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Plateau State University Shut Down Following Terrorist Attack Tied to Alleged Military Collaboration

Residents of Plateau State have demanded a public inquiry into military mishandling of a bandit-terrorist attack in three communities and Plateau State University in Bokkos county on April 18 and 19, causing the death of four students and as many as 16 civilians in the villages and towns nearby, according to Daily Post.  Soldiers answering to Col. C.Y. Ofurumazi allegedly collaborated with an armed assault on the campus by terrorist-bandits, until Maj. General Abdulsalam Abubakar, Chief of Army Staff, arrived April 19 with a relief unit of soldiers from the Third Division Headquarters in Jos to restore order.

A sophomore computer science student identified as Dading James Jordan, was killed on campus during an attack on two communities of Mangu and Bokkos counties on the night of Thursday, April 18, according to Foundation for Independent Journalism.

Terrorist bandits stormed the villages at about 11:45 p.m., opening fire on residents and burning homes. At least 15 people, including Jordan were killed in the attack which lasted till the early hours of Friday. On the same night, Ofurumazi’s soldiers disarmed 15 citizen guards in Batura Kampani, according to Daily Post. The terrorists then regrouped and attacked the nearby village of Chikam, murdering Mr. Jordan and two others, Daily Post reported. 

 The university has been shut down and examinations postponed until May 2. The key incident of controversy is a reported face-off between students and the military on April 19 when group of approximately 1,000 students carried the coffin of a colleague murdered by terrorists the previous day to the command post of the military police.   The military reportedly fired in the air and then turned to firing at the fleeing students, killing three, according to Daily Post.

“The angry students burned down the military checkpoint when the soldiers tried to stop them from protesting. In turn, they got angry and started shooting. At first, they shot at the sky, but they later aimed at students,” an eyewitness told Foundation for Investigative Journalism.

The Bokkos Cultural Development Council (BCDC) Vanguard of Plateau state, as well as Release International, a humanitarian group in the UK have called for an international enquiry of the military response to terrorism in Bokkos County.

This tragedy unfolds amidst heightened tensions in Plateau State. Recent weeks have seen a rise in violence, with several attacks on communities within the state.

Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.

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