Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has asked residents of Plateau State to hold their governor, Simon Lanlong, responsible for the unprecedented situations of insecurity in their state because his administration failed to work with the State House of Assembly under the past leadership to stamp out the earliest manifestations of a armed group targeting Christians.
HURIWA spoke against the backdrops of ceaseless violent attacks by suspected terrorists including the mass killings of Irigwe Christians and the high profile kidnappings of influential traditional rulers of Plateau State extraction by suspected armed Fulani militia.
HURIWA,in a statement on Monday, faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for reportedly endorsing what he calls peace treaty between aggressors from the Fulani ethnicity and Christians of Plateau State just as the rights group said appeasement of mass killers is the reason for the widespread state of insecurity in Nigeria.
“You do not negotiate with mass killers but you bring them to justice or take justice to them,” the rights group said.
HURIWA also attributed the heightened state of insecurity to the possible shift of base by terrorists hitherto based in the fridges of Plateau State in Kaduna who may have been motivated and encouraged to stage daring raids of Plateau Christian communities by the lethargic approach adopted by “Governor Lalong who prefers negotiations and dialogues with the perceived aggressors than implement the security template served on him by the House of Assembly led by the Speaker that he, the Governor instigatedhis illegal impeachment by just 8 out of the 24 House of Assembly members.”
“HURIWA recalled that the illegally impeached leadership of the Plateau State House of Assembly had prior to the illegal impeachment purportedly ‘funded’ by the Plateau State Governor Gov. Simon Lalong, that hierarchy of the state’s legislative House gave the governor a two weeks ultimatum on August 26th 2021 to address the security challenges bedeviling the state.”
The rights group recalled that Mr Philip Dasun, Chairman, House
Committee on Information conveyed the position of the legislators when he briefed newsmen in Jos just as Dasun said that the assembly would know the next line of action after the two-week ultimatum.
HURIWA quoted details of the ultimatum handed down to Governor Lanlong which he failed to implement but chose to be politically correct by opting for pampering and appeasement of the aggressors who enjoy the tacit backing of the Presidency in Abuja, thus: “As an assembly with people at heart, we call on Plateau citizens to have confidence in us with renewed commitment. We have given two weeks to the governor to take action on the resolutions the House has forwarded on security matters and how to restore peace.
We call on the Gov. Simon Bako Lalong to come up with a statement defending us as a people and to bring back renewed commitment to the cause of Plateau. We strongly call on Plateau people to practically stand up and defend themselves and their communities, as the conventional security design is no longer guaranteeing our safety as a people,” he said.
HURIWA recalled also that the committee chairman also called on traditional rulers to look inward and release the local security design to protect Plateau people as well as reinforce the vigilance, hunters and local wise men to defend the people.
HURIWA quoted the Plateau lawmaker as saying that as a sign of commitment to the urgent need for the people to protect themselves, the Plateau State House of Assembly had directed all local government Chairmen to suspend their planned recruitment of Adhoc teachers, and instead, recruit 200 vigilante personnel in each local government area to boost and augment local intelligence gathering.
The legislator, HURIWA recalled, called on security operatives to fish out the perpetrators of the mayhem and be punished according to the Law.
“On behalf of the assembly, I wish to sympathize with the government and Plateau people on the barbaric and dastardly killings that have been taking place in different communities in the state.
” I sympathize with communities in Bassa, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, Jos North, Jos South, Mangu, Riyom, University of Jos community and recently that of Yelwa Zangam. The House condemns all these killings in totality, all these killings are unacceptable and condemnable.”
The rights group recalled that when Hon. Nuhu Ayuba Abok was elected Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Governor Simon Bako Lalong was lauded for his support in producing the youngest Speaker in Nigeria. Abok was a 400-level Law Student of University of Jos in 2019 and was said to be a mobiliser and youth leader, who Lalong thought would be easy to manipulate.
“HURIWA recalled that when the crisis became protracted, the House of Assembly under the leadership of Abok gave the governor an ultimatum to stop the killing and address the state. The governor was also asked to pay condolences to affected victims, provide them relief materials and pay their hospital bills. The governor was said to be angry at the matching order from lawmakers just as this bottled up angst of the governor allegedly precipitated the illegal impeachment of the outspoken Speaker”.
HURIWA said the government of Plateau State must put up workable security architecture to frustrate the attempts by Fulani terrorists to move their operational base from Kaduna forests to neighbouring Plateau State.
HURIWA recalled that Armed men in the early hours of Sunday, abducted a traditional ruler at Gindiri, Mangu local government area of Plateau State, security source has confirmed.
“The traditional ruler, HRH Charles Dakat is the Paramount Ruler of Gindiri, in Mangu Local Government area and was said to have been abducted as heavy gunshots were heard in his palace in Gindiri between 1 am and 2 am on Sunday.
“On December 26, 2021 Mr Gut, who is the Da Gwom Rwei of Vwang, was reportedly accosted by armed men on Sunday night while returning home in Vom, a few metres to the entrance of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).
“He was subsequently taken away to an unknown destination and no one has caught wind of who the attackers were and if they would be making demands as has become in practice in recent times,”it said.