President Goodluck Jonathan
By Seriki Adinoyi
A pressure group in Plateau State has kicked against the invitation of the Berom and Hausa-Fulani groups only by President Goodluck Jonathan towards the resolution of crisis in the state, saying the crisis is ‘multi-ethnic’ involving many other tribes on the Plateau, which should be carried along if a lasting solution is to be achieved.
The group also kicked against the selective choice by the Hausa-Fulani group on the reports of judicial panels of enquiry it wants the federal government to implement, saying it’s an indication of the unpreparedness of the Hausa-Fulani group towards the resolution of the crisis.
The Movement for the Survival of Plateau People (MOSOPP), had in a press statement, signed by Yahaya Akans expressed reservation over the fresh effort by the federal government towards resolving the crisis, saying the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who is the convener of the stakeholders meeting for President Goodluck Jonathan, may be misleading the president into thinking that the crisis is a Berom verses Fulani affair.
MOSOPP said: “As noble and good-intentioned as this current peace initiative may seem, we are afraid that the Plateau issue is being reduced to a Berom versus Fulani affair.
"We want to believe that the crisis in Plateau State is a battle for the soul of the entire state with about 52 ethnic groups and not a single ethnic group as has been painted to the President.”
The group noted that crisis which dated back to 1994 had affected areas like Yelwa, Shendam, and Wase, which are not occupied by the Beroms, adding that even the recent ones had affected places like Mazah, Babale, Mangu, which are also not Berom villages.
“If the crisis is reduced to a Berom/Fulani issue, what is the fate of the Izeres, Anagutas and a host of other ethnic groups in Plateau State, who are not spared whenever the state is under siege, etc? Or could this be a well articulated and calculated attempt to further divide the people of Plateau?
“We would ordinarily have expected that with the benefit of hindsight and foresight, the Plateau issue will be treated from a holistic point of view. Considering that the entire state has at one point or the other been faced with challenges that resulted in the breach of security, it is pertinent to look for solution to the lingering crises once and for all,” the group added.
The people also questioned the rationale behind the invitation of Dr. Aliyu Tilde, who is from Bauchi State as part of the Hausa-Fulani group.
“How has Dr. Aliyu Tilde from Bauchi State, whose views are always against Plateau people, become part of Hausa-Fulani delegate from Plateau State?”
The Hausa-Fulani group during its meeting with the President had selected Emmanuel Abisoye and Solomon Lar’s reports for implementation, saying the other reports had been overtaken by events, and also because the other panels were set up by the state government and “he who pays the piper dictates the tune."
But a Plateau leader, Chollom Gyang has said Prince Bola Ajibola and Gen. Emmanuel Abisoye committees sat at about the same time, stressing that there is nothing useful that can be achieved in implementing the report of the inconclusive Abisoye committee.
Gyang added: “Secondly, if by setting an investigating commission the state paid the piper and by implication dictated the tune, I honestly wonder what happened to the Emmanuel Abisoye panel set up by the Late Musa Yar’Adua?"