Riyom local government area of Plateau state was thrown into chaos following the death of two members of the community who were reported to have been forced to dig a poisonous well at a checkpoint by officials of the State Task Force (STF).
A youth leader in the local government, Solomon Dachung, who took newsmen round the Plateau Specialist Hospital, said it was most unfortunate that the very people deployed to protect lives in the area are the angels of death.
Dachung said: ”Security men at a checkpoint near a well that has been abandoned since 1985 ordered some youths to enter it and dig for them to use. The first set of youths refused and left. Then came three guys, this time the soldiers forced them to enter the well. The first entered and could not come out, same for the second. When they asked the third guy to enter, he pleaded that a rope be tied round his waist, which was done. As he was entering, he sensed that the well had either been poisoned or contaminated by gas, he shouted that he be pulled out. By that time, the other two had already suffocated and died.
”When the survivor noticed that the STF showed unconcern about the death of these two young men, he raised an alarm leading passersby to protest. On approach to the checkpoint, the protesters were fired at by the STF resulting in the shooting of three youths.”
The Police Public Relations Officer for the State Command, Terna Mathiase Tyopev, confirmed the incident adding that he does not know if there had been fatalities.