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Lalong sees attacks on Plateau as test on government’s willpower

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Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong finds it difficult to comprehend the recent carnage in Mangu and Bokkos councils where over 30 lives were lost.

But the two events, to him, appear to be orchestrated to test the resolve of his administration to bring peace back to the state.

Lalong stated this yesterday during the Plateau State Peace and Security Community Dialogue themed ‘Domestication of Community Policing in Plateau State: Exploring The Indigenous Options’ held at Government House, Jos.

He also said that the happenings were calculated to undermine the security and safety of the people.

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The governor had directed security personnel to fish out the killers at all costs, as government would no longer condone “unknown gunmen” who kill and maim innocent people at will.

“That is why we directed that the community leaders and Ardos be invited and questioned to assist the security agencies with information that will lead to the arrest of the killers. They are not ghosts. I am happy that this directive has been acted upon and sooner than later, those killers will be unmasked and brought before the law to answer for their crimes,” he stressed.

Explaining the reasons for the dialogue, Lalong said it sought to explore ways of undertaking a holistic view of the prevailing security challenges in the state with specific reference to a community policing model that could better respond to public safety and security.

He said he expected the stakeholders to engage in frank, open and solution-driven interaction that will enable government to key into community policing in dealing with the security situation more effectively.

“Happily, we already have structures on the ground which are in tandem with the community policing model such as the Operation Rainbow, Early Warning System, Vigilante Volunteers and community-based Intelligence Volunteers,” he pointed out.

He urged the dialogue session to question the conventional security agencies on security lives and property in the state.

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The lead presenter, Prof. Dakas Dakas (SAN), said that peace and security were the responsibility of the government, regretting that the traditional institution in the country had been held hostage by the political system.

Commander, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Maj-Gen. Augustine Agundu, said that many ethnic armed groups, as well as religious, political and ethnic bigotry were the bane of security in the state.

Agundu mulled the regulation of the proliferation of mosques and churches, adding that there should be laws put in place to hold all the community leaders responsible because they knew the criminals but that they would keep quiet as they shared in the loot.

On his part, the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, said that if the government had not failed to develop the police, Agundu would not have been deployed to the state.

He added that monarchs had not been duly recognised, as they had no role in the constitution.

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