NEWS ‘Berom, Fu­lani not in­no­cent of Plateau cri­sis’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Lami Sadiq, Jos

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.

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