Plateau killings: Assembly resolutions advisory, says commissioner, MBF backs lawmakers

Friday Olokor, James Abraham and Bola Bamigbola

30 August 2021

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The Plateau State Government has described as “advisory” the resolutions of the state House of Assembly on the security challenge facing the state.

Recall that following the series of attacks by gunmen in various communities in Plateau State, which led to the killings of many people and destruction of their properties, the state House of Assembly had on Friday  called on residents to defend themselves.

The House also gave Governor Simon Lalong two weeks ultimatum to address the security challenge in the state.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Philip Dasun, at a press conference in Jos on Friday had said decision was part of the resolutions reached by the lawmakers during their plenary and had been communicated to the governor.

But the state Commissioner for Information, Dan Manjang, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Jos on Sunday, said the House resolutions were not binding on the governor, describing it as “advisory”

Manjang said, “I know that resolutions of the House do not amount to laws. They are purely advisory. Many people have also given their advice on how the security challenge in the state can be addressed. It is now left for the governor to study the advice, pick the ones that will work for the common good of the Plateau people. If the House resolutions are such that will solve the security problem in the state, I’m sure the governor will apply them appropriately.”

Findings findings by The PUNCH showed that the House resolutions on the security situation in the state was delivered to the Governor’s Office on Friday, but did not contain the two-week ultimatum.

Meanwhile, the Middle Belt Forum on Sunday backed the resolutions of the lawmakers on killings in the state.

President of the MBF, Dr Bitrus Pogu, in an interview with one of our correspondents said, “The position of the Plateau lawmakers is genuine and patriotic. The Middle Belt Forum shares the concern of the lawmakers.”

He also berated the Presidency over its alleged silence on the killing in the Yelwa Zangam in the Jos North Local Government Area.

Military assures residents of protection

Meanwhile, the Military Special Taskforce in Plateau State, also known as Operation Safe Haven, has assured residents of the state of safety.

The Taskforce gave the assurance in a statement on Saturday by its Information Officer, Major Ishaku Takwa.

The statement reads partly, “Operation SAFE HAVEN has recently noted the circulation of violent messages on social media platforms. Some individuals who apparently are beneficiaries of crisis have formed the habit of circulating old and recycled videos, voice and old text messages of violence.

“We urge all law abiding citizens to disregard such videos, voice and text messages being circulated in the social media by beneficiaries of crisis.

“Operation SAFE HAVEN wishes to assure the good people of Plateau State that it is committed to protecting lives and property of all. Operations have been increased and several attacks were prevented from happening lately.”

‘Leave Lalong alone out of Plateau attacks’

In a related development, a first-class traditional ruler in Plateau State, the Ujah of Anaguta, His Royal Highness Pozo Johnson Jauro,  has berated those blaming Lalong for the attacks in the state.

Ujah, the Paramount ruler of Anaguta ethnic nationality in the Jos North Local Government Area where gunmen killed over 30 people last, spoke on Sunday when Governor Lalong visited Yelwa Zangam village.

Ujah said, “I am the chief mourner of this tragedy and nobody can mourn more than me. Let me appreciate the swift response of the security agencies and government when we were attacked. I am not blaming Governor Lalong for the attack. How can somebody emancipate you and then turn back to kill you? Governor Lalong is a lover of Anaguta people.”

A representative of the affected families, Mr Bitrus Pada, who lost members of his family, said a total of 33 people were killed during the attack.

Lalong said he had directed that a police station be established in the village and assured the residents that members of the state vigilante team would be deployed in the area.

Defend yourselves against killers – YOWICAN

Likewise, the Christian Association of Nigeria (Youth Wing) on Sunday called Jos to “defend themselves.

The national chairman of YOWICAN, Belusochukwu Enwerem, said this in a statement titled, ‘YOWICAN condemns Plateau killings, urge Christians to defend themselves.’

He said, “We condemn in totality the gruesome killings of over 35 Plateau citizens, especially Christians on August 25, 2021, in a midnight attack where houses and churches were burnt, including a primary school in Kunga of Zangam.

“This is not acceptable to Nigerians, no matter the tribe, religion and ethnicity. Where are our leaders? The labour of our heroes past is beginning to be in vain. Nigeria is sliding into anarchy where religion, ethnicism and terrorism are spreading like wildfire.

“Christian youth across the country, and indeed Nigerians should defend themselves against killers before we are all consumed. This is unacceptable and condemnable.

Osun evacuates indigenes from UNIJOS

Also, the Osun State Government had evacuated 15 indigenes of the state studying in University of Jos, Plateau State.

The students, who arrived at the state on Sunday, were received by the representative of the governor, Prince Wole Oyebamiji

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