Plateau massacre suspects must be tried in Jos – Gowon

By Editor on 11/07/2018

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Gowon
Gowon

*CAN urges US, UN, others to save Nigeria

About three weeks after the killing of over 200 persons in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State by suspected Fulani herdsmen, Governor Simon Lalong on Tuesday said “the relevant bills to try the perpetrators will soon be signed into law.”

But a former Head of State and National Chairman of Nigeria Prays, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), said that “the people arrested should be investigated and prosecuted in Jos where the crime was committed” and not in Abuja the military suggested.

While promising to ensure the enthronement of sustainable peace on the Plateau, Lalong said that government had reviewed adequate laws to prosecute the offenders in Jos.

The Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yakubu Dati, according to a WhatsApp message sent to journalists, quoted Lalong as saying this while receiving Gowon at the Government House, Jos.

Gowon was also received by the Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Prof Sonni Tyodden, members of the State Executive Council, including the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Rufus Bature and Lalong’s Chief of Staff, Chief John Dafaan.

The Commander of the Special Military Task force code named Operation Safe Haven, Maj. Gen. Anthony Atolagbe, had said last week that the persons arrested in connection with the killings would be prosecuted in Abuja because the administration of justice in Plateau State was very weak.

The OPSH Chief had said, “We are moving them straight to Abuja because we don’t even have the capacity to keep them. If we keep them here in Jos, we usually encounter the problem of people saying they want to see their relatives and take their bail.

“…The prosecution in Plateau State is too weak; the prosecution by the Federal Government is stronger and has a higher standard. You can’t just bail somebody who committed all these crimes. But here in Plateau State, the people will start asking for bail.”

But Gowon, who was in Jos to condole with the people over the recent killings, “decried the past practice where suspects arrested were taken to Abuja and eventually released.”

“People arrested should be investigated and prosecuted in Jos where the crime was committed,” the elder statesman emphasised.

He condemned social media reports blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for the killings as unfortunate, adding that, “the Buhari I know will not be involved, certainly no leader will encourage his people to be killed.”

However, Lalong told Gowon that adequate legislation had been reviewed to prosecute the masterminds of the killings in Jos.

He said, “The relevant bills to try perpetrators of the recent attacks on the Plateau will soon be signed into law. We have reviewed adequate laws to prosecute the offenders in Jos.We will ensure the enthronement of sustainable peace on the Plateau.”

Meanwhile, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, has said the Federal Government under President  Buhari should wake up and address the recurring killing of Nigerians by suspected herdsmen.

He raised the alarm that the killer herdsmen were combining with the Boko Haram insurgents to unleash havoc on innocent people.

 According to him, the killings had assumed an international dimension, noting that it had spread to northern part of Cameroon.

He spoke during a media briefing in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Tuesday on the sidelines of a special prayer rally and summit on the state of the nation by Church Leaders and Ministers Fellowship of Nigeria, Kwara State chapter.

He said it was necessary to rejig the nation’s security system and the service chiefs, adding that some of them had proved inefficient.

Ayokunle said, “Killings still continue and our effort is not enough yet… The major thing is that government must wake up. They have all it takes to stop all these things. We have committed the resources and the management of the resources of the nation to their hands, to be able to procure ammunition to deal with them. They have the intelligence service that should know how these people get the ammunition supply. Why is government unwilling  to unearth all these things? Nigerians cannot be slaughtered like chickens. Every Nigerian is very important and valuable before God. It is a shame what is happening. When we are talking like this, it is not as if we hate the government but government must be responsible. Government will command our respect when government has done its duties.”

He added, “The US and the UN have heard of it. I have not only reported, I have also told them to come out and talk to our government to wake up and do their work. I have gone to Aso Rock and I have presented a paper to Mr. President that we cannot sleep with our eyes closed when the security apparatus appear to be in the hands of only one religious group and when the security apparatus appear to be in only one region of the country. It has never been like that in the history of this nation and it has to be reviewed.  It must be reviewed also because they have proved to be ineffective.”

The CAN President said there must be free and fair election during the governorship election of Ekiti State.

Posted 11/07/2018 06:03:53 AM

 

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