by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The leadership of the Plateau State Youth Council has expressed displeasure and rejection on the continued loss of lives, particularly of women and children as well as property worth millions of naira that is continuing alarmingly in Mangu and some isolated incidences in Bokkos, Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas.
Chairman of the Youth Council, Lot Sunday Adas, made the assertion, while speaking at the State Secretariat Round-About in Jos on Monday, in a peaceful protest organized by the Youth in the State.
He noted that, “These killings are acts of terrorism, which are neither coincidental nor random happenings; rather, are premeditated and calculated attacks that aim at uprooting native villages and communities to satisfy the inordinate territorial ambition and ‘supremacy’ of the Fulani and their cohorts.
He observed that, the scale and skills of the attackers speak volumes to the scope – sophististry and quantum of the ammunition and weaponry at the disposal of the said Fulani militias.
He also noted that, to their greatest surprise, the Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), under the Command of Maj-Gen Abdulsallam Ibrahim, appeared to be totally overwhelmed and uncoordinated in its response to the merciless massacre of citizens.
“Indeed, there was no areal deployments and support for troops to pursue and track down the so-called Fulani militias, who were in their hundreds, and had a field day as well as luxury of killing whoever they wanted,” they said.
He said, the operation, to the best of their knowledge, has legally and morally failed to release Mr Jatau Yakubu Kachai, who is a victim of Fulani’s willful destruction of crops on his farmland at Kuru Station of Wereng Community, in Riyom LGA.
According to him, “This is a case of punishing the victim rather than the culprit. That is why the coalition is inclined to conclude that the Commander is compromised and, therefore, servicing a particular interest in the ongoing killings of the natives in Plateau State.
“Otherwise, how can one explain the belated, feeble and ineffective responses of the OPSH in the face of credible and abundant early warning signals and distress calls placed on the operation?
The chairman further stated that, “The deliberate killings of citizens, particularly women and children and the wanton destruction of property that is continuing in the State is, to say the least, condemnable and totally unacceptable to this coalition and, therefore, we want the whole world to know that these attacks are a function of conspiracy and collaboration by the detractors of the State.”
He added that, in order to regain the trust and confidence of their people, they demand that the Police Mobile Squadrons should be deployed without delay to the general area to rescue the situation.
In addition, he said, the petition of the Fulani to the Commander of Operation Safe Haven to the effect that they are being profiled for possible annihilation should be held suspect, because ironically, it is the Fulani that have all along been perpetrating genocide against the natives.
“The true interpretation of that petition, therefore, is their spurious justification for the ongoing massacres,” he stressed.
“We therefore, call on, and advise the author and signatory of the petition to, in their best interest, call his people to order to stop the killings of innocent Plateau people forthwith.
According to him, “Unless and until the prevailing security environment is radically changed, it remains conducive for Fulani militias to continue raining havoc on defenseless hamlets, villages and communities with impunity.
“That is why we are calling on the International Community to use its good offices to prevail on Nigeria’s Government to live up to its constitutional responsibility of ‘protecting lives and property’ as well as providing succor to the survivors of these attacks and the displaced.
“We believe that our people and communities now know better that we are ‘Second-class’ citizens in our own country, and that our lives and property do not matter as much.
“Therefore, the clarion call is, make every effort to help yourself before anyone else does. However, the Nigerian Government owes all citizens the constitutional duties of protecting lives and property; and this is what we demand from our rulers,” he noted.