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Plateau attack: Lalong orders arrest of community leaders






…as death toll rises to 33

Angered by renewed killings in Mangu and Bokkos local government areas of the state, state governor Simon Lalong has ordered the arrest of community leaders in the two local governments.

Lalong also expressed dissatisfaction with the security agencies over their inability to arrest any attackers so far.

Not fewer than four different attacks have been carried out since the beginning of the year resulting in at least 30 deaths.

In the latest attacks which took place on Monday night, seven people were killed and over 10 houses razed. The attack came in less than 24 hours after the last Sunday attack in which 15 people were killed in cold blood.

This brings the total of deaths in the Plateau renewed attacks to 33 as the attacks are concentrated in Mangu and Bokkos LGAs.

The sustained attacks have compelled Gov Lalong to summon an emergency security meeting in government house Jos on Tuesday.

A statement issued by the director of press Simon Makut after the security meeting held behind closed door noted that Gov Lalong expressed disappointment with all stakeholders including security agencies.

The statement reads; “Incensed by the murder of villagers and destruction of properties in Kwatas Village of Bokkos Local Government Council, Plateau State Gov Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong has met with stakeholders which include heads of security agencies, Traditional Rulers, Community Leaders and Ardos representing the Fulani community at the government house where he insisted that the perpetrators must be fished out immediately.

“The Governor who addressed the stakeholders at the Government House, Little Rayfield-Jos expressed anger over the incident which he said will not be allowed to degenerate further and make nonsense of the efforts put in to restore peace to the state, insisting that nobody is above Government.

The statement quoted Lalong “how can they say that people are killed and there is no arrest. Are those killing others spirits? I don’t think you can kill 15 human beings and claim you are spirit and there is not arrest.

“Commissioner of Police, you should take the community leaders and the Ardos with you so that they can tell you those behind these killings. By the time you go to cell, you will bring out those people that are doing it. If you want to give evidence, give it to the commissioner of police. We are not afraid of criminals.”

“Some community leaders and Ardos have done their best but within us, there are criminals. We must expose them no matter how high. If you are one of them, you better take yourself to the police station. The Army is here, Police, Civil Defence, DSS, Operation Rainbow. I want those people today.

“They should not sleep in their houses. By the time they are arrested, we will solve this problem”. The Governor said.

Commissioner of Police in Plateau State Isaac Akimoyede earlier briefed the Governor on the crises and the efforts to contain it explaining that he had held a meeting with the community leaders last Saturday based on intelligence where he warned against any breach of the peace.

“Since I have been in the state since February, no event of this magnitude has happened. We have been investigating the incident in Mangun and then this. We cannot continue in this situation in the State.

The security agencies have resolved that those people killing must be arrested no matter how highly placed. Peace must return to this state as we cannot continue in this situation. If anyone has grievances, he should come up and say it so that we can find solution, not to take the laws into his hand and kill. We will not allow it” the CP said.

He assured the Governor that the security personnel have been deployed in the troubled areas to forestall any spread of the crises beyond the initial areas.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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