Two youths shot to death while riding on motorcycle behind military convoy in Plateau State

Two Plateau natives were on Sunday evening, killed near a military convoy, weeks after the Department of State Services alerted Special Task Force Officials of planned attacks.

Joseph Davou, 28, and Jerry Bitrus, 32, were riding on motorcycle along Rahoss-Rim road in Riyom Local Government area, closely behind a military convoy, when they were killed, it was gathered.

Village Head of Rim, Gyang Dahoro told Journalists on Monday, that Military Task Force Officials confirmed hearing gunshots during the attack, but did not intervene.

“They also confirmed going on patrol along that axis but said they left 2hrs before the attack,” Dahoro said.

Father of one of the victims, Davou Dachya, however, told Police authorities, that his son, Joseph, left home at about 6:30pm, riding behind a military patrol vehicle.

“His wife just put to bed and he came home to see her. He sold some crops to care for her and the baby but said he had a job in the city, from which he could earn and give more.

“I persuaded him to stay back as it was getting late, but he said he would take advantage of the military convoy going his direction,” Dachya said.

No evidence has been found linking any group with the attack. However, eight AK-47 bullet shells were recovered from the scene.

The motorcycle and bodies of the slain youths also appear to have been hit by bullets fired from a front position.

An ambush, especially near a military patrol, experts say would likely occur from a rear position, or the side of a target.

Bullets on the face and chests of the victims, as well as clutch lever, fender, front fairing and bar end of their motorbike, therefore rules out the possibility of a side ambush.

Eight bullet shells at the scene also suggest expert shots, swiftly fired with precision.

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Local authorities have ordered for an autopsy to be carried out on the corpses, with forensic examination of the scene of attack.

“You must do all within your powers to unravel these killers,” said State Lawmaker, Timothy Dantong.

Dantong represents Riyom constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, where dozens of attacks have occured in the past one decade.

The attacks, often blamed on herders, have often been linked to military complacency.

“We are tired of hearing the army being indicted in attacks and nothing is done,” said Mr. Tambari Gizo, an Official of a local association of herders – Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN).

“If these innocent youths were said to have been moving along with the army and yet the army is not saying anything, then it leaves much to answer, said Gizo.

No comment has however been made by the military authorities.

A similar incident two weeks ago in neighboring Vwang District of Jos South LGA nearly resulted in the lynching of military personnel on patrol.

A vigilante member was killed by a bullet fired from the direction of a group of herdsmen in company of military personnel.

When soldiers came to the scene of the attack the next day supposedly searching for a missing cow, irate youths rounded them up to be beaten, but for the intervention of local elders and Police.

Last year, three youths in Kwi village in same Riyom LGA were allegedly killed by STF operatives and donated to hospital for anatomy.

The latest case is likely to further severe civil military relationship if not swiftly addressed.

BREAKING: Again Boko Haram attacks Zulum’s convoy again

The convoy of Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, was again attacked on Sunday morning.

The latest attack, which recorded no death, occurred when the convoy was returning to Maiduguri.

According to report, the attack happened around 10.30 am on Sunday, about two kilometers away from Baga.

The convoy, according to some of the people who returned to Maiduguri on Sunday evening from the tour, was shot at by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

While it was said that there was no death recorded this time around except some minor injuries.

“The windscreen of some vehicles was shattered, some vehicles had their tyres busted by gunshots, including the Government House Press Crew bus.

“The military gun truck was also shot at and a soldier had his shoulder scalded with a gunshot.”

Recall that an ambush on the convoy of the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Friday left about 30 persons dead.

The governor’s convoy was said to have been attacked between Monguno and Baga areas of the state.

Baga town was displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents 21 months ago, with most of the residents taking refuge in Monguno and Maiduguri.

Zulum was on an assessment tour of Baga in preparation for the return of thousands of residents displaced from the town by the jihadists in 2014.

In July the governor’s convoy came under gun attack from ISWAP outside Baga, forcing him to cancel his trip to the town.

A few days ago, the group killed a Nigerian army commander along with three soldiers in an ambush near the town of Damboa.