OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE ONGOING KILLINGS IN PLATEAU STATE
It is with grief and pains in our hearts that we write this open letter with the conviction that urgent steps and proactive measures will be put in place to address the ongoing killings in some parts of Plateau State which have continue unabated.
Government fundamental role is the protection of lives and property of the people as well as ensuring that their fundamental human rights to life are protected.
Human lives are sacred and as such should be treated with great respect and leaders at all levels must portray empathy. People are being killed like chicken as innocent blood are being shed on daily basis without any form of provocation.
As the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces doubling as the Chief Security Officer of the Nation, we call on you to intervene and give the needed attention to the genocide ongoing in Plateau State.
There has been breach of security and outbreak of violence in Bassa, Jos North, Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Bokkos Local Government Area where people are constantly attacked, harassed, killed, raped, their villages sacked and taken over by the attackers.
Last year, a respected paramount ruler and the Saf Ron Kulere, Da Lazarus Agai was killed in cold blood in his hometown, Bokkos Local Government. There has been series of attacks in which many people including three (3) traditional rulers.
In Bassa Local Government, Miango in the Irigwe Chiefdom to be précised, over 100 people have so far been killed in cold blood, dozens seriously injured, houses razed and property of the people looted. This led to the imposition of dusk to dawn curfew by the Plateau State government thinking such decision will address the violent situation in the affected community but the killings are still going on. Ta’agbe Village in Miango was attacked in which 6 people were killed in the night of Saturday 14th October, 2017 while 29 persons were killed while many injured in Nkiedonwhro, Irigwe Chiefdom of Bassa LGA of Plateau State. Even as we are writing this, there attacks are ongoing in some villages.
In Barkin Ladi, three persons including a former Head of Service to Plateau State, a woman and a military man were killed last week in Wereh village, Ropp District of Barkin Ladi LGA, Plateau State. People are constantly being harassed and attacked by gunmen despite the presence of military personnel in the villages. If the attackers can kill a military personnel, how safe are the innocent and harmless people?
In Riyom Local Government Area, Villages such as Jol, Rim, Hoss, Shonong, Sharabutu are under siege as people there can no longer go about their legitimate economic, social and religious activities without being harassed, the women being raped, people killed and in some cases being dispossessed of their possessions. Many villages have been taken over by the attackers and the people no longer have access to their lands and unable to use same.
We are appealing to you as a father to all to step into the violent attacks being witnessed in Plateau State and put in place measures to curtail the breach of security, ensure the perpetuators are arrested and prosecuted according to serve as deterrent to others.
Any decision that will lead to enduring and permanent peace in Plateau State as long as it is in line with the Constitution will be highly appreciated. Economic, agricultural, social and religious activities have been negatively affected by the violent attacks.
Mr. President, it will interest you to know that the spate of these attacks have continued despite the curfew in the flashpoint and the presence of the military barracks therein, a situation that is more confusing and pathetic.
Plateau people are known for their peaceful, hospitable and receptive nature but the activities of the gunmen have stampeded development and created mistrust and suspicion among the people.
More military personnel should be mobilized as those on ground seems to be overwhelmed by the activities of the attackers.
It is our sincere prayer that you will take this letter serious and do the needful towards addressing the ugly incidents which we see as inhuman, wicked, irrational and barbaric as well as threats to our national security, peace, unity, harmony, integration and development which have been tarnishing the image of the country before the international community.
No development can be achieved in a tensed and chaos atmosphere, we are therefore appealing that practical steps be taken to bring the ongoing crisis to rest.
Thank you Sir as we look forward to your timely intervention and swift action.
Mr. Dachung Musa Bagos
Convener, Plateau Youth G-17 Peace and Progressive Forum.