday and Nenman Popdak who were on duty at JUTH Gate 4 were also found with gunshot injuries and were rushed to JUTH for treatment. The two victims are responding to treatment. The investigation into the case is on track to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”
Just last week, United States of America said the spate of killings had continued in the Middle Belt and Northern Nigeria because of the reign of impunity.
The American government also said that the killings got to a worsening dimension since perpetrators escaped punishment for the terrible crimes.
The Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge de Affaires, US Embassy in Nigeria, David Young, expressed these views in an interview with journalists in Jos during his fellowship with church leaders in Plateau State.
While specifically advising that “the Nigerian government should strengthen its laws to deal with killers,” he said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari should ensure the conduct of a free, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible election in 2019.
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