by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Plateau State Government has said, in order to curb the activities of criminal elements that are bent on causing insecurity in the State through isolated attacks, government has taken the several steps to enhance the capacity of the security agencies to deal with such threats.
The State Governor, Simon Lalong, reassured saying, “We embraced community policing to ensure early warnings, intelligence gathering and crime prevention using a button-top approach.”
He disclosed this during an Inter-Denominational Mass to Mark the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day and Emblem Appeal Launch, at St. Fnibarrs Catholic Church Rayfield, Jos, on Sunday, saying, the state government has passed a law against kidnapping, violent crimes and land grabbing, as well as has revamped the Operation Rainbow security outfit.
Lalong stressed that, over the years the administration has also provided logistics support to the Armed Forces to operate effectively. “Some months ago, we procured and distributed many patrol vans and hundreds of security motorbikes to all security agencies in the State, and government will continue to do so to ensure that our people live in peace.
“While these efforts are going on, we have to also pay attention to the welfare of serving and retired officers and men of the Armed Forces; and they need to be taken care of in terms of welfare package and other allowances. While the Federal Government is doing its best, we at the State level will continue to support with packages that motivate them to give their best,” the governor noted.
He also appealed to parents and guardians to pay attention to their wards and counsel them to shun criminal activities, as the security agencies have been mandated to go “very tough” on anyone, who disrupts public peace and security, saying, “the level of drug abuse, kidnapping and of recent ritual killings in the State is unacceptable.”
The governor also assured that, government is taking serious measures to bring these vices to an end, and anyone, who is caught will not be spared, saying, “Already, we have laws that prescribe very stiff penalties for such crimes; those, who are found to be shielding or collaborating with criminals, will be dealt. “A word is enough for the wise,” he said.
Reacting to the recent cases of ritual killings suspected to be carried out by “Yahoo Boys” as well as kidnappings and other criminal activities, the governor has vowed to “make the State uninhabitable for criminals.”
He expressed outrage over the recent cases of ritual killings in Jos as well as kidnappings, which have become a source of concern to the government and citizens.
According to him, he his deeply saddened by the activities of criminals, who are trying to disrupt the peace of the state. Of much concern is the recent cases of ritual killings, which are suspected to be carried out by yahoo boys that security reports indicate are migrating to Plateau.
He warned that, they will make Plateau hot for them and ensured that the State vomits them; adding, “After so much work we have done to restore peace and security, we will not fold our arms to see criminals take over,” and warned them to vacate the state because the people want to live in peace and the criminal elements have no place here.
Governor Lalong also said that the State has stiff laws against kidnapping and other violent crimes, which include death penalty, warning that anyone convicted by a Court of competent jurisdiction will not be spared.
While commending the sacrifices of fallen heroes and veterans, who took part in the First and Second World Wars; the Nigerian Civil War; and Peace Support Operations around the globe, Lalong said there are still very many security challenges that the gallant men and women of the Armed Forces are still laying down their lives to ensure they are addressed.
“Our Armed Forces are today battling criminals, who have challenged our national sovereignty through terrorism, insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and many other nefarious activities that are aimed at destabilizing our country and dividing the people,” he noted.
“We must, therefore, use this solemn moment to commend them for rising up to the occasion and making sure this does not happen, despite the fact that the security situation in Nigeria at the moment is not what we desire it to be. We cannot afford to dampen the morale of the gallant officers and men, who put their lives on the line daily to make sure that we sleep with our eyes closed,” he urged.
“Without giving them their due recognition and honour, we will discourage not only them, but the younger generation from making similar sacrifices,” he said.
In his sermon, the Parish Priest of St. Finbarrs Catholic Church, Rayfield, and Chaplain, Government House Chapel, Rev. Fr. Godfrey Gopep, said while Nigerians are celebrating the sacrifices of its fallen heroes, there is need for them to give greater honour to the deceased by living in peace with one another to stopping other standing heroes from falling. He said “Peace building cannot be possible without justice, forgiveness, tolerance and unity.”
In their remarks, Chairman of the Nigerian Legion Plateau State, GOC 3rd Armoured Division, represented by Brigadier-General DD Kurmi; Gbong Gwom Jos, represented by Agwom Izere, HRH Rev. Isaac Wakili; CAN Chairman Plateau State, represented by Pastor Elijah Akinwale, all called on the people of Plateau State to embrace peace and support the government in its efforts to restore Plateau State to its rightful place as the “Home of Peace and Tourism.” They also called on governments at levels to fulfill their obligations to the families of fallen heroes and pay proper attention to the welfare of the serving officers and men, in order motivate them to continue to make sacrifices for the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.