Plateau Killings: Gov Lalong summons emergency stakeholders security meeting


Photo: Gov Lalong and the stakeholders after the meeting

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State on Tuesday summoned an   emergency security stakeholders meeting with elders of the state in Jos with a view to calming frayed nerves, diffusing tension and finding a lasting solution to the escalating attacks and killings in the state recently.

The Governor in his speech at the gathering lamented that despite the huge investments his adminstration  had made in peace building and crime fighting, it was again confronted with the activities of criminals who he said were bent on reversing the gains made in the last six years.

“It is with a deep heart that I address you today over the security situation in Plateau State.

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“We have witnessed isolated cases of attacks on some communities such as Dong in Jos North; Kwi, Byei, Wereng and Jol in Riyom LGA; Miango, Kangbro, Ri-geh; Kikoba, Kigam, Dundu, kishisho, Angwan Magaji, Nkienwhie, Zanwra, Nche-Tahu, Gene, Rikwe-Rishe, Kpatenvie, Ri-Kusu, Nchu-Nzhwa, Ri-Doro, and Kpara all in Bassa LGA; as well as Kuru in Jos South Local Government.

“There were also attacks in Chol, Vwang District as well as Kwanan Fulani, Chaha in Jos South Local Government; Maiyanga, La’ake, Mai Farin Mota, Dogon Gaba, Kafi Gana and Kwal villages in Bassa LGA; Mararaban Foron, Nafan in Barkin Ladi LGA; Ganawuri, Byei and Mahanga in Riyom LGA among others.

“In most of these attacks, farmers as well as herders were either killed or cattle and farm crops destroyed. Houses were also burnt down and people rendered homeless. The human loses due to the destruction is very worrisome as it continues to fuel the endless circle of attacks and counter attacks.

Governor Lalong noted that in  recent weeks and months, the state   had witnessed  unfortunate threats to the peace and security of the State by criminal elements who had obviously been thrown out of business by the combined efforts of the Government and law abiding citizens, as well as the collaboration of stakeholders outside the State.

The Governor stressed that in  all the incidences, he had directed the security agencies to go all out to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

“Government also mandated both the Peace Building Agency and our State Interreligious Council to step in and seek to unravel the remote causes of the attacks with a view to charting the cause of peace and reconciliation.

“While these efforts were ongoing and the security agencies continued with the process of hunting down those behind the unfortunate attacks, we were again taken aback by another unfortunate breach of peace along Rukuba road on Saturday 14th August 2021 where a convoy of five buses with passengers returning from a religious festival in Bauchi State heading to Ondo State were attacked.

“Many of them were killed and others were injured while some were rescued. This led to tension that degenerated to further retaliatory killings on Sunday which necessitated the imposition of 24-hour curfew on Jos North Local Government Area in addition to the dusk to dawn curfew in Bassa and Jos South LGAs.

“Security agencies have continued to dominate the areas and look for the perpetrators of these crimes to bring them to justice.

“While this is going on, the Government has also made efforts to bring succour to the victims. I am assuring the citizens that all the perpetrators still at large or their sponsors will surely be fished out and made to face the law.

“We have gone through this circle of violence in the past and it has done nobody any good. This is the time for us to unite and confront the common enemy to peace and peaceful coexistence.

“The vision of my administration is to ensure that people live together irrespective of their backgrounds. Justice and fairness is what can guarantee peace,” Lalong said.

He charged elders to work hard to resist the ploy by the enemies of the State to exploit religious and ethnic emotions to pitch people against one another.

“We must outgrow this old trick that has retarded the growth of our State and given us a negative image nationally and internationally.

“Our focus should rather be on promoting our diversity, rich culture and natural endowments and God-given potentials that are an attraction to many investors.

“Without peace, nobody will invest in our State, which explains why we have spent so much to build peace and institutionalize its consolidation through the Peace Building Agency and the Plateau State Inter-Religious Council,” the governor added.

“We have equally made several efforts in building the capacity of the security agencies including the Operation Rainbow towards ensuring that they respond to threats on time and prevent crimes. We recently bought and distributed 50 patrol vehicles and 200 security motorcycles,” he said.

The Governor said he called the elders  to hear their views and receive submissions as to what they could collectively do to overcome the current situation and also bring to an end the unfortunate cycle of violence particularly in Jos North, Bassa, Riyom, Jos South and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas.

“We cannot afford to fail the upcoming generation by refusing to do the needful. ” Lalong added.

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