On August 14, 2021, unknown armed individuals attacked a convoy of five buses and killed at least 22 travellers along Rukuba Road in Jos North Local Government. According to multiple reports, the victims were returning to Ondo State after attending an Islamic festival in Bauchi state. Reports also say that another 23 people were injured, while 26 people escaped unhurt.
Widespread condemnation followed the incident. The Nigerian Governors Forum described the attack as “barbaric and senseless. President Muhammadu Buhari also decried the incident. In a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, the president said that the attack was unacceptable and alluded that the attack was “a well-conceived and prearranged assault”
One thing was clear: this was another security issue for the Plateau state government to deal with. In an effort to manage the escalating tension, the governor, Simon Lalong, imposed a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in three local government areas of the state: Jos North, Jos South, and Bassa.
However, a curfew couldn’t stop the fresh attack on human lives that plagued the state in the following days. In one incident, unknown people raided Tafi-Gana, a village in Bassa local government on Tuesday August 17, 2021, killing at least five people in the process.
Subsequently, academic activities in the state were affected as the management of University of Jos suspended the school calendar and shut down student hostels.
Between the time the latest spate of violence erupted in Plateau state and now, at least six state governments have ordered the evacuation of their indigenes, mostly students, from Jos for fear of reprisal attacks. The states include: Oyo, Ogun, Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, and Delta states.
The tension in the state rose to a new high on August 25 when armed men suspected to be herdsmen invaded Yelwan Zangam, a community in Jos. The rampage claimed over 30 lives.
Following the attack, angry youth in the community staged a protest to the Plateau State Government house and dumped more than 20 corpses — victims of the previous night’s attack — at the main gate of Plateau’s seat of government.
At the moment, it is unclear how the state government plans to manage the situation. However, the governor has imposed a 24-hour curfew on the affected local government areas in the state.