From Teryima Ajijah, Jos
Following renewed killings of persons in some parts of Plateau state, particularly in Bassa and Riyom Local Government Areas, Plateau state, Governor Simon Lalong, recently inaugurated an inter-denominational council to proffer solution to the menace.
Inaugurating the council to be co-headed by the former President of Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Rev Dr Pandam Yamsat, and the Emir of Wase, Alhaji Sambo Mohammed III, who doubles as the Chairman, Jama’atu Nasir Islam (JNI) in Plateau state Governor Lalong charged the committee to work out modalities, toward bringing an end to incessant crisis, particularly between farmers and herders, which has claimed several lives.
“I am directing the council to support the Peace Building Agency in finding a lasting solution to renewed herder-farmers clashes in some parts of the State, such as Bassa where we have reports that people have been killed in attacks and reprisals.”
It was gathered that six persons where recently, shot dead by yet to be identified gunmen in Ganawuri district of Riyom Local Government Area.
At the inauguration, the governor said the state inter-religious council is to be guided by some terms of reference. His words: “To Promote the culture of inter-faith dialogue as a viable mechanism for peaceful co-existence, understanding and religious tolerance in Plateau state.
“To work with different faith communities and other organizations that work across faith lines to expand respect for religious pluralism and freedom of religion or belief in Plateau state.
“To offer advisory services to the State Government on matters of religious practice.
“To deliberate on reported cases of religious conflicts and proffer urgent solutions for government’s intervention. To work closely with relevant agencies of government to improve social cohesion as well as promote the agenda of Peace on the Plateau through healing, forgiveness and reconciliation,.” he pleaded.
Governor Lalong gave reason for the choice of members of the committee thus: “Religious leaders can offer honest, non-partisan and informed counsel on critical matters and present their recommendations to government and other policy makers at all levels.”
Meanwhile, Member House of Representatives for Barkin Ladi/Riyom, federal constituency in Plateau state, Dr Simon Mwadkwon has decried the incessant attacks and killings of his constituent’s.
The lawmaker raised the alarm through his Assistant Director, Media and Publicity, Kim Victor, in a press release issued in Jos. According to the statement, 6 persons were reportedly killed in Ganawuri district recently.
Similarly, President Irrigwe Development Association (IDA), Ezekiel Bin, has also raised alarm over persistent attacks and killings of his kinsmen by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
Ezekiel said Irrigwe speaking people lost 12 persons within the last one week, due to persistent attacks on them. He made the revelation recently when speaking to journalists in Jos on the recent killing of five people at Kisoso village of Bassa Local Government Area.
Ezekiel cried out for help from relevant authorities to come to the aid of his people, noted that several persons from the affected areas are living in great fear.
Earlier, the Assistant Director, Media and Publicity to Dr Mwadkwon, Kim Victor had revealed in his release that the attacks in Riyom also persisted since the beginning of 2021.
“On 10th January, 2021 two locals of Kuru and Rim were ambushed and killed at Nod area along Gwol Hoss – Rim Road Riyom LGA.
“Similarly, on 26th January, 2021 Mr Elisha Amos was killed while Daniel Sati was seriously injured when they were ambushed between Gwol Hoss and Jol Road Riyom LGA.
“As if that was not enough, yesterday our constituency was visited by yet another heinous calamity as Atireku village in Ganawuri District Riyom LGA was attacked while about 6 persons were reportedly killed,” the lawmaker stressed.
It will be recalled that there have been several attacks on natives of Bassa and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau state since the beginning of 2021.