Plateau governor and chairman, Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong, has directed the state Police Commmissioner, Isaac Akinmoyede, to arrest and detain community leaders in local councils where killings occured with a view to identifying the perpetrators of the crime.
He said the community leaders should not be released until they produce the masterminds of the recent killings in Mangu and Bokkos local government areas of the state.
Lalong gave the directive yesterday, during a security meeting with stakeholders from Bokkos, Mangu, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom local government areas, held at Government House, Jos. Police confirmed 13 persons dead and five injured in the attack which has been condemned by President Muhammadu Buhari and others as dastardly, heinous and barbaric.
“Those communities have Ardos and community leaders, I don’t know if security has made any arrest, if you have not, all the Ardos and community leaders should be in the cell; I will handle the rest myself. All of you should go to cell, we cannot continue to have this and we are not making any arrest.
“If the Ardos and the community leaders cannot bring out those who do this, by the time you go to jail, you will bring them out. That is my charge today.
The rest of you should prepare and go and defend the communities, people are dying. “The Ardos and the community leaders are from these communities, all of them should follow you, if you can’t keep them there, I will send them to Abuja immediately. How can you say 18 people were killed and there is no arrest, are the people spirit? CP you must arrest them immediately, if you don’t; I will drive to Abuja and they will know what to do,” Lalong said.
He said some of the Ardos and community leaders have done well and shouldn’t allow bad eggs among them to take the state to the dark days.
The Commissioner of Police, Akinmoyede, who briefed the governor said he had a meeting with stakeholders in the affected areas on Saturday with a view to calming the situation only for him to be called on Sunday night that there were gunshots in Kwattas, Bokko LGA.
Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence and senator representing Plateau North, Istifanus Gyang have called on security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.
Rev Dr. Soja Bewarang said CAN was so saddened by the incessant attacks on the people of Plateau by Boko Haram and anonymous gunmen. “The state is yet to recover from the shock and is still mourning the victims of gunmen at Kulben village in Kombun District of Mangu Local Government and the assassination of Ropvil Daciya by the Boko Haram.
“CAN admonishes all Christians in Plateau State to pray harder for the state and be watchful.
We should live wisely and avoid congregating at easily targeted areas. CAN further calls upon citizens to exercise restraint in the face of provocation and not to allow satan take advantage of the situation to escalate tension that would lead to more casualties and destruction of properties. God said, “Vengeance is mine.”
“CAN prays that the perpetrators of the heinous act would find repentance in their hearts. We call on the security agencies to intensify their efforts in information gathering, investigation, arrest and prosecution of the culprits to serve as deterrence to others.”