From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong said on Wednesday that with the signing of the anti-kidnapping law, anyone convicted for kidnapping in the state would be sentenced to death.
He urged communities in the state to take the alarm raised by the Department of State Services (DSS) of a threat to cause inter-religious violence by some criminal elements in the country serious and report suspicious activity to security agencies.
Governor Lalong disclosed this during an engagement with Plateau stakeholders on the second wave of COVID-19 and security issues held at Government House Rayfield, Jos, Plateau State.
‘I am aware of the incidences of kidnapping, cultism and other violent crimes in some parts of Plateau State. The Government is working hard with the security agencies and stakeholders to ensure that the ugly incidences are tackled.
‘Last month, I signed the Anti-kidnapping, Land grabbing, Cultism and Violence-related matters bill passed by the State House of Assembly into law. By that law, anyone convicted of kidnapping in Plateau State will be sentenced to death, while cultism and other violent crimes attract various terms of imprisonment.’
The governor said the state has inaugurated 595 Community Police constables who have been trained and deployed to the 17 Local Government Areas to assist law enforcement agencies, particularly the police in intelligence gathering and other security operations to combat security situation in the state.
He challenged citizens to assist government in sensitising and mobilising people to be conscious of security issues around them and take measures to protect their vicinity against criminals.
Governor Lalong lamented that prominent citizens in Plateau State perished recently due to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and urged residents to be more conscious of the deathly virus.
‘We are recording more daily cases in the State than previously. Sadly, we are also recording increasing number of deaths that is very worrisome. In the past weeks, we have seen some prominent persons in Plateau State and indeed across Nigeria die from COVID-19.
‘Mostly, we hear of the big names but do not get to hear of the others involving people that are less prominent. This should give us serious concern because it means that the situation is bigger than what we seem to know.’
He encouraged citizens not to be careless and reluctant to observe COVID-19 protocols.
‘This worries me a lot because this recklessness is further exposing more people to the virus and then increasing the casualty figures. While we have no intention of imposing another lockdown to avoid further damage to the economy, some members of the public are not helping us.’