By EZEKIEL DONTINNA
The apex body of Ngwong Isi O’Tarok (NIO]) has condemned in strong terms the arrest of one Shehu Jatau, a Tarok Community Leader in Taraba State and his entourage by security agents after fruitful deliberations on peace building in Abuja recently.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the NIO’s Care Taker Committee President, Mr. David Dashe, and made available to THE NIGERIA STANDARD in Jos, the Plateau State capital, Monday.
The statement said, “In in a bid to restore permanent peace in the area that the Plateau State Government recently encouraged the further intervention of traditional rulers to talk to the leaders of the two factions and a peace pact was signed. A committee that was set up to pursue this purpose is made up of the Long Gamai of Shendam, the Emir of Wase, the Ponzhi Zinni and the Director General of Plateau Peace Building Agency.
“The Committee employed the non-conventional approach in taking the matter and had held series of meetings with the Ponzhi Kadarko, Chief Lot Nden and the Ponzhi Kurmi, Mr. Shehu Jatau, who was thereafter arrested on finishing the peace meeting held at the Plateau State Liaison Office Abuja on 30th October, 2019.
“We are particularly worried that the arrest came after the monarchs have been assured by the security agencies that they were not going to disrupt the peace process by arresting leader/ supporters of the two factions. The security chose to strike partly to drag the demonstrate contempt for their peace initiative and show lack of respect for civil authority and Government of Plateau State,” it disclosed.
Dashe expressed concern that the situation has further compounded the peace process and was “already generating anxiety and serious tension among our people” and called on the security agency that was responsible for the arrest to have a rethink and release the arrested persons for the sake of peace in order to give way for the setting up of a committee to accomplish the task ahead of them.
“This call is necessary and is in line with our strong belief that the approach of confrontation and maximal use of force has not abated the crisis in Wase and may worsen. On our part, we have continued to maintain calmness and give peace a chance.
“This, we have done, in strong belief that the security agents and indeed the Federal Government will appreciate the character of the crisis in Wase and embrace the non-conventional approach to resolving it as initiated by Governor Simon Bako Lalong”, he stressed.