Plateau Killings: Loss of Lives, Property Won’t Be in Vain, Says Lalong

Simon Bako Lalong

By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The Governor of Plateau State, Mr Simon Lalong, has assured the people that the deaths and loss of properties of victims in the various crises in the state won’t be in vain, as it is the responsibility of government to take care of all citizens.

The governor, who gave the assurance on Monday when he received the technical report of the committee he constituted on the re-settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state, added that having attracted the establishment of the 205 Combat/Rescue Units in Kerang and Mobile Police Squadron in Shendam, and with the recent approval to establish riot police barracks in troubled Gashish District of Barkin Ladi, where herders/farmers clashes had repeatedly occurred, IDPs from the area will soon be re-settled back to their homes.

Lalong said that it was in the spirit of restoring peace in the state that “on assumption of duty in May 2015, we made it a priority that security, peace and good governance must take the centre stage for any meaningful and sustainable development. This led to the establishment of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee that met and made far reaching recommendations for government to implement”.

Among these recommendations, according to Lalong, are the Plateau Peace Building Agency, the first of its kind in the country; doing a
good job of advocacy; and pro-activeness in conflict management, among others.

“Another far-reaching recommendation which government embraced was tackling the issue of IDPs,” he said.

While commending the efforts of the IDP Resettlement Committee, the governor said that the patriotic zeal they exhibited in the course of carrying out the assignment can be seen from the efforts make in taking stock of lives and properties affected, recommendations made on what to be done, and strategies for implementation towards lasting solution to the unfortunate incidences.

He said: “I assure you of government’s resolve to study the report and release the white paper for immediate implementation in the spirit of integrity, accountability and transparency in leadership. Things might be slow in policy implementation, but in the spirit of ‘slowly, but surely’, as well as patience, we have been able to make some phenomenal achievements in ensuring that peace returns and is sustained.

“You will recall that when President Muhammadu Buhari came to Plateau State on a two-day working visit on 8th March 2018, I lend my voice to the national concerns about the spate of structured and premeditated violence through farmer-herder clashes in some parts of the country, including Plateau State. I also gave assurance that there will be no land grabbing and that all displaced persons will be resettled and
rehabilitated in their original places of abode.

“It is also worthy of note as we strive to fulfil promises made to address the challenges that confronted us as a people to mention that the scenario in the state was that of despondency, despair and discomfort. Also, arising from waves of attacks on some communities in Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Bokkos, Mangu, Jos South and Jos North Local Government Areas of the State are loss of lives, properties and land grabbing.

“All these are in addition to procurement and distribution of security vehicles equipped with modern communication gadgets. Recently too, I approved the recruitment and training of neighbourhood personnel attached to Operation Rainbow for Community Policing and intelligence gathering.

“In the light of all efforts made by government, I urge all citizens to avoid unnecessary incitement and spreading of false information that could further give the wrong impression as if nothing is being done to address the plight of the victims and the Citizens in general.”