Pidan Press Statement on The State of Escalating Violence on The Plateau
Written by Joey Shekwonuzhibo on August 15, 2021
The Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives (PIDAN) is greatly appalled by the incessant killings of people in Irigwe land in particular and Jos environs in general over the last two weeks in Plateau State. We condemn in strongest terms the attacks on law-abiding citizens by any group of persons by whatever name and by any reason because life is sacrosanct. We are perplexed by the lackluster performance of the security agencies in curbing the wanton destruction of property and loss of lives in Bassa and Jos North LGAs.
We wish to identify with those families who lost their beloved ones and pray that God will grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses and grant the souls of the departed eternal rest.
The escalating violence in Bassa and Jos North LGAs of Plateau since 2nd August 2021 to date has been of grave concern to us and all peace-loving people of Plateau State. In the first week of August, an autochthone – the Irigwe had been at the receiving end of massive attacks from suspected Fulani militias resulting in massive destruction of property and loss of lives. Following the unfortunate incident in Bassa, the Irigwe Development Association recorded 68 deaths, the destruction of over 500 homes, and the displacement of over 30,000 persons.
While we were mourning, we expect the Government to have used such a period to beef up security in all nooks and crannies of Jos and its environs but such has not been the case.
On the 13-08-2021, when the Irigwe were having mass burial of their victims, a convoy of five buses filled with able-bodied men with a claim that they were from Bauchi going to Ilaro in Ondo State was intercepted at Rukuba Road where a fracas ensued between them and the Youth resulting in deaths of 23 persons as reported by the press. We are very much worried at the insensitivity of some members of the public to the plight of Natives on the Plateau. Why would any group of right-thinking Nigerians fill a series of vehicles with able-bodied men and attempt to pass through a community undergoing mass burial when there are more secure alternative routes to continue in their journey? We call on the security agencies to thoroughly investigate this incident and make their findings known to the public on the real mission of the group involved in this ugly situation.
We take exception to the statement credited to PPRO of the Police Command in Plateau State on the unfortunate incident at Rukuba Road where he was reported to have said that the killings and skirmishes at Rukuba Road were carried out by Irigwe Youths and their mourners. Rukuba Road is cosmopolitan and we do not know how he arrived at such a conclusion at such speed when for weeks they have not been able to unravel the killers at the Miango killings.
We take the PPRO’s statement as insensitive, capable of generating hatred towards the Irigwe Youths and escalating the tension in the State. We are equally shocked with the swift reactions of the security agencies and the quick response from the Presidency on the incident at Rukuba Road when the same was not displayed on the killings that went on for days in Irigwe land. We condemn the Government’s selective treatment of killings on the Plateau and ask for equity and justice in the handling of the security challenges in the State.
We wish to call on the State Government and the security agencies to be awake to their responsibility and provide security to the people in line with their cardinal responsibility as enshrined under section 14(2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We equally wish to appeal to all autochthones not to take the laws into their hands but to be extremely vigilant and report all suspicious movements and suspects to the law enforcement agents.
PIDAN wishes to further reiterate its stand with the Irigwe nation at this time of grief and pray that God almighty will grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
- Prof Madaki JKA – President
- Cmrd Nanle Gujor – Secretary-General