From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Executive Secretary Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Rev Yakubu Pam, and the Commissioner of Police Plateau State, Edward Egbuka, has convened an emergency peace summit to halt fresh killings in Bassa, Riyom, Jos South and Barkin-Ladi.
Rev Pam, who declared the meeting open, held at the Police Officers’ Mess in Jos, the Plateau State capital, condemned the attack on the people of Bassa and pleaded with the residents to embrace peace and shun acts of violence.
He lamented that the crises in Plateau which date back to 2001 has left the people in anguish, saying he has been working with the government to restore lasting peace in the state.
The reverend said the battle has always been a circle of revenge as no party has been crowned a winner and urged the people concerned to shelve their swords and embrace peace and development.
‘The attacks have now shifted to the local governments at the outskirts of the state, but the recent meetings with the farmers, herders and traditional leaders in the local governments have helped to reduce the attacks,’ he said.
Commissioner Egbuka said he was disappointed with the attack on the people of Bassa despite meetings and discussion with the stakeholders of the local governments and Fulani leaders and their promise to live in peace.
He also said innocent people going about their daily activities are always victims of the attacks and stressed that the only way to resolve the conflict is through dialogue between both parties.
He gave his assurances about not relenting in his pursuit of the criminals perpetrating the acts and promised to bring them to book.
The Management Committee Chairman of Riyom Local Government Area, Hon Mafeng Gwallson, said his local government has the highest number of IDPs in the state and solicited support.
He expressed optimism that with the frequent engagement, there will be some level of peace and thank Governor Simon Lalong for laying a solid foundation for peace in the state.
The National Youth Leader of Irigwe Youth Movement, Ezekiel Peter, said over time his people have been vigilant and most of the attack that results to death we’re ambushed in the bush.
‘It is not as if they came to our houses to face us. It’s only when someone when somewhere and on his way back home, they will be ambushed and killed. Like the three people who were killed were ambushed on their way home, they were four on the motorcycle, one person didn’t die, he sustained gunshots and was taken to the hospital.’
The State Chairman of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association, Alh Garba Abdullahi, said people should not be criminalised on the basis of their ethnicity, religion or where they come from.
He condemned the recent attack that led to the loss of four lives in Bassa village and said six herders were killed on February 2nd, two among them beheaded and two bodies still missing.
He called for calm and more effort to unite against crime in order to ensure peace and unity in the country.