July 14, 2024

Plateau: Group Urges Government To Use Hybrid Approach In Solving Insecurity Challenges

4 min read

A non-governmental organization under the aegis of the Project Victory Call Initiative (PVC Naija) and other civil society groups in Nigeria has called on the government to address the challenges of insecurity in the country, especially in Plateau State, where lives are being lost on a daily basis.

On Wednesday February 14, St Valentine’s Day, a procession was staged in Lagos tagged:’I-Walk In Love To Save Life, Nigeria’ in expression of their displeasure about the current killings and insecurity in Kaduna and Plateau State, where over 190 people were killed on December 25, 2023.

The protesters displayed placards with different inscriptions such as “Plateau lives Matter,” “No Peace, No Growth,” “No Middle Belt Forum Advocates for Peace in Bokkos,” “Justice 4 All,” “Peace in Our Nation,” “No Life, No Nation,” e t c.

They stated that since the December 25, 2023 incident there had not been a stoppage to killings in the state, which they said has become a constant reoccurrence.

During the procession, they expressed their displeasure over the killings to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu with a letter to be delivered to President Bola Tinubu, adding, that the governor played a pivotal role in the election of the President.

According to them, instead of resorting to violence or disobeying law and order, they had to embark on a peaceful procession for the Nigerian Government to heed to their demand.

Speaking during the procession, the convener of Project Victory Initiative, Dr Bolaji Akinyemi said that the procession was actually meant to commend members of the Nigerian Army, who have been fighting insecurity and for laying down their lives for the people.

“We need to appreciate the efforts that have gone into that. Though we have not seen the kind of result that we expect, we believe that we all have to work more in order to get our desired result.

“And today being Valentine’s Day, we believe that there is no better way to show our love. There is no entity in need of our love more than Nigeria.

“That is why we chose to say we love Nigeria. We love Nigeria enough to seek for her peace, seek for her growth and call everybody to come out and show their love for the country. And what is the specific focus of this walk, insecurity?

“We believe that Nigerians should be safe in their country. We believe in the security of lives and of course, our livelihood because farmers can no longer go to their farms due to insecurity. So their means of livelihood is also suffering from the attacks.

“We had the most embarrassing situation last Christmas in Bokkos Local Government. On that day, a total of 193 people were brought down. If you look at what is happening in Gaza, the attack by Israel on Gaza strip from October till now has claimed 394 lives. As at yesterday, the best army in the world invaded Gaza and the casualty has not reached 400 so far. But in Nigeria, just overnight, close to 200 people were killed, this is unacceptable,” he said.

According to him, “We have economic challenges, yet we have been patient with the government asking that the economy should improve. We can’t be patient with a situation, where our lives are under threat. The government needs to be on top of this.”

Also speaking during the procession, the Prime Minister of the community, Mr Jonathan Sunday Akuns stated that there can’t be prosperity where there are crisis, conflicts, and rage, adding that there’s a lawful way of handling emergencies to achieve the desired objective.

Shedding more light on happenings in the area, the President of Bokkos Cultural And Development Centre, Professor Stephen Mallo stated that the killings in Plateau State have become too many.

He said that there was an attack in Tango, a community in the area on February 13, 2024.

He added that the security structure should be looked into, and pleaded with the federal government to come to their aid.

“The western wing of the state is vulnerable to attack because there is no police division between Daffo and Bokkos, which is why crime is high there. We are therefore requesting for a police division in the area,” he said.

An indigene of Plateau State and a broadcast journalist, Regina Chris-Ogbodo also spoke on the issue and said that without peace all the noise about foreign investment cannot happen and that the worst kind of trouble might come from within.

She stated that the residents of Plateau State have consistently endured maltreatment.

“It has gotten to a point that we need to make these things pure by making the nation to know in case the government doesn’t really understand our plight

“We came out on Valentine’s Day to tell the world that you can’t show love with bloodbath. So we are asking the Lagos State Government that has always been pivotal to a lot of changes in the nation to help us out.

“That’s why we are choosing this place to say we are all part of the development in Nigeria. We need peace and we are speaking unequivocally that if Plateau State continues to be plundered, and be dealt with, and be mis-represented, by the narratives that we hear without we telling the world that this is exactly what is happening, there is tendency that more havocs would be done to us We are saying we want peace for the nation,” he said.

The Clerk of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Lekan Onafeko, collected the letter on behalf of the Governor and promised to get back to them in due course.

The procession was organised by Project Victory Call Initiative led by Dr Bolaji Akinyemi.

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