The National Assembly
By Onwuka Nzeshi
The House of Representatives Thursday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to re-appraise the security challenges in Plateau State by granting the state government more powers and resources to enable it fully take charge of the security of lives and property.
The lower chamber of the National Assembly adopted a resolution seeking immediate action to stem the tide of violence in the state.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who presided at the session urged his colleagues to avoid prolonged debate on the matter because of its sensitive nature.
In the motion sponsored by Hon. Simeon Mwandwouk , representing, Riyom/ Barkin Ladi Federal Constituency, the lawmakers expressed sorrow on the tragic death of Senator Gyang Datong, a former member of the House and Chairman, Senate Committee on Health. Datong represented Plateau North Senatorial District but lost his life alongside over 120 others in the recent crisis in the state.
The lawmakers expressed concern that insecurity still reigned on the Plateau in spite of the heavy presence of the Joint Task Force (Operation Safe Haven) and the state of emergency declared in Jos South, Jos North, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas of the state.
“The House is aware that between the July 5th -7th, 2012, coordinated and systemic attacks were carried out by over 400 heavily armed “gunmen” wearing bullet-proof vests during which over 120 people were killed and over 10 villages burnt down completely.
“We are further aware that at a mass burial for 63 of the victims of attack at Maseh village, the attackers struck again leading to the death of Senator Gyang Dantong and Gyang Fulani, the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly and many others,” the motion read.
The House said that unless concrete, urgent and extra-ordinary measures were taken to curb these incessant attacks and killings of innocent people as well as destruction of property, the crisis may assume a worse dimension and may spell doom for the whole country.
The lawmakers commended the Governor Jonah Jang for the prompt action taken to restore normalcy in the state.
Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been mandated to provide relief materials to the victims in the affected communities.