September 26, 2021

Over 30 killed in Plateau in two months; “This is a wake-up call” says Peace Agency

Plateau State House of Assembly members visit State Peace Building Agency

The Plateau State Peace Building Agency says recent attacks in parts of the State are a “wake-up call” to improve peace building efforts.

“It means that we need to work harder to resolve these issues,” said Director General of the Agency, Mr. Joseph Lengmang on Monday.

“Attacks and counter attacks,” Joseph said have claimed “so much” within the Central Nigerian State, “but all hope is not lost,” he said in a meeting with local legislators.

“We need to be sincere, we need to be frank, we need to be honest in building a consensus around these issues of conflict for us to forget ahead as a people regardless of our beliefs and political affiliations,” said the official.

Lengmang had invited members of the Plateau State House of Assembly’s Committee on Labour and Security to swiftly nib growing tensions in the State, following the killing of 16 people in Dong village near Jos Rukuba Barracks and Kwi village near Jos Airport.

The lawmakers led by Mr. Peter Gyendeng, the member representing Barkin Ladi constituency in the State Assembly were displeased with the repeated attacks, but “glad to work for peace.”

“The House of Assembly is ever ready to cooperate with you to succeed,” said Mr. Gyendeng.

The attacks in his constituency, Gyendeng said are aimed at “land-grabbing” and might threaten Government establishments. “Gradually they are killing and displacing the locals and taking over the land without provocation, and I fear they are closing in on the airport land,” he said.

Over 60 communities have been captured through systematic attacks in rural communities, local media has reported. The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong however said recently, that there were no such records. “If your land has been forcefully occupied, write a petition to me and we will take it up from there,” Lalong said in a parley with Journalists in Jos.

No fewer than 30 people were killed in overnight attacks in ten rural communities since April 2021. Among those killed are two Policemen, but security response has been unsatisfactory.

“This (Kwi) village was attacked and no Security came until 12 hours later, and tell us you are here to protect us?” said Member representing Riyom constituency in Plateau State House of Assembly.

But the attacks are usually in the night and securities must be tactful in order not to risk their lives, Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka told The Epoch Times.