PROLIFERATION of illegal firearms has been identified as a factor responsible for the killing of innocent people in Shendam local government council of Plateau State.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in-charge of Shendam Police Station, Mr. Joseph Akpan, stated this yesterday when he held a peace meeting with people of the area.
The peace, which was convened by the DPO because of the rising cases of silent killings in the area, comprised traditional rulers, Fulani Ardos, youths and community leaders across the council.
The DPO told participants that the police and other security agencies are tired of silent killings going on within the locality, urging those behind the act to desist before they are identified. He appealed to traditional institutions and parents to monitor the activities of their children and the influx of people coming into their areas.
According to Akpan, “The crisis we are witnessing today in Plateau State is due to lack of religious tolerance and greed, because when people understand themselves, they will forget about all ethnic differences. And most importantly is the proliferation of illegal arms. Assuming we don’t have any firearms from the factory, people will resort to dialogue to settle their differences.”
In his contribution, the Interim Administrator of the council, Mr. Ezekiel Afon, said that the issue of security has been a major challenge to him since his assumption of office about four months ago, stressing that several meetings have been held at different fora with a view to finding solutions to the lingering crises.
He urged all the surrounding villages to form vigilance groups and submit monthly reports to his office. He asked for their full cooperation to security agencies because, according to him, without their cooperation security men will not be able to function them properly.
He frowned at people who are shielding hoodlums in their midst because of what they benefit, adding that by so doing they are not helping the situation. He told them to furnish the security agencies with useful information on miscreants, warning that anybody caught hiding bad elements will face the full wrath of the law.
Meanwhile, women in the state have appealed to the Special Task Force (STF) to re-strategise its mode of operations for effective surveillance in order to tackle security challenges in the state.
Special Adviser on Women Mobilisation to the Governor, Mrs. Monica Gwom, made the appeal yesterday when she led a delegation of women to the headquarters of the STF in Jos, where they were hosted by the Commander, Major-General David Enetie.
Gwom said the women on the Plateau are disturbed by constant allegations by victims of past attacks that military men were involved in such incidences, lamenting that the culprits have not been brought to book.
She appealed to the STF commander to expedite action in fishing out the bad elements among his men.
General Enetie while responding to the allegation praised the courage of the women for embracing dialogue rather than taking to the streets in protest. He promised that the STF would not rest on its oars until it brings to an end the incessant killings in the state, promising that bad eggs among the force would soon be identified.