From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong on Friday visited communities in Kanam and Wase Local Government Areas, where over 100 victims were killed by terrorists.
The governor, who had visited Miango communities in Bassa, commiserated with mourning families across the state and urged the Federal Government to redeploy more security to confront terrorists operating in bordering states.
The governor was accompanied by his Deputy, Prof Sonni Tyoden, Secretary to the Government Prof Danladi Atu, Chief of Staff, members of his cabinet, as well as heads of security agencies including the General Officer Commanding 3 Armoured Division and Commander Operation Safe Haven, said he was devastated by the senseless massacre of innocent villagers in the affected areas.
The governor began his visit at the Palace of the Emir of Kanam, HRH Muhammdu Babangida Muazu where he condoled with him over the unfortunate development.
The emir thanked the governor for the visit and said that the people have been devastated by the mass killings which have no provocation or any justification because his people are peace loving and only pursuing their livelihoods, basically farming and trading.
He urged the government to do more by deploying security forces to the affected areas on a permanent basis as well as see to it that intelligence given to the security agencies is acted upon expeditiously.
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The governor later visited injured survivors who are receiving treatment at the Kanam General Hospital, Dengi where he sympathised with them and directed that all their medical expenses be settled by the government.
Governor Lalong had an interactive session with stakeholders at the Kanam Townhall Dengi and said he was in the area to get a further briefing on the attacks and ascertain the situation of survivors.
He described the incident as regrettable and unfortunate, urging the people not to be dismayed as the government is doing everything possible to arrest those behind the attacks and ensure that the sad incident does not occur again.
He said ‘those who committed this heinous crime may think that they have escaped but I can assure you that we will never allow them to go free no matter how long it takes. I am sure that God will also not allow them to go unpunished for taking the precious lives of others without reason.’
The governor assured the people that the state is working with the Federal Government to find lasting solutions to insecurity on the Plateau, the North Central and the entire Northern region.
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He disclosed that already, he has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari and appealed for a coordinated approach to tackling terrorist attacks in the North Central particularly at border areas and ungoverned spaces which have become operational bases for the terrorists who criss-cross communities causing damage to lives and properties.
Chairman of Kanam Local Government Hon Dayyabu Garga described as horrific the killing of 106 people which he said has never been witnessed in the area known for its peace, and abundant mineral and agricultural resources. He said they have remained traumatised and continue to deal with the unquantifiable losses and displacement of women and children.
A lawmaker representing Pankshin, Kanke, Kanam Federal Constituency, Yusuf Gagdi, also thanked the Governor and the security forces for rising to the occasion to dominate the attacked areas which is gradually restoring hope to the people.
He also thanked the Governor for his efforts to mobilise humanitarian support and relief materials from both the State and Federal Governments as well as non-governmental organisations.
Governor Lalong also met with stakeholders at Wase, where he commiserated with them over the unfortunate development and assured them that the government is taking steps to ensure that the terrorists are arrested and the area is made safe again.
He said that the government will not allow criminals to terrorise the people and stop them from farming and going about their legitimate businesses.
Chairman of Wase Local Government Area Dr Ado Abubakar Buba told the governor that vigilante groups have continued to work with Operation Rainbow and other security agencies to gather intelligence and provide first-line action against the terrorists and other criminals.
He appealed to the government to sustain recent clearance operations which have tremendously helped to restore confidence, urging for the diligent prosecution of arrested suspects.
The General Officer Commanding 3rd Armoured Division and Commander Operation Safe Haven, Maj Gen Ali, also sympathised with the people and assured them of further deployment of troops to the general area in addition to a coordinated response to address cross border attacks across the frontline states.
Governor Lalong had visited Miango in Bassa Local Government Area on Thursday where he met with stakeholders over the recurring attacks in the area.
The security meeting attended by the Paramount ruler of Irigwe nation, HRH Bra Ngwe Rigwe Rev Ronku Aka, community, youth and women representatives as well as political and religious leaders, Lalong said his mission was to again condole with the people over the incessant killings and destruction of properties in the area which are a major setback to the progress of the entire state.
He commended the Irigwe people for their resilience, patience and efforts to live in peace with their neighbours despite the losses they have incurred over time from attacks by criminal elements.