“The Yelwan Zangam Killings: Curfew Not the Solution” – Brig. Gen. John Sura (Rtd)

We have mourned, and are still mourning our loved ones who were mowed down following the recent chain of attacks that ravaged the serene and peaceful atmosphere of some parts of Plateau State.
It was a shock again to receive the sad and unfortunate news on the 24th August, 2021 where the peaceful and innocent people of Yelwan Zangam community of Jos North Local Government were attacked which led to the loss of lives and properties. As a result, our grieving could no longer be comforted; seeing that our communities are fast becoming valleys of the shadows of death.
Nevertheless, we remain a strong people whose unified purpose and security are found in the integrity of our history planted by our forefathers, which was able to attract many people from different parts of the country and the world to come and settle in our state. The safe, peaceful and heavenly atmosphere which hitherto characterized our communities must return to our land.
However, in the search for an enduring solution to the insecurity on the Plateau, the imposition of curfew on some Local Government Areas is not it. The Plateau security problem must be fixed through different methods other than curfew.
This is because curfew is known to restrict movement which leads to:

  1. Economic/commercial lock down.
  2. Lock down of vigilante groups from keeping watch.
  3. Deliberate movement/access for the terrorists to attack sleeping communities.
  4. More reprisal/fresh attacks on sympathetic communities.
  5. Export of fake news on likely attacks on various social media platforms.
  6. Worsening case of hunger and other deprivations.

In this situation, curfew has more collateral damage than resolving insecurity issues. Government/security agencies should instead review their tactics with a view to resolving insecurity lapses. I therefore submit that the following strategies could resolve/minimize security breaches:

1. Tactical and unbiased directives to security personnel to engage in uncompromising surveillance to counter any intention or act of terror.

2. Immediately convoke a traditional and community leaders’ meeting to direct them to maintain law and order, and to strategize and unite to take absolute control of any terrain that can be used as channels of attacks on their communities; and to report any likely breach of security.

3. Government/security agencies should deploy intelligence gathering personnel to carry out surveillance and gather useful security information that will help to intercept/stop any incident from happening.

4. Government/security agencies must direct personnel to promptly respond to distress calls/intelligence information.

5. Communities to stand guard or to run to safety in the event of overwhelming insecurity. It is better to be alive and tell the story, than to die in cold blood we should be wise enough to know when to fight and when to run to safety.

6. Government must be sensitive and treat as important and urgent, any security information. Detailed analysis of intelligence information can counter and foil any attack before it matures.
Government to discourage people to desist from reprisal attack. Reprisal is ungodly and unacceptable by a peace loving people. It fuels more insecurity and destruction.

7. The curfew pronouncements should not always come first. Rather, government should immediately intensify the deployment of security personnel to flash points to ensure the people’s safety and to restore peace and order in the time of the conflict.

Though we are not there yet, amidst all this, we are sure to conquer and triumph over our security challenges.

May God protect Plateau State.

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“The Yelwan Zangam Killings: Curfew Not the Solution” – Brig. Gen. John Sura (Rtd)

| Insecurity, Opinion |
About The Author
- Cmr. Friday Bako is an Accounting Graduate, Blogger, Social Media Influencer, Youth Activist and Advocate for good governance.