The Plateau State SSG says punishing civil unrest offenders will deter others.
The Secretary to the Plateau State Government, Shedrack Best, has said the unresolved civil unrest bedeviling the state has continued due to lack of appropriate punishments on identified offenders.
“It’s disgraceful that after about 12 years of manifest and protracted conflict in Jos, there has not been a single conviction,” he said.
Mr. Best stated this on Tuesday at the University of Jos while delivering a key note address at the maiden peace seminar, organized by the Centre for Conflicts Management and Peace Studies, University of Jos, and sponsored by Royal Netherlands Embassy in Abuja.
He said most individuals and groups fingered to have either masterminded or ignited the crises in the state, and identified by several judicial and other commissions have not been prosecuted.
“The failure of the criminal justice system and mechanisms to secure post conflict justice has only forced citizens to celebrate ethnic and religious platforms which after all provide cover for criminal and conflict entrepreneurs.
“It’s disgraceful that after about 12 years of manifest and protracted conflict in Jos, there has not been a single conviction. The main perpetrators have become arrogant and celebrate their trade publicly, and while threatening government on the pages of newspapers, they are always found at peace tables,” he said.
The official lamented that the large sums allocated by the Federal and State Government for the purpose of security in the state have not been fully utilized.
He expressed worry that large sums of money budgeted for handling conflict situations in the past two decades have been without positive results.
“The huge security budget has created serious competition and today, there are parallel security structures all over the nation,” he said.
The key note address also blamed the centralization of the country’s security for the conflict and pointed out that it has made the system become unproductive.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Musa Ibrahim, thanked the Netherlands Embassy for organizing the event.
The don called on participants to fashion out a way of avoiding conflicts so it does not get to resolution stage.