If Chundung Sunday, a 32-year-old mother of seven, had the premonition that her children were going to perish so soon, she would not have allowed them to go to eat in the family house of one of her friends were six family members were murdered by gunmen without provocation in Dangwal village of Ganawuri District in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The attackers of Dangwal village left on their trail blood and the living agony and traumatic condition.
The children, Deborah Sunday, 12, and Dungwong Sunday, 14, were with their mother at home on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at about 7:00 p.m. They were cracking jokes and laughing while waiting for dinner.
Immediately the food was ready, the younger sister, Deborah who was at the family house, few meters away from their own house came and told their mother that she wanted to go and eat her food with her friends and grandmother in the family compound.
She announced to her brother that her grandmother cooked beans and the 14-year-old Pam became interested in the beans and therefore took away his food and followed her sister.
The mother released them without any premonition that something bad was going to happen. They were not expecting even a fly to hurt someone talk more of gunshots in the village.
Her expectation was that the children were going there only to eat with their friends and return home to sleep. Few minutes they arrived at the family house with the food.
The children sat down with two other children and as they were eating and joking with one another, waiting for the beans, four gunmen invaded the house and shot the four children dead.
Chundung heard the gunshots from a distance. She also heard the loud cry of her children, but did not know immediately that her children were shot dead until when she came to the scene.
The grandmother who was with a toddler was also shot dead, including her son, Gideon Gyang who was eating inside the house. Only his wife, Lyop Gideon survived the attack with her little baby.
The children were shot and macheted to death while they were still eating. They all vomited the food they had eaten as life was snuffed out of them prematurely.
Chundung, who had the shooting from the next house took cover and ran for safety. Other residents of the village also ran for fear of the heavy gunshots as it was coming from different directions.
Five minutes after the shooting, the gunmen escaped the scene through the hills that surrounded the village. Chundung was crying and wailing when she returned and met the lifeless body of her children in the pool of their blood.
Her words: “If I know that my children were going to be killed in the family house with their friends, I wouldn’t have allowed them to go and eat there. It appears death was haunting for them, but I didn’t understand.
“It did not occur to me to stop them from going to eat there. This was because that wasn’t the first day they were eating there. My children told me that they would go and eat beans and come back without knowing that would be the last time I would speak with them.
“At the moment, I am not myself, my heart is no longer with me, these are the children I love so much, but they have been killed, may God expose those who carried out this gruesome killing for justice.
“The police must arrest and prosecute those who killed my children, they must not find peace until they are arrested for justice.”
Narrating her chilling story, Mrs Lyop Gideon who survived the brutal killing, said they were eating dinner and the attackers came from nowhere and shot her family members dead.
Mrs Lyop lost her husband, Mr Gideon Gyang, one of her child, mother and father in-law. The 25-year-old woman said that she escaped the gunshots by the grace and mercy of God.
She lied down in the pool of her children’s blood and pretended that she was dead and God saved her as the gunmen when macheting the children didn’t come to her.
Luckily, her little baby, Esther Gideon, was also left unhurt. Esther who was strapped in the arms of her slain grandmother was crying after the gunmen had left. She was, therefore, rescued from blood-soaked arms of the grandmother.
“It was at about 7:00p.m when the gunmen came, they shot my husband and my baby started crying, while we were trying to escape, they came to the room where we were eating and shot everybody.
“My husband was in our room few meters away from my father in-law’s room where seven of us were eating. They shot him first, and my terrified mother-in-law started screaming.
“As my husband was groaning to dead, my mother-in-law screamed, they came into the room where we were eating, one of them tried to say something in Berom language, but was not fluent.
“He tried to speak Fulani, but was not fluent too after he opened fire in the room and killed six people, but I don’t think that language was standard too. I laid flat on the ground as they opened fire and killed everyone,” she said.
As sympathizers from neighbouring communities trooped into the village to sympathize with the family, youths in the area started protesting, but security agents restrained them.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Matthias Terna Tyopev said that investigation to unravel those behind the attack has commenced.
According to him, the Command is soliciting credible information to track down and arrest the perpetrators to face Justice.