Plateau attacks: Lalong orders arrest of community leaders

Former president of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki commiserating with the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong and the people of the State over the recent spate of killings in the state yesterday.

Plateau State governor and chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong, has directed the state Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akinmoyede, to arrest Ardos and community leaders in the violent ridden communities with a view to finding a lasting solution to the fresh killings in the state.

He said the community leaders should be detained until they produce those who carried out the recent killings in Mangu and Bokkos local government areas of the state.

Lalong gave the directive on Tuesday during a security meeting with stakeholders from Bokkos, Mangu, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom local government areas, held at Government House, Jos, Plateau State.

Lalong who was visibly angry over the fresh attacks, said: “Those communities have Ardos and community leaders; I don’t know if the security has made an arrest, if you have not, all the Ardos and community leaders should be in the cell; I will handle the rest myself. All of you should go to cell; we cannot continue to have this and we are not making any arrest.

“If the Ardos and the community leaders cannot bring out those who do this, by the time you go to jail, you will bring them out. That is my charge today. The rest of you should prepare and go and defend the communities, people are dying.

“The Ardos and the community leaders are from these communities; all of them should follow you, if you can’t keep them there, I will send them to Abuja immediately. How can you say 18 people were killed and there is no arrest, are the people spirits?”

Lalong who said there was no individual or group of people that is more than government, noted that government won’t accept the crime perpetrated by criminals.

“There is nobody that is more than government; we were using carrots and stick approach not because the government doesn’t know what to do. We cannot say we are afraid of criminals. If you want to give evidence, I don’t want it here, go and give your evidence there; CP you must arrest them immediately, if you don’t, I will drive to Abuja and they will know what to do.”

Lalong said his administration will no longer tolerate such criminality because if it is allowed, it will spread to other parts of the North, adding that some of the Ardos and community leaders have done well and shouldn’t allow bad eggs among them to take the state to the dark days.

The state Police Commissioner, Isaac Akinmoyede, who briefed the governor early said he had a meeting with stakeholders in the affected areas on Saturday with a view to calming the situation only for him to be called on Sunday night that there were gunshots in Kwattas, Bokko LGA.

“When I heard that, I directed my DPO to go to the area; he said 13 people were killed and some sustained injuries. On Monday morning, some people were killed to make the figure 15. Three persons were also killed in some parts of Bokkos, four in Mangu while five persons sustained injuries.”

Meanwhile, the chairman Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Plateau State, Rev Dr. Soja Bewarang, has condemned the attack on innocent communities and called on security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

“The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Plateau State chapter, condemns in strong terms the attack on Kwatas, Roboi, Marish and other villages in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State yesterday by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.

“CAN is so saddened by these incessant attacks on the people of Plateau State by the Boko Haram and anonymous gunmen. The state is yet to recover from the shock and is still mourning the victims of gunmen at Kulben village in Kombun District of Mangu Local Government and the assassination of Ropvil Daciya by the Boko Haram.

“CAN admonishes all Christians in Plateau State to pray harder for the state and be watchful. We should live wisely and avoid congregating at easily-targeted areas. CAN further calls upon its citizens to exercise restraint in the face of provocation and not to allow Satan to take advantage of the situation to escalate tension that would lead to more casualties and destruction of properties. God says ‘Vengeance is mine.’

“CAN prays that the perpetrators of the heinous act would find repentance in their hearts. We call on the security agencies to intensify their efforts in information gathering, investigation, arrest and prosecution of the culprits to serve as a deterrent to others.

“May God Almighty bring all attacks in Plateau State and its perpetrators to an end. May He grant us an enduring peace. And may he grant our security agencies the grace, strength, and wisdom to be able to stem further attacks through information gathering.”

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