From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Impunity has been identified as the cause of the endless cycle of attacks and reprisal attacks in Plateau State.
The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) stated that the inability of government to apprehend and punish those indicted for killings have fuelled the retaliatory attacks in the state.
NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje in a statement titled: “Carnage at Rubuka- Another saga of Impunity” on behalf of the association which condemned the killing of travellers at Rubuka noting that it represents another dangerous dimension to the deteriorating security situation in the country.
“At the heart of the orgy of attacks and reprisal attacks in Plateau is an entrenched culture of impunity. For so long, killings have gone largely unpunished. Criminal elements with links to power brokers, acting under the motivation of ethnic and religious biases, have continually unleashed death and wanton destruction without any regard for either morality or the laws of the land. The apparent inability of the government to invoke the full wrath of the law on these merchants of violence and agents of death has further emboldened the cycles of lethal retaliatory violence,” he said.
While admitting that Governor Simeon Lalong has worked to build peace in the state and defuse the atmosphere of mutual distrust in the state, Owoaje noted if not handled by with dispassionate dispatch the Rubuka incident has the potential to escalate tension and trigger another round of retributive attacks in the state.
According to him, Governor Lalong and other relevant authorities must take urgent steps to ensure the victims of Rubuka get justice.
The statement read in part: “Governor Lalong must, as a matter of urgency, ensure that those arrested in connection with the murders are brought to justice regardless of their identities or social status. The Police should conduct its investigations and prosecution of those found culpable with diligence, a sense of exigency, and without prejudice. A situation where individuals indicted for heinous crimes such as the Rukuba massacre are allowed to walk free will certainly derail any efforts at achieving lasting peace.
urge the security agencies to bolster their operations especially in the area
of intelligence gathering. Before the Rukuba bloodbath, intelligence reports
had already indicated that there would be heightened security concerns, and a
likelihood of reprisal killings in the area. Regretfully, relevant security
authorities failed to act on this vital piece of intelligence.
on the people of Plateau State to embrace peace, unite, and evoke the pleasant
memories of a now-distant past when their state was one of the most peaceful
places in Nigeria. All the stakeholders, including religious and community
leaders, must drop their bellicose attitudes and start to build enduring peace
in the state. Peaceful co-existence is the choice the people of Plateau must
vote for. Plateau State should not be turned into another theatre of needless