Comrade Luka Pampe, a Peace Advocate and People’s Redemption Party (PRP) candidate, pointed to economic factors as the primary driver of conflict and attacks in Plateau State. Delivering a keynote speech at the Plateau Youth Council (PYC) Summit on Peace and Security, he emphasized the historical richness of the state in mineral resources and agriculture.
The PYC Summit, held on Saturday at Azi Nyako Youth Center in Jos, focused on redefining Plateau youth’s role in addressing community attacks and implementing effective surveillance strategies.
Comrade Pampe acknowledged the commendable effort of the youth council in convening the timely meeting and stressed the need to question the motives behind continuous attacks and the speculation of displacing locals.
Delving into Plateau State’s history, Comrade Pampe highlighted the significant role of mining dating back to 1815 and 1849 when iron ore extraction began. He noted the discovery of various solid minerals, leading to conflicts around mining areas and local marginalization.
The early development of Jos, known as “gwash and jot,” involved the extraction and transportation of minerals, creating disputes over land ownership. Comrade Pampe underscored the economic roots of the crisis, pointing out that the Plateau communities with rich mining and agricultural resources have become targets.
Comrade Pampe outlined how the politics of the region has complicated efforts to unite Plateau people against continuous attacks. He emphasized the necessity of a unified approach to tackle security issues, calling for a sense of purpose and collaboration among the states.
In addressing the security challenges, Comrade Pampe proposed comprehensive surveillance strategies, including covered intelligence, aerial surveillance, and human intelligence. Covered intelligence involves deploying secret agents to gather insights on potential attacks, while aerial surveillance provides control over airspace for swift responses. Human intelligence surveillance was also highlighted as a crucial aspect.
Hon Dewan Gabriel, Speaker of the House of Assembly, led a delegation to the summit and urged unity among the youth while seeking continuous prayers for the leaders. He emphasized the belief that every problem has a solution.
Cmr. Walshak Kumwen, Publicity Secretary, PYC, explained that the summit aimed to unravel security challenges and bring together youth leaders from diverse backgrounds to discuss and implement practical solutions. He assured that the youth council would work on actionable points raised during the summit to address the ongoing attacks in Plateau State.
The PYC remains committed to achieving stable peace in the state through collaborative efforts and the implementation of effective strategies identified during the summit.