Osinbajo: Fed Govt highly disturbed over Plateau killings

Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo said last nigt in Jos, the Plateau State capital, that the Federal Government was highly disturbed about the security situation in Plateau State.

He told community leaders and security agencies the view of the government at the Plateau State Government House in Rayfield, Jos, when he arrived for on–the-spot assessment of the site of weekend’s attacks in which scores were killed by yet to be arrested gunmen.

Osinbajo arrived at the Government House at 5:40pm with National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Director-General Mustapha Maihaja,  Minister of State Mines and Steel) Bawa Bwari and Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, among others. He met with Berom and Fulani community leaders as well as Christians and Islamic leaders.

Lalong said: “If I say I’m disappointed in this outbreak of violence in the state it is an understatement, I’m greatly shocked that it happened at all because we have set a road map for peace for ourselves in the state. We even launched it so that it will be an official document to guide us in our peace building processes.

“Shocked because, the Berom and Fulani have agreed to live in peace with one another and in practical terms they have co-existed for the last three years based on that agreement – to put the past behind them and live as a family.

“I keep telling other communities in the state to emulate the peaceful co-existence between Berom and Fulani in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local governments.

“When I was told a few weeks ago of people preparing for attacks in the areas, I never believed it based on the assurances the Berom and Fulani have given me. I met with the security agencies and I was told nothing of such would happen. I left and it happened.

“I’m happy the Vice President is here with us, I want the Berom leaders and Fulani leaders to tell the Vice President why the peace agreement failed, why the attack came this time. Because they are the same people that have maintained the peace within the last three years, so they know why and how the attack was allowed to occur.

“I demand that we have a frank talk among ourselves so that at the end of the meeting, solutions will be found from you.”

Osinbajo said: “I’m so sad because the efforts so far put in place to restore peace in this state are becoming wasted efforts by these killings.

“I’m under the directive of Mr. President to come here and find out directly from the community leaders and government because the President himself is highly disturbed by the situation in Jos.

“Mr. President is insisting that whatever it takes to resolve the issue, we must find out the perpetrators of these killings.

“It’s also unfortunate that people take laws into their hands by blocking highways and attacking innocent travellers. Why do people take pleasure in taking advantage of this situation to cause havoc? Who is benefiting from the blood of victims?

“This will not be allowed to stand.  I will speak with all the security agencies here before I depart. The Chief of Defence Staff has deployed special forces to take charge in support of the existing special task force in the state.

“The Federal Government has been giving examples of Jos to other states to emulate and coexist peacefully; that is why the Federal Government is shocked that Plateau will repeat the ugly era they have left in the past.

“No matter who is wrong or right, we must find a way of peace, this is a condemnable act. No one has licence to kill; it’s criminal. This should not be allowed to continued; we must control it.

“As we go into this meeting, community leaders should show restraint in what they say so that this issue will not go out of control. We need to nip these things in the bud because we can’t afford any religious conflicts anywhere in the country because no country ever survives religious crisis”

The meeting then went into a closed-door session.

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