Plateau killings: CAN disagrees with police, claims death toll is 218

Plateau killings: CAN disagrees with police, claims death toll is 218

- CAN has released new details about the Plateau state massacre

- The religious body claimed that the death toll recorded during the attack is higher than the number stated by the police

- It reiterated its calls for justice and an intervention to stop the killings

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says it has confirmed that more people were killed in Plateau state during last weekend’s unrest, than official figures show.

According to Premium Times, the official figure released by the Plateau state police commissioner, Undie Adie, is 86 and the figure had not changed as of Wednesday, June 27.

The victims were reportedly attacked by suspected herdsmen while returning from a funeral ceremony on Saturday, June 23.

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There have also been reports of an earlier incident against cattle herders alleged to have triggered the mayhem.

President Muhammadu Buhari joined other Nigerians to condemn the attack and visited Plateau state on Tuesday, June 26.

The exact death toll in the attack seems unclear with the police and community leaders giving different figures. A resident allegedly said at least 120 people were killed.

However, in a statement on Wednesday, June 27, CAN president, Samson Ayokunle, said the Christian body received details of the attack from reliable sources within the mostly affected communities.

Ayokunle’s media aide, Bayo Oladeji, claimed that the sources included people who conducted close investigations to unravel the nature of the problem. The group claimed that the death toll stood at 218. It said 37 villages had been under attacks by the suspected herdsmen for a while.

“Following the killings that took place on the Plateau, CAN has obtained reliable information on the number of the dead as recorded in B/Ladi & Riyom LGAs from Sat. 23rd to Monday 25th June, 2018,” it said.

It said attacks took place at Gashish, Ropp, Bash, Heipang and Zawan districts. The group reiterated its calls for justice and an intervention to stop the killings.

The claims made by the religious body, however, could not be independently verified.

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Adie to the state police commissioner said he could not immediately corroborate the findings of CAN.

I still have a team that is investigating in the field and I don’t know if they have returned from there,” the police chief said. “By tomorrow I will ask them.” previously reported that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday, June 27, declared a seven-day mourning for victims of the killings which took place in Plateau and other states across Nigeria.

The national working committee of the party also directed that all flags in its offices and formation at all levels be flown at half-mast during the seven-day mourning period.

A statement by the party's spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan on Wednesday, June 27, urged the people in the affected states to refrain from reprisal attacks.

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