Plateau Killings: Lalong receives technical report of the Committee on IDPs

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By Golok Nanmwa

*vows to tackle security challenges confronting citizens

Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong on Monday received the Technical Report of the Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Speaking at the occasion in Jos Lalong said, “Today marks another historic occasion in the life of this Rescue Administration as we receive the Technical Report of the Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). It is also worthy of note as we strive to fulfil promises made to address the challenges that confronted us as a people. Thus, the scenario in the State was that of despondency, despair and discomfort. Also, arising from waves of attacks on some communities in Riyom, BarkinLadi, Bassa, Bokkos, Mangu, Jos South and Jos North Local Government Areas of the Stateare loss of lives, properties and land grabbing.

Our sympathy still goes to the families of the affected victims and may those who lost their lives continue to rest in peace with the Lord, Amen. Certainly, the deaths and loss of properties of all victims cannot go in vain, as it is also the responsibility of government to exhibit duty of care towards them and all Citizens. It was in this spirit that on assumption of duty in May 2015, we made it a priority that Security, Peace and Good Governance must take the centre stage for any meaningful and sustainable development. This led to the establishment of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee that met and made far reaching recommendations for government to implement. Amongst these recommendations are what we have today as the Plateau Peace Building Agency, the first of its kind in the country and doing a good job of advocacy, pro-activeness in conflict management, etc. Another far-reaching recommendation which government embraced was tackling the issue of IDPs.

You will recall that when President Muhammadu Buhari came to Plateau State on a 2-day working visit on 8th March 2018, I lend my voice to the national concerns about the spate of structured and premeditated violence through Farmer-Herder clashes in some parts of the country, including Plateau State. I also gave assurance that there will be no land grabbing and that all displaced persons will be resettled and rehabilitated in their original places of abode.

Things might be slow in policy implementation, but in the spirit of “slowly, but surely”, as well as patience, we have been able to make some phenomenal achievements in ensuring that peace returns and is sustained. This we have achieved during our three years of uninterrupted peace.Furthermore, as some of our strategic initiatives in engendering peace and security in the State, this administration attracted the establishment of the 205 Combat and Rescue Units in Kerang and Mobile Police Squadron in Shendam as well as the recent approval to establish Mobile Police Barracks in Gashish District of BarkinLadi. As a demonstration of support towards government’s efforts, the Community through the Nigeria Electricity Supply Company (NESCO) has given a temporary site for Mobile Police Barrack, pending development of its permanent site. On behalf of the good people of Plateau State and the Federal Government, I appreciate this patriotic gesture, which will indeed fast-track the resettlement of the IDPs.

All these are in addition to procurement and distribution of security vehicles, equipped with modern communication gadgets. Recently too, I approved the recruitment and training of neighbourhood personnel attached to Operation Rainbow for Community Policing and intelligence gathering.

I urge all citizens to avoid unnecessary incitement and spreading of false information that further give wrong impression as if nothing is being done to address the plight of the victims and the Citizens in general.

I sincerely commend the efforts of the IDP Resettlement Committee. The patriotic zeal you exhibited in the course of carrying out this assignment can be seen from the pains taken to take stock of lives and properties affected, recommendations made on what to be done and strategies for implementation towards lasting solution to the unfortunate incidences.

I assure you of government’s resolve to study the report and release the white paper for immediate implementation in the spirit of integrity, accountability and transparency in leadership.

I wish to thank all spirited individuals and organizations for the support given to the IDPs and to let all the IDPs know that as a government, we truly share in the burden of their challenges. We are not relenting on our efforts and God willing; it will be a thing of the past.”

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