Insecurity

In 3 Weeks, Over 150 People Killed, Over 30,000 Displaced In Plateau State – Gov 

Muhammed Abubakar, Reporting

GOVERNOR of Plateau State, Mr Caleb Mutfwang, says in the last three weeks, no fewer than 150 persons have been killed and over 30,000 displaced from their ancestral lands to live in IDP camps in the state.

He made the disclosure on a Channels TV programme, Politics Today, on Friday evening in Abuja monitored by Stonix News.

The governor, who’s of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stock, alleged an ongoing deliberate genocide and land grabbing with the involvement of hordes of hooded mercenaries who are always in black attires and have continued to ravage communities unhindered.

He said the attacks began from the northern part of Plateau but have now moved down to the southern parts including his local government and that of his deputy, which he said have been under siege in the last two weeks.

“In the last one month, it has shifted to my local government and the local government where the deputy is from. Suddenly without any provocation, it has come under such attack and we begin to ask why Mangu.

“Last night, four people were killed in Mangu Local Government.

“I will consecutively put it that in the last three weeks, we have lost more than 150 people in Mangu Local Government. And we have nothing less that 30,000 people scattered in various IDP camps that we are having to deal with now.

“In the immediate attack, we have up to 12-15 communities that have been attacked and displaced. Before I emerged as the governor, we have 64 communities that have been taken over and even renamed from the traditional name that they were known by,” he claimed.

On why the focus is so much on the state, Gov. Mutfwang said:

“Plateau is a beautiful land and God’s gift to mankind and I think the land is becoming contentious. It is greed wanting to take over the lands and having dominion over it.

“They are farming lands and traditionally, the understanding between farmers and herders is that during the farming season, the herders don’t touch the farms and we have mechanism in place where when cows stray into farms, there is a community arrangement that these issues are settled but this is beyond that.

“Because now, they come and prevent people from farming and they are taking over with cows, it becomes questionable,” he noted.

The governor accused compromises on the part of security agents except for the Directorate of Security Services (DSS), which he said, had tried its best in the last one year.

“The DSS has battled terrorism in some parts of Plateau in the last one year and the only reason we can say that led the invaders to Plateau is because of mineral deposit. There’s a direct correlation between minerals and insurgency.

“There is some bit of collusion from the security agencies. But I just tell you that in the last one year plus, the DSS has done a fantastic job in trying to restore peace.

“Determination and resolve is definitely there but you know that security architecture places a limitation on us that is why I had to find a new approach to the issue.

“The security agencies are under Mr. President but by and large, what we are doing is to ensure that the communities become more vigilant. We are encouraging the youths more to deviate from vices that take away their attention so that they can be able to protect their communities,” he affirmed.

On why he visited President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Friday at the Presidential Villa, the governor said: “I took opportunity to tell the president that we must bring back professionalism into the security architecture. We must be able to take away politicians who are likely to be subjective in their analysis of the situation. I’m sure when he brings in core professionals, there would be just less interference and people would be able to know their job objectively.

“We are blessed with professionals who are blessed. The president must identify these people.”

Speaking on the outburst of former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai’s in a viral video, Gov Mutfwang said: “I listened to the video clip and I hope that El Rufai, whom I hold in very high esteem, would, one day, explain to Nigerians the context with which he said those things. I would give him the benefit if the doubt.”

He, however, called on leaders across the country “that this is the time for nation building and time for us to be able to speak like statemen.”

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