NEWS ‘Berom, Fulani not innocent of Plateau crisis’
The task force maintaining peace in Plateau State and parts of Bauchi State, Operation Safe Haven (OSH) yesterday said neither Berom nor Fulani could claim innocence in the security challenges facing Plateau, as both groups were heavily armed.
OSH commander, Major General Tagbo Ude, said: “Both sides are heavily armed. We have made several arrests and they are in our detention camps undergoing investigations. So, none of them is a saint.”
General Ude, who spoke at the end of a peace meeting between Berom and Fulani youths and leaders in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, described the proliferation of arms in the communities as alarming.
He said the multi security task force had written to the State government, proposing a special court to try suspects of insecurity, adding, “this will address the issue of bottle necks. Because if someone perpetrates a crime and the person is tried between one or two months and the person is behind bars, others will take note.”
He warned criminals who use women as shields in some communities to prevent arrest to desist from the act.
“When I came here newly, I noticed that we were receiving cases of stolen cattle two days after the incidents; we are not spirits. But I am glad that there is improvement now and we have been recovering stolen cattle. When cows damage farms we ask the cattle owner to compensate the farmer and when cattle are killed, we ask that the cattle owners be compensated. I am also aware that some communities on the Plateau say they don’t want my men, so if there is distress in that community how do you expect us to react in good time? Before we get there, the damage may have already been done and you cannot replace human life,” he said.
Earlier, youths and elders from Berom and Fulani communities said villages must stop shielding youths who perpetrated crime, adding that trouble makers should be addressed as criminals.