By JIDAUNA DARING
Commissioner of Higher Education, Plateau State, Hon. Audu Kakmena has called on the people of Garkawa community of Mikang Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State to live in peace with one another at all times.
Hon. Kakmena made the call during his visit to the College of Agriculture, Garkawa following the recent restiveness that occurred in Garkawa town which led to the closure of the College for two weeks.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the Assistant Registrar. (Information) of the College, Mr. Ajiji A. Itse a copy of which was made available to SUNDAY STANDARD in Jos, the Plateau State capital last Friday.
The Commissioner said, he was in the College on a fact finding visit, and to as well discuss with management of the College and other stakeholders over the recent ugly incident that led to the immediate closure of the institution.
The Commissioner appreciated the effort of Mwo Youm, His Royal Highness (HRH), Mr. Joseph Dabup II for bringing the situation under control and encouraged the paramount ruler to ensure that everybody embraces peace so as to avoid the repeat of such ugly incident.
Earlier, while welcoming the team to the College, Provost of the institution, Dr. M.A Dasbak explained that a dead body of a youth was said to have been found along Garkawa-Yelwa road near the College premises in the early hours of Sunday November 10th 2019, which he said sparked up the restiveness.
Dr. Dasbak said that 6 students of the College were later arrested and detained at the police station as suspects, adding that while at the police station, the students were attacked by an angry mob which led to the death of one of them.
The Provost applauded the effort of the security agents who brought the situation under control, stressing that the management of the College and the academic board assessed the situation and saw the need to close the institution for two weeks so as to avoid any breakdown of law and order in the College.
The statement quoted the Staff Union leaders and that of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) President as calling for a thorough investigation into the matter so as to allow peace reign between the College and its host community, Garkawa.
According to the statement, the fact finding team that was led by Hon. Kakmena was also at the palace of Mwo Youm of Garkawa, His Royal Highness (HRH), Mr. Joseph Dabup II to condole him over the demise of a Garkawa youth and a student of the College as a result of the ugly incident.
Responding, the Royal Father thanked the team for their efforts and their show of concern to them and also promised to sustain the ongoing effort towards bringing back total peace to the affected community,
The Royal Father equally appreciated the efforts of the security agents, urging them to make concerted efforts in their investigation, so as to fish out the perpetrators of such dastardly act.
The Chairman of Mikang LGC, Hon. Ezekiel Voelgap, however condemned in totality the ugly incident, despite concerted efforts to avert it and solicited for dialogue between the College and host community.
Hon. Voelgap promised that he would do everything possible to ensure that lasting peace is achieved, saying that what peace can bring violence cannot.
Some of the stakeholders who spoke emphasized on the need for all and sundry to embrace peace in the locality.
The statement also indicated that the temporary closure of the institution was commended while the management of the College was encouraged to always have regular meeting within the College and the larger community.