AGAINST the backdrop of renewed killings in Plateau State by herdsmen,stakeholders in the state have urged the governor, Simon Lalong, to improve his relationship with security agencies saddled with responsibility of providing security in the state.
They accused the governor of being complacent with security of the state, tasking him to develop a political will with a view to ending killings of innocent citizens.
Addressing the media in Jos today after undertaking an on-the-spot assessment of villages attacked by herdsmen yesterday, in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, the stakeholders under the aegis of Plateau Concerned Professionals Forum, PCPF, insisted that it was important Governor Lalong consolidate on the existing relationship with the security formations.
Speaking through the Convener, Dr Pam Chuwang, the group decried the renewed killings in some parts of the state, describing the action as not only barbaric and reprehensible but also untenable and unacceptable.
Reading a prepared text before newsmen in Barkin Ladi , Dr Chuwang said:”The Plateau Government needs to urgently develop the political will to end these killings in the state.”
“How can people be killed like animals just like that? He fumed.
Chuwang spoke further:”While we focus on the appeal for a total non reoccurring situation in the state, it is important to call on the state government to further consolidate on the existing relationship with the security formations in the state particularly Operation Safe Haven, OPSH, the Nigeria Police Mobile Force and the Department for State Service, DSS, to bring to the barest minimum these unfortunate incidences.”
He also frowned at other security agencies for leaving Operation Safe Haven in the forefront of providing security for the people of Plateau.
“We are particularly displeased with the performance of some security agencies who abandoned their entire work for Operation Safe Haven for reasons best known to them.
“What about the people specially trained to gather intelligence? Where were they when these terrorists where planing? This is sad and can no longer be tolerated, “he said.
The group urged the affected villagers to remain calm and not take laws into their hands while they allow security agencies to do their jobs.
Describing the day as a sad one for Plateau, Chuwang said the people must share information with security agencies and scale up their trust for them.
“The challenge of overcoming insecurity is collective and total just as it is absolute, and must be so taken in confidence by all stakeholders as a priority, “he advised.
He said the group’s visit to the affected villages was for it to carry out an on- the – spot assessment of of the situation and to interact with the locals,” perhaps so as to have a clearer understanding of the issues and foster suggestions for a sustainable mutual relationship with the security and the locals.”
“Our on- the- spot assessment of the situation today is to afford us the opportunity to interact directly with the people affected in the communities and perhaps to chat a way forward for peace and stability.
“It is consequent on the above premise that The plateau concerned professionals forum has embarked on this stakeholder meeting to chart a way forward for peace in order to guarantee that prosperity that every society so much cherishes.
” We are of the considered view that without peace, there can be no prosperity, without prosperity, there can be no peace conversely.
“Today is a very sad day for all of us, first as plateau citizens and as Nigerians but more importantly, it is a sad moment in the history of humanity, “he said, adding:” A situation where the lives of fellow human beings are cut short by herdsmen terrorist is not only sad, barbaric and reprehensible but quite frankly untenable, unfortunate and totally condemnable.”
He thanked Operation Safe Haven for the timely deployment of personnel to the crisis scene, a development he noted, curtailed the level of carnage by the herdsmen.
Hear him:” Indeed if not for the timely response of the Operation Safe Haven, one wonders how the spate of killings would have gone on unabated and to no end.
“We are particularly comforted by the special and proactive nature of the operation OPSH officers.
“This commendation to the security agencies is particularly important because despite the difficult terrain and the unpredictable nature and sequence of the attacks , the Operation Safe Haven officers have demonstrated tremendous capacity to repel and forestall further attacks on the people.
According to him, “despite the challenges and unfortunate occurrence, the local community people have expressed delight to the men of OPSH. Without their prompt intervention, the casualties would be more severe and unimaginable. As a matter of fact, these attackers would have wiped out all our communities.
During the assessment visit, according to Dr Chuwang, “the focal person and representative of the affected communities appealed to the government to continue to share cooperation with the relevant security agencies and he promised on behalf of the community that, they will always share intelligence with the security formations in order to overcome the common enemy.”
“The representative of the community further confirmed that indeed, the state government and the security agencies
“A situation where children, women and elderly are attacked and killed without no trace of provocation is totally unacceptable and must be condemned just as it would be brought to a total stop.
It is our considered view that we focus on areas of strengthening peace in the society and eschew bitterness and politics as well as religious sentiments which is sustained by individual and community speculation.
“Let us focus on peace to be restored to our communities and eschew playing politics with our misfortunes.
” It is our considered view that our enemies are united against us and until we come together and pitch tent with the security apparatus, peace will continue to evade us, but if we unite, cooperate and fight for peace and stability, surely we will overcome.
“As we return to our various respective places of abode, it is my appeal to all of us especially journalists to focus on realistic reporting and to always be partners with security agencies operating in the communities so as to share with the security intelligence for enhanced security operations we shall also deploy our members to Jos university teaching hospital, plateau specialist hospital and any other hospitals the victims are talking to assist the doctors, “he said.
The group, according to Chuwang, promised to facilitate an open stakeholder forum meeting with the locals and security agencies as well as the civil society and mass media to address the issues and chart a way forward for peace and stability in the state.”