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Plateau Crisis: You Are Not Doing Enough, Kaze Tells Gov Lalong

Soonest Nathaniel  
Updated August 30, 2021

 

A former member of the House of Representatives, Bitrus Kaze, has said that the Governor Simon Lalong-led administration has not done enough to change the dynamics of the conflict in Plateau State and secure properly the lives of the people.

“What has happened is largely a repeat of the things we have seen in the past,” the former lawmaker said on Monday while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“People will be attacked, when they react, the actors are picked. Government comes out to condemn, condemn and condemn; sometimes, a few visits here and there in hospitals, in the villages, and end of the story. There is nothing new to me.”

 

Vote Of No Confidence

The former lawmaker who represented the people of Jos South/East Federal Constituency in the National Assembly between 2011 and 2015, argued that there is more to governance than has been offered by the present administration.

“When I say enough has not been done, I mean, how many people, how many assailants – whether herdsman or gunmen, whether marauders or miscreants; how many have the state government arrested in the last six years?

“How many assailants have the state government prosecuted and even if they have not prosecuted, how many have they made public to say that we arrested A, B, C, D in X, Y, Z places; how many?” the rather emotional lawmaker questioned.

In his view, a typical Plateau indigene would want to know why the governor seemed to have sat idle when there were killings in Bokus, Barkin Ladi, Riyom, and Irigweland areas of the state.

He wondered why victims of attacks were not previously condoled and visited in the hospital, stressing that the present administration in the state has failed to live up to its promise.

“What has happened has shown that what they have said consistently, that this government is able to restore peace, has been debunked,” the statesman resolved.

As regards a two-week ultimatum issued by the State House of Assembly to the governor, asking him to take action, Kaze said it was really surprising that such a resolution was passed.

According to him, it is outrageous that the lawmakers have to ask the governor to speak, “Take care of the victims’ bills…these things are normal.”

 

‘Enough Is Relative’

Mr Kaze’s comments are an addition to several others regarding the degenerating situation in Plateau State.

One of the houses burnt during a recent attack on Yelwa Zangam community in Plateau State.

 

Recent killings in the north-central state stirred grave concerns that things could fall apart at any moment, a sad reminder of past animosities that disrupted the peace for a bit.

In a bid to see that calm is restored, the government was forced to order a curfew in several areas, some of which have since been lifted.

According to the State’s Commissioner for Information, Dan Majang, the government is doing “everything humanly possible” to see that the hostilities are brought to an end, with the perpetrators having to pay for their deeds.

Mr Majang who was also a guest on Monday on Sunrise Daily, said claims by Mr Kaze suggesting that the government is not doing enough, is only a play to the gallery.

In his viewpoint, “enough, in this case, is relative”.

The commissioner explained that through the peace-building agency, the governor has been inter-phasing with various warring communities.

“For example, with the Irigwe people, there have been (inter-phases) for up to 85 times between January and now. Government has issued out reliefs, has done so many things… has put in structures,” Mr Manjang stated, putting up a defence for the administration.

He warned against lip service when it comes to security matters, adding that matters such as the crisis in Plateau cannot be left to a few as it is an issue for every individual in the state.

While agreeing that there may be gaps in the peace-building process, the commissioner said the government is doing its best to resolve the issues at hand, and will not do so by stereotyping or apportion blames.