Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Forum of Plateau Mothers (FOPM) has appealed to parents, especially mothers, to caution their children against the destruction of public and private property in Plateau State as a result of the #EndSARS protest, adding that the barbaric act was as a result of poor moral upbringing.
Commending special military task force Operation Safe Haven for arresting looters without recording casualties, FOPM Executive Director Barr Rebecca Pam, in a statement on Monday, urged the government to prosecute perpetrators in order to serve as a deterrent to others.
Pam said: ‘We supported the #EndSARS protest which was aimed at addressing police brutality and bad governance across the country; we must state clearly that what is happening now is no longer protest but outright stealing and arson and must be condemned by all.
‘As a good mother, you ought to caution your child that if he brings an item that does not belong to him or her home, we should not condone it.
‘If we shield them from the law after committing crimes just because they are our children, they will definitely turn against us tomorrow.
‘So, we wish to strongly condemn in the strongest term the wanton stealing and destruction of government and private properties in Plateau State by some misguided youths looking for palliatives.
‘This development is sad as it has taken us over ten years. We are not known for this kind of criminality on the Plateau and we should not start such now. Our children are brought up decently, so we wonder where this is coming from.
‘There is no denying the fact that there is hunger in the land but this does not justify the high level of coordinated and sponsored stealing and looting of private warehouses where people worked hard to build from the scratch.
‘This is totally unacceptable to us as mothers because most times, business owners in Plateau State borrow money from banks and cooperatives societies.
‘How does one expect them to pay back? How can we be worst than the government we claimed to be fighting? As mothers, our hearts bleed over these sad developments in the state.
‘We call on all Plateau indigenes and residents alike to rise up and defend our land against these daylight criminality before it’s too late.’
She added: ‘We are calling on the youths to key into Governor Simon Lalong’s peace road map that is already yielding positive results before this evil came in.
‘We must remember that leadership comes from God, and He alone gives it to whomever He chooses. All we need do is pray and support our leaders to succeed.
‘We are also pleased with the engagement the governor is currently having to restore lasting peace to Plateau and urge him to convene an emergency community peace advocacy program targeted at youths. This is the best way genuine and lasting peace can return.’