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Jos riots anniversary: Former minister calls for reconciliation

By Taye Obateru

Jos—As the first anniversary of the November 28, 2008 crisis in the Plateau State capital approaches, former Minister of State for Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, has called for concrete steps towards genuine reconciliation among the people.

He said in an interview that a year after the crisis, nothing positive seems to have been done towards reconciliation or ensuring that another crisis does not occur.

He admitted that various commissions and panels had investigated the crisis but noted that action should have been taken on some of their preliminary findings as a way of avoiding a repeat of the crisis or to assuage hurt feelings.

According to Nakande, “For example, the Chief of Defence Staff also set up a committee to look at the role security agents played in the crisis and in the process, you know, they removed the Commissioner of Police for Plateau State; the director of the SSS was also removed. If they removed them, that means there was evidence of culpability.

“In the various submissions that our people (Hausa-Fulani community) made to the panels, I know there were instances when we mentioned names of police officers who were actually seen shooting or maiming innocent civilians during the crisis.

“So if there are people who have been so indicted or who there had been clear evidence against, why are those people not brought to book, at least as a means of assuaging  the bitter feelings that were left? Nobody has been prosecuted or court martialed even among the security agents based on the security panels that were set up.”

The former minister also expressed worry that nothing has been mentioned about issues of compensation to victims of the crisis even though this was presented to the various panels before which his people appeared.

He stressed the need for steps towards reconciliation and healing old wounds to be hastened considering the fact that another local government election which caused the crisis is due next year, adding, “What if in the absence of all these measures something goes wrong again?”


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