54 PEOPLE PEOPLE ARRESTED!
By V. AL-PEA
About 54 persons have been arrested in connection with the unabated grisly killings in Jos. The Commissioner for Information and immediate former General Manager of the state owned radio and television (PRTV), Yiljap Abraham declared Wednesday 7th September 2011 after the State Executive Council meeting.
Abraham said that the suspects have been charged to court and are being tried.
It is also pertinent to note here that about 49 persons, mostly women and children have been gruesomely murdered in separate coordinated attacks on various villages in the state in the last ten days. This is in addition to some 14 persons recently killed in Gwanfil village of Vwang district in Jos South local government area last Friday night. This attack came barely twenty-four hours after about 13 persons were killed in Tsohon Foron and Gashish of Kuru district in neighbouring Barkin Ladi local government area.
Last Friday’s attackers were said to have arrived at Gwanfil at about 8:30 p.m. where they shot sporadically at their victims, hacking some of them to death. The victims include a pregnant woman, 7 adult males, one of which an elderly man of about 70 years; nine women, including a 60 year old, and four children, including a two year old. Two other victims who sustained deep cuts were rushed to the Vom Christian Hospital where one of them, Malam Boy later died and the other unidentified person was referred to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) for further treatment.
Reacting to the incident, the Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ayuba Dangwong described the attack as unfortunate. Dangwong who spoke to newsmen regretted that it was becoming a daily occurrence. He also sued for calm as he assured the people that government will do everything possible to bring and end to the incessant attacks.
The spokesman of the Special Task Force (STF), Captain Charles Ekeocha recently paraded a suspect identified as Mohammed Abdullahi. He said the suspect was arrested when a gang of about 50 persons clad in black attempted to raid Rop village in Barkin Ladi local government area. Captain Ekeocha said when the soldiers stationed in the village repelled the attackers, who took to their heels they later spotted one of them walking the road with a bag. He was stopped, frisked and a locally fabricated pistol and five rounds of ammunitions and a dagger were found on him.
CALL FOR STATE OF EMERGENCY
As a panacea for the lingering circle of violence visited on the people of Plateau, prominent personalities, corporate bodies, groups and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) across the country and globe have at different times proffered solutions. While majority of the calls were inclined towards prodding the Federal Government to truly sit up and bring to an end the senseless killings, recently a member of the apex chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Kabiru Gaya from Kano state added his voice to the list. Gaya boldly joined his counterparts (mostly from the northern part of the country) in calling for the imposition of a state of emergency on Plateau as a lasting solution to the crises. Gaya’s comment immediately attracted severe criticism. One of such was from his colleague, Senator Gyang Dantong who expressed surprised about such call coming from someone close to him. Dantong among other things said that a state of emergency was not the solution to the Plateau crises.
Another of legislators from the state led by member representing Jos East and Jos South in the lower chamber of the National Assembly, Hon. In a press briefing in Jos, Bitru Kaze berated Gaya. Kaze said that there are similar crises in Borno, Bauchi, Gombe and even the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have had its share of terrorist attacks, so why would Plateau state be singled out for the call for imposition of state of emergency? He also queried why the call was coming from someone who is a native of Kano. Kaze also said that persons making such calls should be monitored because they may have hands in sponsoring the crises.
It will be recalled that consequent upon the protracted crises in the state during the Joshua Dariye regime as the state governor, in 2004 President Obasanjo bowed to pressure from the northern elites and imposed a state of emergency on the state, which lasted for 6 months in the first instance and was extended by another six months. Barely six years later the crises has lingered unabatedly!