TEXT OF WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE RECENT MASSIVE RESURGENCE OF VIOLENT ATTACKS AND UNSTABLE SECURITY IN PLATEAU STATE
PRESENTED BY THE YOUTH WING CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (YOWICAN) PLATEAU STATE CHAPTER, ON THE 1ST SEPTEMBER, 2021 AT THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN) SECRETARIAT, JOS SOUTH LGA, PLATEAU STATE
The Youth Wing Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) PLATEAU STATE as vanguard of peace, advocates of good governance and religious tolerance have not withheld any wise counsel from the government and the peace loving people of Plateau State through all times and seasons and shall continue to dispassionately discharge it’s civic and moral duties accordingly.
- YOWICAN had sued for peace and calm on the Plateau especially given the recent resurgence of insecurity and unprovoked attacks on Plateau communities as well as the destruction of lives and properties of our people. These attacks are highly condemnable and unacceptable by every human line of thought as no one has the right to take the life of another. We continue to call on all Plateau citizens to eschew violence and promote peaceful coexistence.
- We have noticed with a glimpse of joy the measures taken by the State Government recently in concert with the clarion call made by the Plateau State House of Assembly, to speak in defence of the Plateau people and this is indeed highly commendable and we do hope to see more of this synergy going forward, to ensure that lost hope of the citizens is rekindled and sustained.
- After the unfortunate incidences that bedevilled Plateau State in recent times, with particular reference to attacks on the Irigwe people in Miango villages in Bassa LGA, some commuters along Rukuba Road and the Anaguta people in Yelwa Zangam both in Jos North LGA (where a total of over 150 lives have been lost), the Plateau Legislators called on the Executive at all tiers of government- Federal, State and Local Governments to discharge their functions to ensuring the security of lives and properties of her citizens as well as the defence of the land from Marauder’s and Jihadists who by all means have made frantic efforts to kill on and evict the people from their ancestral lands. It is natural to expect Government to be proactive in their response and to also be seen to be handling citizens fairly because no life is more superior than the other. We encourage a continuous synergy between the Executive and Legislative arms of government to be maintained and improved upon.
- YOWICAN has noted that the government of Plateau State under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Barr. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong has taken measures to addressing the ills bedeviling the people as beckoned by the Legislative Arm to visit the people of and victims in Yelwa Zangam. His instruction for the establishment of a Police Post and rehabilitation of the bridge linking the two communities of Yelwan Zangam and Kunga 1 as well as facilitating the burial of the deceased persons is hereby appreciated. The delivery of relief materials to the victims of the attacks and committment to settling the medical bills of the victims in the hospitals among other things will greatly be appreciated. We hereby encourage the government to remain responsive to demands from it’s arms and the people and act swiftly when the need arises so that confidence of the people on government will not decline beyond this low point. The government should replicate this gesture and good governance measures in all the troubled areas in Plateau State.
- The government of Plateau ( all arms) in good synergy will always do greatly and achieve better things for the Plateau citizens as can be seen in the synergy between the Executive and Legislature in the establishment of Mobile Police Barracks in Shendam and Garshish, Air Force Base in Kerang, Peace Building Agency, Peace Watch Tower in Dutse Uku and Inter Religious Council among others , aside Enacting the Anti Land Grabbing and Anti Kidnapping Laws including the Autonomy Laws to grant the arms of government full and independent expression of their statutory powers. We encourage this display of tact and understanding in governance for the greater interest of Plateau State.
- YOWICAN reiterates its support to the clarion call made my the Legislature as the full compliment of the representatives of the people and do confirm that the protection and welfare of the Plateau people is the duty of government. The government at all levels in the state should be palpably seen to rise to the occasion for this is primarily the duty of every goovenment and we sincerely hope government will be sincere and committed to the protection of the people and her heritage, especially against Invaders and Jihadists that have seemingly found comfort and encouragement in the previous silence and carefreeness of the government suggested by it’s body language and silence.
- YOWICAN appreciates the Plateau Youths for their doggedness in voicing out their plights and grievances naturedly and in a non violent manner – especially in support of a right call to Plateau survival and self determination and by committing themselves to holding government accountable for it’s actions and inactions. This surely is the Plateau Spirit which seemed to have been lost over a long time and we are hopeful that this commendable unity and resolve will not cease after Plateau gains victory over her challenges.
