By Ralph Madugu
“We strongly call on Plateau People to practically stand up and defend themselves and their communities, as the conventional security design is no longer guaranteeing our safety as a people.”
Those were the words of members of the Plateau State House of Assembly while addressing a world press conference at the NUJ Press Centre in Jos.
Led by the House Committee on Information, Hon. Dasun Philip Peter, the lawmakers said as an assembly with people at heart, it is calling on Plateau State citizens to have confidence in the State Assembly adding that with renewed commitment as they have given two weeks to the Governor to take action on the Resolutions the House has forwarded on security matters and how to restore peace.
“As a sign of commitment to this Urgent need for the People to protect themselves, the Plateau State House of Assembly has directed all Local Government Chairmen to suspend their planned recruitment of Ad-hoc teachers and instead recruit 200 Vigilante Personnel in each Local Government Area to boost and argument Local Intelligence Gathering.”
While sympathizing with the Government and people of the State on what the lawmakers termed “the barbaric and dastardly killings that have been taking place in different communities of Bassa, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, Jos North, Jos South, Mangu, Riyom, University of Jos Community and recently that of Yelwa Zangam,” the lawmakers condemned the killings describing them as “unacceptable and condemnable,” and commended the youths for their “sustained coordinated and organized campaigns against the killings and as well the courage to make it go viral by sending strong messages to the world using the dead bodies of the mayhem on the social media and the streets of Jos; the display of the corpses in the House is a sign that they recognized the authority of the House of Assembly as an institution that can speak for the people. We greatly appreciate that action.”
While urging Gov. Lalong to come up with a statement defending the people and bring back renewed commitment to the cause of the State, the House members said they are still expecting President Muhammadu Buhari to also come up with a statement about the recent killings in Yelwa Zangam just as he did in the killings of travelers along Rukuba Road and to also indicate a sign of justice or else they will see him as being reflexive about the conflict in Plateau.
They also called on the traditional rulers in the state to look inward and release the Local Security design to protect the people as well as reinforce the Vigilante, Hunters and local wise men to defend their subjects.
“We also wish to put on record that we stand with Plateau people in this trying moment and assure them of our genuine commitment to the course of Plateau State.
“The Security Operatives are called upon to fish out the perpetrators of the mayhem and be punished according to the Law.”
It would be recalled that the Plateau State House of Assembly had given the Governor two weeks within which to implement resolutions relating to the security in the state earlier passed by the House.
The lawmakers gave the ultimatum to the governor when youths in large number loaded corpses in trucks and besieged the Assembly complex and later moved to Government House, Little Rayfield, Jos.