The members of the Plateau All Progressives Congress (APC) Elders Council have expressed sadness and grief on the unfortunate and senseless killings of innocent citizens in Plateau State. The forum also commended the efforts of the plateau state Governor, Rt Hon Simon Bako Lalong on the steady restoration of peace within his 6years in office despite the persistent disturbances as Plateau State is on the march again to greatness with his assumption of office in 2015, placing before him the Five Pillar Policy of his Administration.
The Plateau APC Elders Council made these assertions while addressing journalists at a world press conference held on Friday 3rd September at the Kalwa House in Plateau state
The chairman of the council Chief Baba Capt. J.M Din Rtd. who was represented by Arch. P.D Gyang Stated that they were also using the opportunity to send their condolences to all families that lost their loved ones and also sympathize with those who lost their properties. Most especially the recent attacks in Riyom LGA, Miango in Bassa Local Government Area, Rukuba Road and Yelwa Zangam in Jos North and all other isolated attacks.
The council noted that Plateau has a long-standing history of hospitality, accommodation, tolerance, peaceful coexistence with all manner of people and united in love for one another. No wonder lots of great men and women that have excelled in academia, sports, music, acting and a host of other human endeavors, have their beginner stage from Plateau State. Should we have to list them, you will see how enormous they are.
Stating that “We are a people of good culture, guided by excellent values and norms and therefore we are surprised to see our youth driving around town with the dead bodies uncovered and dragging them without any iota of dignity and honour.”
He said that “Plateau State is on the march again to greatness with the coming of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, KSGG. On assumption of office in 2015, he placed before him the Five Pillar Policy of his Administration, cardinal amongst them are “Peace, Security and Good Governance”.
And commended the efforts of the Governor in exploring the option of consultative dialogue and reconciliatory means in resolving the crisis between the Fulani and Irigwe that brought them also to signing a peace treaty. as it was encouraging as there is no alternative to peace and the only way to go as no amount of attack or reprisal will bring to the table any form of human desire.
He said “We are aware that the Executive Governor of Plateau State recently procured security vehicles and motorcycles to boost the efforts of security personnel in the State as well as the training of 3,000 Vigilantés to give a helping hand to conventional Police for the protection of lives and properties in the State. This is also commendable, and be actualized”.
The council went on to deliver a number of items as a resolve going forward; their resolves are:
1. Sympathizes with the Berom Nation, Irigwe Nation, the families of victims of the Rukuba Road Attacks, the Anaguta Nation, the Fulanis and all families who lost their loved ones on account of the senseless killings.
2. Condemns in totality any form of unwarranted and unprovoked attack and destruction of human lives, farms and cattle while also calling on the security agencies to be up and doing in the protection of the lives and properties of citizens of Plateau State and Nigeria in General.
3. Calls on the security agencies to present the perpetrators of the heinous acts for immediate prosecution so that justice will be served to all who are affected.
4. Calls on the people of Plateau to eschew bitterness and embrace peace, dialogue, reconciliation and forgiveness which is divine.
5. The Plateau State APC Elders Council condemns the uncultured manner with which the corpses of the dead victims were mishandled. It is not in the character of the people of Plateau State to desecrate the body of the dead. This singular behavior has further traumatized and caused pains to the families of the deceased and citizens of the State.
6. Even when we respect the right of our citizens to protest, we advise that protest should be carried out in a responsible and civilized manner.
7. We call on all citizens of Plateau State to stop forthwith the politicization of killings arising from the crisis for it will do us no good.
8. The Council wishes to call on all its citizens including politicians to refrain from influencing and encouraging citizens to resort to self help; this when
encouraged will allow for proliferation of arms in our society with attendant negative consequences in the near future.
9. The Plateau State All Progressives Congress Elders Council enjoin the Rescue Administration to revisit and dust its transition committee report, so as to identify citizens of Plateau State that were hitherto trained abroad by the last administration on security and intelligence gathering, to be reabsorbed into the Operation Rainbow to complement the recently trained three thousand (3,000) vigilantes.
10. Appeal to the Federal Government to as matter of urgency redeem the pledge of Ten Billion Naira (N10,000,000,000) made to Plateau State for the rebuilding and resettlement of the IDPs as well as reconciliation processes. In the same circumstance appealsto the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the National Emergency Management Agency to hasten the process of presentation of relief materials to alleviate and ease the suffering of the affected victims and communities.
11. The Council condemns any form of ethnic profiling because it breeds hatred amongst the good people of Plateau State.
12. Supports all the peace processes which Governor Lalong has embarked upon; they are thus, consultative meetings with the different ethnic groups, dialogue and reconciliatory sessions coordinated by the Plateau Peace Building Agency that have resulted in signing peace accord that gave rise to the relative peace enjoyed in the last six years of the Rescue Administration.
13. The Elders hereby caution citizens, critical stakeholders and those holding positions of leadership of any kind against making inflammatory comments that will instigate conflict or jeopardize the peace efforts of government, civil societies and well spirited individuals.
14. The Council urges the security agencies to step up their intelligence network to unravel the unknown gun men in our society. This when done, will bring to end killings of peaceful and innocent citizens.
15. The Council appeals to citizens to at all point in time consider the interest of one another while also tolerating each other since we are brought together in one place calls Plateau State by God. Peace is not negotiable and we must learn to live in peace with one another irrespective of ethnic and religious background.
16. The Council thanks and appreciates all the Members of the National Assembly and Plateau State House of Assembly for standing together with the Governor and Plateau State in this trying moment while also seeking ways to end the violence in the State.
17. As party men we encourage the practice of internal democracy where members are treated fairly, equitably and in a justifiable manner.
18. We also appreciate the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for taking out tim 4 visit Plateau State to ascertain the extent of damages done and held discussions with the people of Plateau State on the ways to foster peaceful and harmonious coexistence in Plateau State.
19. Finally, we the Plateau APC Elders Council pray that the Almighty God will comfort the families that lost their loved ones and grant them the fortitude to bear this painful and devastating loss.
Thank you and and God bless Plateau State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.