Senator Pwajok says external groups responsible for Plateau attacks

Gyang Pwajok, [Photo:newsdiaryonline]

The senator said the aim of the groups attacking Plateau State is to decimate the people and destabilize the state.

A serving senator, Gyang Pwajok (PDP-Plateau), on Tuesday blamed “external groups” for the incessant attacks on rural communities in Plateau.

“The modalities and nature of the attacks indicate that these groups of attackers are largely external to Plateau and the sole aim is the decimation of the people in a bid to destabilise the state,” Mr. Pwajok said in a statement in Jos.

“Clearly, what they want is to stifle our determination to shun violence, embrace and trust one another so as to live as brothers in peace,” he added.

He said that the attacks are “a hallmark of organised and specialised terror with no empathy or regard for human dignity,” and advised the residents to quickly realise that they must unite “so as to overcome these trying times”.

“We must ask ourselves who is perpetrating these inhuman crimes while actively and practically seeking answers together,” he said.

Mr. Pwajok particularly condemned the recent attacks on Kwogom village in Vwang District of Jos South during which more than 10 persons, including women, children and infants, were killed, and described it as the “highest level of cruelty”.

The senator rejected the suggestions that the attacks were local conflicts between Berom farmers and Fulani herdsmen.

“It cannot be as simple as that; after all, we have never seen a Fulani herdsman wearing a bulletproof vest and uniform to herd cattle.

“What we have is some guerrilla style of attacks that have assumed consistent pattern adopted by conflict merchants who have made Plateau a frontline state for their operations,” he said.

He also noted that some of the villages being attacked had never been theatres of any previous conflict as they had remained strong examples of peaceful settlements.

The senator also expressed disgust that innocent infants were being targeted.

“Such attacks on children and women, even during wars, is abhorred and forbidden in every religion and society. The Geneva Convention of 1949 and the additional protocols which are the core international humanitarian law, forbids it,” he said.

Mr. Pwajok called for more intelligence gathering techniques to help the security agents to tackle the situation and also called for prompt prosecution of people so far arrested in connection with the attacks.

He challenged the security agencies to investigate allegations of complicity leveled against some of its men, saying that efforts should be made to rid the system of bad eggs to restore public confidence in security personnel.

The senator commended traditional rulers in Plateau for their efforts to boost interactions among the people which had led to the stability in the state capital and advised them to continue to rebuff all provocation to be goaded into conflict.

Mr. Pwajok’s election as a senator was annulled by the court. He has however, challenged the annulment at the Court of Appeal and is still holding on to his office.

(NAN)


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