- We have however noticed some persons, including elders, youths and particularly politicians (within and outside the state) whom society estimates as responsible but who have unfortunately chosen to follow the path of dishonour to politicize and scorn the united Plateau spirit against bad governance or the silence of government that had prevailed before now in the face of great onslaught on Plateau people. We call on such persons or groups by whatever name or office they are called or known to desist from such cheap eye-service and show of shame, as the lives (living or dead) of Plateau people deserve honour and dignity and must be maintained with every sense of reverence.
- The peace loving people of Plateau State, especially the Youths are unreservedly identifying with their representatives in the Plateau State House of Assembly under the leadership of the Honourable Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ayuba Abok and charge the Honourable members with the mandate of continuing to speak with one voice for the peace, well-being, good governance, protection and self determination of the Plateau people. The legislative Arm should also be very weary of any double standard as Plateau people are watching and shall hold them accountable with every sense of duty. The government is encouraged to grant expression to the well-meaning Laws made to safeguard the people and the land dispassionately without fear or favour.
- YOWICAN condemns the silent killings and mowing down of crops still on-going in the midst of the curfew imposed on Jos North, Jos South, and Bassa LGAs and calls on the government of Plateau State to consider and address the plight of the victims noting that their source of livelihood has been destroyed. We also call on the security agencies to double up their efforts in achieving total calm and through credible information gathering, arrests and prosecution should be done to bring perpetrators to answer for their crimes according to law. We appeal to them to be professional in the discharge of their duties knowing fully well that God in heaven sees all things done even in secret. We hereby call on law abiding citizens of Plateau State not to take the laws into their hands nor resort to actions that will be provocative but to conduct themselves at all times in the exercise of their constitutional right to self defence within the ambit of the law.
- We will also emphasize the need for security agencies to be responsive to every distress call, especially such confirmed dangers as delay in the face of such calls and attacks serve as a respite for the criminals and provide them ample opportunities of escape from the scene of attacks
- We call on the state government to as a matter of urgency set up a committee (if that has not been done) to take stocks of the level of destruction of crops, lives and properties in all the troubled parts of Plateau especially Jos North, Jos South, Jos East, Bassa, Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Bokkos and Mangu LGAs in order to garner and provide adequate relief materials for the victims to prevent famine, hunger and starvation and to also reconstruct or renovate houses destroyed and ensure the victims are peacefully resettled in their communities with adequate security measures to forestall possible future attacks. In this wise, we draw the government’s attention to the existence of illegal occupants of houses and properties in such communities as some marauders proceeded to occupying the lands and properties of their victims. This cannot be allowed to go unaddressed and unpunished under the extant laws.
- We call to the attention of the Plateau State Government the rumours taking turns on perceived impeachment of the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly and intimidation of the Honourable members, by whatever means possible for the measures taken by the House under his leadership in the defence of the interest of Plateau people. Plateau Youths shall resist strongly any attempt to disorganize the Plateau House of Assembly. We belief that the Governor means well for the people and will not allow himself dance a strange dance at a time the Plateau Spirit of Unity and brotherliness has been revived rather, being a former presiding officer of the same House a few years ago, he should understand and appreciate the place of checks and balances within the bounds of the law. Times of politicking and party cowardice has ended since election in 2019 and now is a crucial time to close all ranks and solidify good governance and the protection of the land irrespective of ethnic, religious or party affiliations.
- While we call on well meaning citizens (within and outside the state) to lend their voices in solidarity with the Plateau people and heritage, we encourage the Plateau State government to create more national and international contact and network and collaborate for the well being and protection of Plateau State as Martin Luther King Jr said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter”
- We look forward to seeing greater synergy in Plateau State at all levels of government and also from all and sundry as Peace is everybody’s business and we must all be deliberate in partaking in the process – everybody knows that anybody could do all the important things that somebody should do, everybody knows that anybody could do all the good things that no body did.
God bless the Youth Wing Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN)
God bless the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
God bless Plateau State
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
YOWICAN Chairman, Plateau State
Deacon Pharm. Markus Audu Kanda
YOWICAN Vice Chairman, Plateau State
Amb. Hon. Barr. Panmak Mark Lere
YOWICAN Secretary, Plateau State
Pastor Nehemiah Nanmwa Michael
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