Senator Gyang Dalyop Datong (Plateau North, PDP) has been shot dead by gunmen while attending a mass burial ceremony today for victims of another attack in his senatorial district.
Datong was until his death, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health.
Also said to be among those affected was Hon. Gyang Fulani, the Majority leader of the Plateau state House of Assembly. Hon. Fulani was representing Barkin Ladi constituency. An unknown number of people were killed when the gunmen launched their attack, shooting indiscriminately.
A statement from the Plateau state commissioner of Information, Abraham Yiljap confirmed the killings.
Today's attack took place sometime after 2pm at the venue of the mass burial of some newly discovered dead victims who were found slain in a church in an attack that had gone by unreported and presumed to have taken place yesterday.
Over 37 people - villagers, aggressors and STF personnel - were reported killed in Barkin Ladi at the weekend in a new cycle of violence between Fulani herdsmen and Berom tribesmen who co-habit the two local government areas. Over 9 villages were attacked by people believed to be Fulani in the raids on Saturday.
Barkin Ladi is about 25 kilometres from the state's capital, Jos.
Datong won his first election in to the Senate in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011. He was previously a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom federal constituencies. He was a medical doctor by profession and aside from being the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health he was also a member of such other committees as Cooperation and Integration in Africa and NEPAD, Solid Minerals and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Also speaking on the incident in a telephone chat with Daily Trust, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Solomon Enang (PDP, Akwa Ibom North-East) said, “This is very painful, and it points to no direction for our country. But if it points to any direction at all, it is that of hopelessness”.
More details soon.Daily Trust