North central governors resolve to end lingering crisis in Plateau
…Donates N100m to resettle victims of recent attacks
The governors of the North Central geopolitical zone have resolved to pool resources together to end the circles of killings in Plateau State.
The governors made this known when Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, who doubles as the Chairman of the North Central Governors Forum, led governors from Benue and Niger States, to commiserate with their Plateau State counterpart Caleb Mutfwang in Jos on Tuesday.
Speaking as the leader of the delegation, Governor Sule decried the incessant killings in Plateau State, stressing that the situation must not continue unabated.
He said the crisis in Plateau State is not about farmers/herders conflict but that criminals are going on rampage, killing and maiming innocent citizens.
Governor Sule therefore, called on the Plateau State governor, Caleb Mutfwang, to gather the courage to invite the major stakeholders involved in the crisis, with a view to resolving the matter.
“We had always enjoyed peace on the Plateau. What has happened? Your Excellency we also came this time around to ask you to take the courage to find out the root cause of this matter. Because we cannot continue to live like this. What actually caused the problem from the beginning?
“The people of Plateau have always lived in peace with one another. What has happened? What has gone wrong? How can we resolve it? Because this cannot continue to happen,” he stated.
While noting that the governors of the region are carrying out tangible efforts to address insecurity, the North Central Governors Forum Chairman, called for the use of technology to fish out the criminals perpetrating the mayhem in Plateau State.
Governor Sule equally called on the federal government to wade into the matter in order to put a stop to the wanton killings.
He thereafter, announced a donation of one hundred million naira by the governors of the remaining five states towards resettling victims of the recent crisis in Bokkos and Mangu Local Government Councils.
In a chat with journalists shortly after the meeting, Governor Sule said the region is considering hosting a security and economic summit as panacea to challenges of insecurity.
“We are here to commiserate with our brother, the Governor of Plateau State, regarding the massacre that took place in Plateau. The North Central Governors are united, and we are eager to ensure that we make an impact in our various states and the North Central in general. We are planning a security and economic summit; we have met a few times to discuss this joint partnership in the areas of agriculture, mining, and infrastructure,” he stated.
Responding, governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State, said the creation of states and local governments were meant for progress and not for division, stressing that the people of the North Central geopolitical zone will always remain one united people with lots of cultural affinity.
The Plateau governor said governors in the region should be able to pool resources together to be able to come out of the lingering security challenges.
According to him, none of the states in the North Central have not been invaded by bandits.
“Bandits are terrorists. We need to label them as such so that we can deal with them as such.
“This is the time when we must come together as a people, when we must come together as a united front, in order to harmonize our position on the challenges that confront us,” governor Mutfwang said.
He used the opportunity to call on the national assembly members from the zone to prevail on the federal government to complete between Wamba in Nasarawa State and Panyam in Plateau State, which he said has now become a route for bandits.
He also urged the national assembly members to liaise with their colleagues from the North-East to ensure the dualization of the Akwanga-Jos road, being the main corridor from Abuja to the North-East.
Governor Mutfwang appreciated his colleagues for their solidarity and concern over the unfortunate incidence that occurred in the state.
In a vote of thanks, the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, lamented the porous nature of the borders across the North Central paving the way for bandits to infiltrate the region undetected.
The Paramount ruler of the Berom Kingdom also canvassed for the creation of the North Central Development Commission to address some of the challenges confronting the geopolitical zone.
Those on the entourage of the Chairman of the North Central Governors Forum include Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia of Benue State and their Niger State counterpart, Umaru Bago, traditional rulers, as well as government officials from Benue and Nasarawa States.
Recall that gunmen suspected to be bandits on Christmas Eve, attacked 15 villages in Bokkos and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas of Plateau, killing hundreds of people while razing about 221 houses.