…To dig out root causes of over 20 years’ crises in Plateau State.
by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division, Nigerian Army (NA) and Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) in Plateau State, Major-General Abdulsalami Bagudu Ibrahim, on Tuesday held a meeting with stakeholders from Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas of Plateau State, at OPSH Headquarters Jos, to brainstorm – and possibly fish out – the root cause(s) of the crises in Plateau that have lasted for over 20 years, with a view to identifying and addressing them holistically.
While expressing sadness over the rate at which human lives are being wasted over trivial issues that could have been resolved through dialogue, the GOC advocated for a strict legislation that would keep the people in check for good behavior, saying, “How long shall we continue killing ourselves for no reason?”
He further cautioned against making unguided statements about security agents, who are working tirelessly to savage the situations and ensure normalcy is restored in the affected communities.
He urged the general public to continually support security agencies so they could deliver effectively on their mandates. He stated further that solving security challenges must be a collective responsibility of every individual, and must be with all sincerity of purpose.
Major-General Ibrahim also called for sincere commitment of all the stakeholders to peaceful coexistence in the state.
Also, stakeholders who spoke during the meeting appreciated the work and sacrifice of security personnel in the state and criticized those making unfounded statements against the security agencies.
They also identified deep misconceptions on the part of the people as the root cause of the crises and called for frequent dialogue between the people and security agencies, in order to proffer lasting solutions to the lingering conflict.
The stakeholders also urged security agencies to be diplomatic in engaging with the people and deal decisively with those fermenting trouble in society. They pledged to continually cooperate with security forces.
They strongly suggested that there is the need for stringent measures to be taken against anyone found destroying crops and properties, rustling or killing cows, while they equally identified harbouring of criminals and youths involvement in drugs as factors responsible for the resurgence of hostilities in the affected areas.
The event was attended by traditional rulers, youth leaders and women leaders, as well as religious leaders from Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas.