Gyang Bere, Jos
Senator Represenating Plateau North in the National Assembly Hon. Istifanus Gyang has urged the Federal Government to ensure that forieners illegally and forcefully occupying lands belonging to Plateau natives return them for resettlement.
Hon. Gyang disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Jos during the one year memorial service for 188 persons who were killed by suspected herdsmen in Gashish District of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area held at COCIN LCC Anguldi in Jos South LGA, Plateau State.
He noted that close to 70 persons were also killed in Shonong and other communities in Riyom Local Government Area of the state on the same day and several others displaced.
“When President Muhammadu Buhari read one of his speeches and talked about resettlement of displaced communities, I saw it as a welcome policy of government. What happened has led to the displacement of communities and it is just like allowing the proceeds of crime,” the senator said.
“No person should be allowed to displace another and take over his land and be allowed to keep it. It’s like allowing people to keep the proceeds of crime; those that are forcefully occupying the displaced communities should vacate and (let) the (native) people resettle. To me, the resettlement should be accorded the necessary priority.”
Hon. Gyang said he will work with his colleagues in the National Assembly to ensure that the country gets a legislation that will make it mandatory for government at all levels to resettle displaced persons across the country.
He lamented that hundreds of persons who were displaced on the 23 June, 2018 in Gashish District of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State are still languishing in hardship.
He explained that the communities are still vulnerable to attacks, and urged the federal and state governments to quicken action on the provision of functional mobile police barracks in the area for security of lives and property.
Camp Coordinator of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state Frances Chong decried the condition of displaced persons and said over 11 communities have been displaced and destroyed.
He explained that government and Operation Safe Haven made efforts and resettled four communities who fled for fear of attack in November 2018, while efforts made to resettle four other communities this year were not successful.
Chong noted that over 2, 000 children have been out of school because schools, hospitals and other facilities were destroyed and burnt down.
He called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the devastated communities and resettle them in their ancestral homes.