Plateau violence: Troops parade 17 suspected killers


Seventeen persons suspected to be involved in the recent carnage that occurred in some parts of Plateau state, were yesterday paraded by Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) of the Nigerian Army.
Violence broke out in some parts of the state on Saturday, leading to the death of about 100 persons, believed to have been killed by suspected herdsmen.
The arrests came some 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state to commiserate with victims of the violence.
During the visit, Buhari assured that the federal government would up its game and re-strategise in its approach at tackling the security challenge across the country.
His visit was preceded by that of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who similarly condoled with the government and people of the state on the dastardly act.
Osinbajo had announced that more military personnel and equipment would be mobilised to the state to restore peace.
Also, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, were also in the state on Tuesday.
Suspects paraded Parading the suspects yesterday, OPSH spokesman, Major Adam Umar, said three out of the suspects were apprehended in connection with the killings in some villages of Gashish in Barkin Ladi local government area, while the other 14 were linked to the killing of travellers along Heipang, Mararaban Foron and Anguldi in Jos South local government of the state.
He said while two of the suspects, Ahmed and Yahuza were arrested around Gashish District in Barkin Ladi local government, the third person by name Friday, was picked up in Belshow also in the local government.
Umar also said the duo of Ahmed and Yahuza were arrested on Saturday afternoon, while Friday was nabbed on Sunday.
They were paraded with four weapons, including three locally-made guns and one automatic AK47 riffle, allegedly found on them.
Umar said all the suspects were cooperating with security agencies, assuring that their arrest would further lead to the apprehension of other accomplices.
He said two of the suspects were Fulani herdsmen and one Berom, an ethnic group in the state.
“We all know that some days back, some villages in Barkin Ladi were attacked and these three suspects were arrested in connection with that.
As our men were repelling the attacks in those areas, we arrested these suspects with four rifles, three locally made guns and one AK47.
“The other 14 people were arrested in connection with civil unrest recently experienced in the state.” Buhari meets Saraki, Dogara Meanwhile, President Buhari has met with Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon.
Yakubu Dogara, over the renewed killings in Plateau state and other parts of the country.
In a statement issued at the end of meeting, Dogara said it afforded them the opportunity of knowing how far the President had gone in tackling the nation’s security challenges.
He said: “Today, President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki and I, met with President Muhammadu Buhari over the #Plateau violence.
“We requested for the meeting in order to hear from the President the steps and measures he is taking to end the orgy of killings and violence, not only on the Plateau, but in other parts of the country.
“The President briefed us on what he saw firsthand when he visited Plateau state on Tuesday, and the measures he is putting in place to forestall recurrence.
The President has taken enough steps and told us what he is doing, especially, the reorganisation that he plans to put in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
“We also used the opportunity to advise the President on other measures and actions that will help bring lasting peace in our country, in accordance with the resolutions passed at the joint emergency closed-door session of the National Assembly held some weeks ago.
“These are very sober moments for all us.
In a situation where people, in hundreds continued to be killed, we can no longer tolerate this kind of situation as a government.
“We call on all relevant government agencies to quickly provide emergency relief services to people in the affected areas.
The House of Representatives and indeed the National Assembly, will continue to work towards providing all necessary legislative backing to the security agencies, more especially, funding needed to reform and equip our armed forces to tackle the prevailing security challenges confronting us as a nation.” “I am also restating my earlier call for a total reform and overhaul of our internal security architecture which has failed to address the spate of insecurity in the land.
“I want to seize this opportunity to once again offer our condolences to families of victims of violence in Zamfara, Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Kaduna Nasarawa, Borno, Yobe and other places and urge our citizens to embrace peace without which there can be no meaningful development,” the statement added.
Women, youths protest In a related development, women and youths in Jos yesterday took to the streets to protest the orgy of violence.
The peaceful procession, however, turned awry when the protesters vandalised the entrance to the secretariat offices of the Government House, Rayfiled, Jos.
The protesters also smashed windscreens of five vehicles, two of which belonged to journalists on their line of duty.
Our correspondent reported that the protest took place at the instance of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Plateau Northern zone, as directed by its Chairman, Rev. Isa Nenman, who called “for massive protest by our mothers and supported by the youths.” The protesters staged a peaceful procession, which commenced at about 10:30 am, as women and youth from all Christian denominations converged on the old airport junction, dressed in black attires, carrying placards and green leaves, chanting some slogans and trekking down to the Government House.
The procession covered about two kilometers during which the protesters attempted getting into the official residence of Governor Simon Lalong, but were denied access by men of the Nigeria Police.
They, however, proceeded to the office of the governor, but didn’t meet him on seat as he was said to have gone to visit some of the casualties of the violence at the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
One of the protesters, Mrs.
Nanbam John Dawan, said: “The state and federal governments are doing nothing.
We are tired of the killings, no place is safe in Plateau.” The protesters also carried placards with several inscriptions, some of which read: “We are tired of the killings,” “Trump, come to our aid,” “Give us our land back.” Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Hon.
Samuel Nanle, attempted addressing the protesters, but the move was rebuffed.
He, however, told journalists that the protest was hijacked by some bad elements, stressing that those that have vandalised government and other people’s property would be held liable.
Attack serious affront – Lalong And in a reaction to the protest, Governor Lalong has condemned the protest in very strong terms.
He said, “the attack on the seat of government is a serious affront on the authority of the state, and the protest represents one of the saddest commentaries in the state’s collective resolve to stand as a people united against evil.” The governor’s position was contained in press statement by Nanle.
Governor Lalong said he “..is taken aback that while government is making concerted efforts in sustaining the tempo of arrest and prosecution of those who have over the years threatened our peace, and worked so hard to turn our State into the sad era of bloodletting, unpatriotic elements are choosing to frustrate this good intention.” He said, more worrisome about the protest is that protesters were unwilling to allow him, attend to visiting Senate President, Bukola Saraki and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who were on a condolence visit to the State ahead of his addressing them.
Lalong said it is regrettable that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Youth Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN), in the State and Bazata Gospel Team; “allowed the protest to be hijacked by hoodlums who took advantage of the procession, led by these organisations, to destroy government property and vehicles of civil servants and visitors to the Government House running into millions of naira.” “The governor views this attack on the seat of government as a serious affront on the authority of the state which should not be taken lightly, because of the very clear and obvious unpatriotic self-serving interest of a few who have chosen to make a mockery of the grief of the victims of the attack in Gashish District and other areas of the Northern Senatorial District,” it said.
He commended the security agencies for professionally carrying out their duties with restraint, without the use of force, even in the face of extreme provocation by the protesters.



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