By Vincent Ikuomola:
• Women protest Jos South killings
• Fear of fresh crisis hits Jos North
He said he got in touch with security agents who, according to him, failed to act on the reports they got.
In the state, an army of women in black dresses, sticks in their hands and fresh, green leaves on their heads, marched to protest the killings.
Last night, there were reports of fresh killings in Jos North Local Government Area, scene of a bloody violence in November, 2008 and January, this year.
Four persons were reportedly killed in Kuru and three in Tundun Wada.
Jang spoke to State House Correspondents after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting. He said contrary to public belief, governors are incapacitated.
According to him, since the governors “don’t have control over the army and the police, the states are always at the mercy of the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police”.
This, he said, explains his anger with the security chiefs whom he accused of having enough report through the General Officer Commanding 3 Armoured Division and the state police commissioner.
The governor noted that the loss of lives would have been prevented, if the security chiefs had acted promptly.
He also added that the crisis in the state was being instigated by some people outside the area, who he did not name, wondering why the special interest in the state.
Exonerating the Fulani, who many believe are responsible for the attack, Jang assured all that all those behind it will soon be apprehended and prosecuted.
“To say it was a reprisal for what happened in Kurujenta was a distortion of facts. We know that what happened was that some people came across the border of Plateau State and started attacking villages because nobody within Plateau got to these villages and started attacking them,” he said, adding:
“I received reports at about 9.0 p.m. in the evening that some movement of people with arms was seen around those villages, and I reported to the commander of the army and he told me he was going to move some troops there, and because it is near where I live, I even saw a tank pass through my house and I thought it was going towards that area. Three hours or so later, I was woken by a call that they had started burning the villages and people were being hacked to death and I started trying to locate the commanders but I couldn’t get any of them on the telephone.
“I have said it several times, state governors are highly incapacitated. You are the chief security officer of a state; you don’t command even a fly. What do you use to stop anything? Security report that I gave, I didn’t even get that security report officially; it was the villagers themselves that saw the movements and reported. I didn’t receive any security report about what was going to happen. So, the security people should have to double up their efforts, particularly the army that said they have now taken over security in Plateau State because the police are unable to cope. I expect that the army should live up to expectations and stop the carnage in Plateau. If they cannot, then they should as well get out of the place.”
The governor added that the attack could “have been avoided if they acted on my report”.
Jang went on: “To the best of my knowledge, what happened in Kurujenta, I don’t think Fulanis were involved. If you look at the houses that were burnt in Kurujenta. Kurujenta is a tin-mining camp, and houses burnt there, I mean everybody who lived there was involved. You could not say it was one-sided because the houses that were burnt cut across, which means the killings cut across. But what happened there, some people moved Aljazeera there, and then covered dead bodies and started labelling them. When you cover bodies and start labelling them, who knows who you are covering? And then today (yesterday) Daily Trust was saying it was because of what happened in Kurujenta, because Fulanis were killed in Kurujenta. Fulanis don’t live in Kurujenta.”
The Army Headquarters has said it is not in command of the Joint Military Operation in Jos, Plateau State.
The Director Army Public relations (DAPR) Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade told The Nation last night: “The impression people have about the Jos operation is that it is under the control of the Army but it is not like that. The operation is under the command of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ). That operation comprises the Army, Navy and the Police. The best thing to do is to direct the question to the Operation in Jos or the DHQ.”
The Director, Defence Information (DDI), Col. Mohammed Yerima, said he was not aware of any report on the latest crisis.
Seven persons were feared dead yesterday in fresh killings in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Four were reportedly killed in Kuru and three in Tundun Wada.
The killings followed reports of the arrival of four truck loads of Hausa/Fulani from Maiduguri, Borno State.
Unconfirmed reports said text messages were being sent to some Jos residents on the arrival of the Fulani men.
According to reports, a military officer was said to have opened fire when some Fulani herdsmen were trying to make away with cattle.
Residents of Jos have been keeping vigil for fear of further attack.
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