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Governors’ Forum condemns Plateau killings

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Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State (right) condoling with the family of his late Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Uwakwe Abugu during his burial ceremony at Olido, Enugu Ezike, Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area… yesterday

The leadership of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) yesterday collectively condemned the recent killings of almost 200 people in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local governments of Plateau State and called on President Buhari to ensure the perpetrators are arrested and prosecuted.

Chairman of NGF and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Yari stated this in Jos when he led seven other governors and four deputy governors to commiserate with Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong over the killings, saying they will all unite to fight the enemies.

Also, Chairman of the Progressives Forum, Rochas Okorocha of Imo state described the killings as “sheer madness”.

Middle Belt Youth Leader, Emma Zopmal, has said the region is saddened by constant disasters that now regularly befall Nigeria deliberately caused by Militia Fulani herdsmen.

He spoke yesterday at a press briefing in Jos, saying that killing of innocent people has become a sport to this group of people while the Nigerian government looks clueless.

He also expressed concern, saying that all the Security Chiefs have failed in their responsibilities, including the Minister of Interior, to protect lives and property and that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately remove them and face a Panel of Inquiry. “If the President fails to do this, Nigerians should know that the government is in complicity about the insecurity.

Meanwhile, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Plateau State has asserted that the renewed attacks on Christian communities and churches by armed Fulani herdsmen across the country and particularly in the Middle Belt region have claimed over 6000 persons who are mostly women and children.

They called on President Buhari to stop the senseless blood shedding to avoid a state of anarchy where people would be forced to defend themselves.

Chairman of the denominational heads and CAN in the state, Soja Bewarang, stated this yesterday in a strongly worded statement in Jos. Bewarang also appealed to the United Nations to intervene in the ongoing crisis to avert unpleasant consequences that may spill over into other countries and continents.

“The perpetrators are being deliberately allowed to go scot-free. ”

He said the recent genocide and blood bath by the herdsmen was simply ethnic cleansing, land grabbling and forceful ejection of Christian natives from their ancestral land and heritage.

“We reject the narrative that the attacks on Christian communities across the country as “farmers/herdsmen clash.”

The federal government has been so immersed in this false propaganda and deceit while forcefully pushing the policy idea of establishing cattle ranches/colonies on the ancestral farming lands of the attacked communities for the Fulani herdsmen as the only solution to the problem.

How can it be a clash when one group is persistently attacking, killing, maiming, destroying; and the other group is persistently being killed, maimed and their places of worship destroyed?”

CAN observed that the heads of security agencies in the country is skewed to one religion and region of the country and have consistently shown grave bias and incompetence in tackling the wide insecurity challenges in the country and should be reconstituted to reflect the federal character of the country to earn the required trust, confidence and support of the general populace.

“We demand that the government should immediately apprehend and prosecute leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) for not only taking responsibility for the various attacks but justifying the killings as retaliation over cattle rustled by unknown persons.

On the contrary, what we have seen is the pampering of these killer groups who rather than being apprehended by the security agencies for justice to take its course are being paid and pacified, giving the impression that they are above the laws of the land.”


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