By PALANG KASMI
Apparently concerned about finding a permanent solution to the recurring killings in Plateau state, that has claimed over 15 lives, Governor Simon Bako Lalong has ordered the arrest of all community leaders and Ardo’s in the villages affected by the recent skirmishes.
His directive came as a result of the recent gunmen attacks in Kwatas, Bokkos LGA and border villages of Mangu LGA.
The governor gave the order during a meeting with stakeholders from 4 Local Government areas at Government House, on the insecurity challenges in their domain.
“As the chief security officer of my state, I call on the security to arrest those responsible for these killings no matter how highly placed”, he said.
“I will not take any of this again. If they say there is no high and after 3 days, no arrest has been made concerning the killings, then something is wrong”.
“Even among us, there are criminals, and the must be fished out. Over I5 people cannot just die and no arrests are made. If no arrests are made, Ardos and community leaders should be locked up in the cell so that after undergoing questioning, they will produce the criminals in their domain”
“If we do not do that, the security breach will escalate to other parts of the state and country and this will become a bigger challenge”.
While stating his displeasure on the breach of peace despite all efforts to sustain it, Lalong called on all community leaders in the state to be responsible for what happens in their localities.
“Criminals are not spirits; therefore they must be fished out to face the wrath of the law because nobody is above the law.
Speaking earlier, The Plateau state Commissioner of Police, Isaac AKinmoyede called o citizens to respect the sanctity of life.
According to him, despite all peace and reconciliation efforts made to stem the conflict, the people took matters into their own hands.
“Last week, I received intelligence reports about the attack and I called a meeting of various stakeholders from the area, but after my appeal, I expected that the people will cooperate with us but they didn’t”
“I believe in the sanctity of human life so life should not be treated anyhow. I don’t think this should be allowed to continue, therefore no matter how highly placed, that person will be brought to book”.
While charging the public to live peacefully with each other, the Police Chief called on persons who are aggrieved to channel their grievances to the appropriate channels.
“We should learn to live peacefully with each other and if we have issues, let’s resolve them. Leaders should be bold enough to tell the criminals in their domain that what they have done is wrong”.
In a separate development a German based fair organisation, Mission, has pledged to support Plateau state in its post-conflict rehabilitation efforts through funding.
The team, which was received Monday, by Governor of Plateau state, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong at the New Government House, Little Rayfied Jos,, through its leader, Fr. Derk Bingener said part of their work involves supporting local churches and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s), affected by conflict.
Commending the peace efforts of the Governor, Bingener said “We are here because we have a long partnership with the state and we have been supporting what the local churches are doing”.
“Our first part of support is Reformation of seminarians, priests, lay people. We also look after IDP’s so that the church can give them a better life”.
“Another area of interest which we delve into is inter-religious dialogue and have been working closely with the former Catholic Arch. Bishop of Jos and some religious leaders to sustain peaceful coexistence among conflict communities”.
Responding, Gov. Lalong said the issue of IDP’s is a burning issue on the Plateau because of its protracted conflicts.
“Your visit is timely; we need your support to rehabilitate the IDP’s. We have legally put in place an organisation tagged the Plateau Peace Building Agency to help with the work of peace building but as you go round the IDP’s to see the level of challenges, we count on your support in this area, he added.