JOS Crisis: Expose criminal elements in your localities – Lalong

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has urged community leaders to exposed criminal elements within their localities to face the full wrath of the law for the crime they committed.

Lalong also said, “Shielding criminals in the name of religion and ethnicity would compound government’s effort in the search for lasting peace in our state.

He stated this on Wednesday at the opening of a Peace Conference on Interfaith Perspective of Resolving the Farmers/Herders Conflict, in Jos the State capital.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in charge of the 19 Northern States, Rev. Yakubu Pam said over 1, 000 persons perished in the clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the Middle Belt within the first three months in 2018.

Pam said between January 2018 to date, hundreds of persons, mostly women, children and the aged have been murdered by herdsmen in Plateau State.

The clergy call on the political class not to play politics with the lives of the citizenry.

“Plateau State is one of the states seriously affected by the violence between the predominantly Christian farmers and predominantly Muslim herdsmen.

According to him, “Human Rights Watch reported that over 1, 000 people in the Middle Belt were killed in farmers-herdsmen clashes in the first three months of 2018.

“Since then, Plateau has experienced several crises sparked by the farmer-herder conflicts, including late June in which BBC reported that at least 86 people were killed and again even in this month of October.

“I would like to sound a bit of warning to our lovely politicians, particularly at this time of politics; we should not politicize people’s lives.

“Let s do everything possible to make sure that in the course of our politickings, we should not encourage violence or employ means of disrupting the peace of our communities, the state and the nation.”

Meanwhile, a communiqué, which was signed by Mallam Zakariya Adams for the Fulani and Rev.Dauda Choji for the Beroms, observed that the culture of violence in the state is being sustained by cattle rustling, perceived land grabbing, destruction of farmland and isolated killings.

“The proliferation of arms and ammunitions as well as armed violence poses grave dangers to peace, security and development.

Adding that, “The menace is real in Plateau state with relatively common trends and dynamics, in terms of militarization of the civilian population and communities in all the communities.

“That the culture of violence is being sustained by the incidences if cattle rustling, perceived land grabbing, destruction of farmland, isolated killings, grazing by underaged, kidnapping and illegal mounting of roadblocks by no state actors thereby trapping innocent citizens in the cross fire of violent conflicts.”

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