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ECWA decries alleged army’s aloofness during Miango crisis

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ECWA Church, Airport Road, Kano. PHOTO: MURTALA ADEWALE


• Traditionalists Should Rise Up To Defend Communities— Lawmaker
• Killings Would Have Been Prevented If Security Operatives Were Given Free Hand— Monarch

The recent attacks that saw many Irigwe people dead and houses burnt in Miango Village of Bassa Council of Plateau State by alleged Fulani militia without any intervention from the army is said to be fast eroding the people’s confidence in the military and other security agencies. Furthermore, they said the army could not be seen as unbiased protector.
  
This was the position of President of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Rev. Stephen Baba Panya, while addressing the press, yesterday, at its headquarters in Jos.
  
Panya said the sad and inexplicable aspect was that many of the villages, where the killings and burnings occurred, are located behind the 3 Armoured Division Barracks of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies.

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“Yet, these militias are allowed to continue their heinous murders and carnage without any intervention by the Nigerian Army and other security agencies. This is fast eroding the confidence of the populace in the military and security agencies, as unbiased protectors of all, devoid of tribe, ethnicity and religion,” he contended.
  
He called on the state, federal governments and security agencies to intervene and prevail on the army to stop the genocide, adding that government must rise up to its responsibility of protecting citizens’ lives and property, irrespective of tribes, ethnicity or religion, “otherwise the country will quickly degenerate into total anarchy.
   
“We also pray that the incidence will not end as usual, with no single AK-47 wielding militia arrested, prosecuted and brought to justice, while the indigenous locals, who tried to defend themselves with crude instruments, are paraded as aggressors, as happened in past incidences. Justice must be done and seen to be done…”
  
He implored the federal and state governments, to urgently send relief materials to the displaced and distressed victims, as well as deposit funds with reputable hospitals for treatment of victims that sustained injuries.

“We are also calling on well-meaning Nigerians to be their brothers’ keepers and open up their homes for the displaced persons, provide support for food, water, clothing and medical services for victims…”

Meanwhile, a member representing Pankshin North Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honourable Philip Dasun, has said enough of Fulani attacks on Plateau communities, urging traditionalists to defend their communities.
  
Dasun said he was told the Fulani always operate with metaphysical power, urging traditional practitioners to do likewise because “we, too, have something like that, which ordinary eyes cannot see.” He spoke, yesterday, at the Plateau Radio Television Corporation (PRTVC) programme on the carnage in Miango.
   
The lawmaker wondered for how long the people would continue to be patient, while the Fulani keep coming. He implored the international community to come to their aid, since the government could not protect them.

Similarly, the paramount ruler of Irigwe ethnic nationality in the state, His Royal Highness, The Bra Ngwe Irigwe, Rt. Rev. Ronku Aka, while lamenting the tragedy, disclosed that some security operatives, who were deployed to the communities during the attacks, told him they had no instruction to repel the invaders. 

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The monarch said this, when the president of Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam led other officials of the non- governmental organisation on a sympathy visit to his palace in Miango, after meeting and donating relief materials to internally displaced persons on Friday. 
 
The traditional ruler said the destruction that occurred in his kingdom had further exposed the handicap of governors and council chairmen as Chief security officers in their respective areas of jurisdiction in the country. 
 
Aka said: “… At peace meetings, the governor will give order, but the security men will go and do a different thing. During the recent attacks in my communities, the soldiers and other security operatives were around. As the invaders were carrying out the attacks in Jebu Miango and advancing to other communities, we expected them to confront them and stop the destruction, but that did not happen.
 
“When I enquired, some soldiers cried out that they did not receive the order to repel the attackers. Some of them who expressed frustration over the situation wondered the essence of holding guns, when they can not use them and left the scene, while the attackers continued with their destruction… “

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In this article:
ECWAStephen Baba Panya
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