Jos crisis: Jonathan goes tough

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ABUJA— Following the incessant blood letting in Jos, Plateau State which has claimed several lives, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday ordered the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin “to take full charge of the security situation in Plateau State”.

This is just as no fewer than eight people, including six policemen were yesterday killed by gunmen in Misau Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

The president gave the order at the end of a marathon meeting of the National Security Council.

A statement issued by Dr Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said “in keeping with his avowed resolve to ensure the full security of lives and property across the country, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Monday in Abuja directed the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin to take full charge of the security situation in Plateau State immediately and take all necessary actions to stop the recent spate of killings in the state.”

President Jonathan has also directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim to bring up all pending reports by recent committees set up by the Federal Government on the Plateau crisis for immediate review and implementation.

According to the statement, “following a meeting of the National Security Council, President Jonathan also directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim to bring up all pending reports by recent committees set up by the Federal Government on the Plateau for immediate review and implementation”.

The President has summoned the Plateau State Governor, Chief Jonah Jang to a crucial meeting today, and further directed the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to take prompt action to address the plight of internally displaced persons in Plateau State.

“President Jonathan who is scheduled to meet with the Plateau State Governor, Chief Jonah Jang tomorrow (today), further directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to take prompt action to address the plight of internally displaced persons in Plateau State”, the statement added.

He renewed his call on parties involved in the crises in Plateau State to embrace tolerance, dialogue and compromise to ensure the success of ongoing efforts to achieve a lasting resolution of their differences.

Meanwhile no fewer than eight people including six policemen were yesterday reportedly killed by gunmen in Misau Local Government Area, Bauchi State following simultaneous attacks on a commercial bank and a police station in the town.

Vanguard gathered that the hoodlums hurled a bomb at the station, which exploded and killed five policemen on duty instantly before successfully breaking into the nearby bank and carting away large sums of money.

This was the second time that the local government will witness such incident within the last two months. Misau area is located 160 kilometres north of Bauchi, the state capital.

An official of the local government who spoke to newsmen on the issue said that the gunmen stormed a bank and the nearby police station in the town at about 3:00 pm and started shooting sporadically, resulting in the deaths of the civilians, and injuring many others.

The Misau attack would be the sixth of such attacks on police stations and banks in the state.

The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Hafiz Ringim had sometime in the past ordered the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Abuja to wade into the matter by carrying out thorough investigations to unravel those behind the series of attacks.

‘’Five policemen were killed at the station while the sixth policeman and the civilians were killed at the bank premises during the attack.

“We started hearing sporadic gunshots all of a sudden before the bomb explosion at the police station.

‘’They later set the station ablaze and freed all the detainees. Everybody was confused and running helter-skelter as they were also shooting in the air in the town. The gunmen stole huge sums of money from the bank but nobody can say how much now,” the local government official who was an eye witnesses said.

He further said that many people sustained injuries as a result of the stampede in the town following the attacks in both the bank and the police station.

Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Ayo Ikechuwkwu Aduba, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with newsmen, saying that the command was yet to get the full details.

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