SANI Muhammad Sani
Plateau State Governor has Friday visited Kanam and Wase Local Government Areas of the state over the recent killing of over 100 persons by terrorists.
Lalong accompanied by his Deputy Prof. Sonni Tyoden, Secretary to Government Prof. Danladi Atu, Chief of Staff, members of his cabinet, as well as heads of security agencies including the General Officer Commanding 3 Armoured Division and Commander Operation Safe Haven, Commissioner of Police, said he was devastated by the senseless massacre of innocent villagers in the affected areas.
The Governor began his visit at the Palace of the Emir of Kanam, HRH Muhammdu Babangida Muazu where he condoled with him over the unfortunate development.
The Emir thanked the Governor for the visit and said that the people have been devastated over the mass killings which have no provocation or any justification because his people are peace loving and only pursuing their livelihoods, basically farming and trading.
He urged the government to do more by deploying security forces to the affected areas on a permanent basis as well as see to it that intelligence given to the security agencies is acted upon expeditiously.
The Governor later visited injured survivors recieving treatment at the Kanam General Hospital, Dengi where he sympathised with them and directed that all their medical expenses be settled by the Government.
Later at an interactive session with stakeholders at the Kanam Townhall Dengi, the Governor said he was in the area to get further briefing on the attacks and ascertain the situation of survivors.
He described the incident as regrettable and unfortunate, urging the people not to be dismayed as the Government is doing everything possible to arrest those behind the attacks and ensure that the sad incident does not occur again.
He said “those who committed this heinous crime may think that they have escaped but I can assure you that we will never allow them to go free no matter how long it takes. I am sure that God will also not allow them to go unpunished for taking the precious lives of others without reason”.
The Governor assured the people that the State is working with the Federal Government to find lasting solutions to insecurity on the Plateau, the North Central and entire Northern Region.
He disclosed that already, he has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari and appealed for a coordinated approach to tackling terrorist attacks in the North Central particularly at border areas and ungoverned spaces which have become operational bases for the terrorists who criss-cross communities causing damage to lives and properties.
Chairman of Kanam Local Government Hon. Dayyabu Garga described as horrific the killing of 106 people which he said has never been witnessed in the area known for its peace, abundant mineral and agricultural resources. He said they have remained traumatised and continue to deal with the unquantifiable losses and displacement of women and children.
Member representing Pankshin, Kanke, Kanam Federal Constituency Yusuf Gagdi also thanked the Governor and the security forces for rising to the occasion to dominate the attacked areas which is gradually restoring hope to the people.
He also thanked the Governor for his efforts to mobilise humanitarian support and relief materials from both the State and Federal Governments as well as non governmental organisations.
Other speakers also thanked the Governor for the visit, but emphasised the fact that because Plateau State shares borders with Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe States along vast forest areas, it makes them vulnerable to attacks by criminals who operate with impunity because of the lack of permanent presence of security forces.
When the Governor visited Wase Local Government, he met with stakeholders at the Local Government secretariat where he again commissetared with them over the unfortunate development and assured them that the Government is taking steps to ensure that the terrorists are arrested and the area is made safe again.
He said the Government will not allow criminals to terrorise the people and stop them from farming and going about their legitimate businesses.
Chairman of Wase Local Government Area Dr. Ado Abubakar Buba told the Governor that vigilante groups have continued to work with Operation Rainbow and other security agencies to gather intelligence and provide first line if action against the terrorists and other criminals.
He appealed to the Government to sustain recent clearance operations which has tremendously helped to restore confidence, urging for the diligent prosecution of arrested suspects.
Speaking on behalf of the heads of security agencies, GOC 3rd Armoured Division and Commander Operation Safe Haven Maj. Gen. Ali also sympathised with the people and assured them of further deployment of troops to the general area in addition to coordinated response to address cross border attacks across the frontline states.