Against the backdrop of the recent killings in Plateau State, labour has called for more vigilance from the nation’s security agencies.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), in separate statements condemning the incident, said the nation’s security, though stretched, must be seen to do more to restore the confidence of the civil populace.
The NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, noted that if the emerging allegations are true that the attacks went on unchecked for hours then something needs to be done about the reaction time of the security operations in the state.
The NLC called for an end to the killings in Plateau State and said it was saddened by the renewed violence in Barkin-Ladi and Riyom local government areas of Plateau State and environs, leading to the killing of over 86 persons (as per police figures) by suspected herdsmen last weekend.
“We are disturbed by the range of targets, the duration of these attacks and the scope of casualties and destruction. Even in a full-scale war with another country, the statistics are numbing,” the NLC president said.
Condemning the killings, Wabba described them as senseless and barbaric and threatening to shatter once and for all the bonds of brotherhood and peaceful co-existence in the country.
Aside from tackling the security lapses, the NLC president added that the Federal and Plateau State governments, in consultation with the parties to the bloody conflict, should design a frame work for enduring peace.
He said, “The governments should quickly move to rebuild these communities and restore shattered lives as well as put and end to this anarchy.
“In spite of the fact that emotions understandably run high at the moment, it is important to appreciate the fact that reprisal attacks cannot bring the much needed peace. Peace lies in dialogue and in squarely addressing the underlying causes of the problem. Time to frankly talk to ourselves is now.”
In the same vein, PENGASSAN equally condemned at the statement by a spokesman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association that the killings were in response to rustling of about 300 cattle in the area.
According to PENGASSAN, that should not be an excuse for lawlessness in a country that has government and security apparatus to handle issues.
The union said, “PENGASSAN notes that the Security Agencies, especially the police seem helpless in the face of the mindless and unprovocative killing of innocent Nigerians. We therefore call for more recruitment into all arms of the Security Agencies, including the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and also advise the Security Agencies to review their strategies to put an end to the killing.
“The Security Agencies should improve their relationship with the communities to enable them get necessary information before any attacks.”
It equally implore the government to deploy a special squad of military and other forces permanently to troubled prone areas of Benue, Taraba and Plateau states.
It noted that the Federal Government should rise above just condemning such killings and courageously do all it takes to protect the lives and properties of citizens which is the whole essence of government.