Defence/Security

Attacks on Plateau residents via secure border communities

Supreme Desk
30 July 2022 8:32 PM GMT
Attacks on Plateau residents via secure border communities
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Malam Dauda Mohammed explained that when the bandits are driven from the area, they take refuge in Taraba communities and later return to perpetrate evil, explaining that the act would persist without collaboration from both sides.

Stakeholders from Bassa, Kanam and Wase local government areas of Plateau have expressed concern about frequent attacks on the residents of the area, suggesting that a good effort should be made to check the recurrence.

The stakeholders, during various interfaces with the governor of the state, Mr Simon Lalong, his executives and heads of security agencies in the state, observed that there ought to be improved security in border communities as part of effective measures to quell attacks.

According to them, communities located at their borders are more vulnerable to attacks and are becoming hideouts for bandits who can easily attack them on farms and homes.

They also called for improved security at the communities, rehabilitation of their homes and provision of relief services.

The Chairman of Kanam Local Government, Alhaji Dayyabu Garga during the interface with the governor, called for the deployment of more security personnel in the area to protect lives.

He expressed concern that the area was becoming a hideout for bandits which had affected the source of livelihood of his people who are mostly peasants.

Similarly, the Chairman of Wase Local Government Area, Dr Ado Buba, said that in spite the training of 80 members of its local vigilante by the state home-grown security — Operation Rainbow — "there is a need for the establishment of army formations at its border communities with Taraba, Gombe State and Bauchi State.

"These include the following villages Pinau, Bangalala, Kampani/Zurak, Zak, Sabon Gari and Yuni''.

The community leader of Pinau in Wase, Malam Dauda Mohammed, also called for more collaboration with Taraba government which many communities in the area share border with.

He explained that when the bandits are driven from the area, they take refuge in Taraba communities and later return to perpetrate evil, explaining that the act would persist without collaboration from both sides.

Speaking at Bassa Local Government, the President of Irigwe Development Association, Mr Robert Ashi, called for proper border demarcation in the area to address porosity and assist in weeding out trespassers nesting in the area.

He said "findings show that some disputes arise from issues of border demarcation which snowballs to violent conflicts among communities; the conflicts also make the affected communities vulnerable to attacks by bandits, who take advantage of such situation''.

The National President of the Irigwe Youth Movement, Mr Ezekiel Bini, therefore, appealed to the government to deploy security personnel in every community of Irigwe chiefdom in Miango District, which he described as the most affected in attacks, to build confidence so that they are encouraged to remain in their villages.

The youth leader stressed the importance of the local vigilante as first responders to distress calls during attacks in the area and appealed to Lalong for empowerment.

Women reported to be the worst hit during attacks have similarly called for improved security at border communities and protection on farms in the various local governments.

In Bassa, the President of Irigwe Women Development Association, Mrs Caroline Gwedu, called for the deployment of security personnel on their farms as the rainy season approaches.

She said that the action would enable them to engage in their farming activities without fear of loss of lives or destruction of their farms or property.

"Farming season is approaching and they (bandits) will not allow us to go to our farms, our houses are destroyed, no place to stay, our food are destroyed, we do not have food and it is the women that are left to suffer with the children and the elderly.''

In Wase, the representative of National Council for Women Societies in the area, Hajiya Rakiya Gwanto, expressed concern that bandits had made forests at its border communities their hideouts.

She observed that the development had resulted in food insecurity and loss of their livelihoods, calling for the deployment of security agencies in the area.

The women also called for the rebuilding and rehabilitation of homes in communities affected by attacks, noting that many women had become widows and "children become orphans whose situation is further worsened because their houses and property have been destroyed''.

Speaking during the various interfaces on behalf of head of security agencies in the state, the General Officer Commanding, 3 Division Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Ali, said that security agencies in the state would ensure that the attacks would not recur.

He promised that he would convey their request for increase in the number of military personnel to his superior for appropriate action.

Lalong, in various interface with the communities, commiserated with the affected persons on the loss of lives and property during recent attacks in their areas.

He also assured them that efforts would be made to improve security at their border communities by deploying security agencies to forestall further attacks.

"There is a need to address porosity through improving security at the borders; the decision to improve security at the borders is not only exclusive to Plateau but a resolution by the northern Governor's Forum to address insecurity in the region.

"We will do all our best because it is our primary responsibility to protect lives; security agencies would be stationed in displaced towns to build peoples' confidence to return to the villages,'' he promised.

The governor urged the people to cooperate with security agencies by giving them information that would enable them to discharge their duties effectively, promising further that the federal and state governments would provide relief services to the affected communities.

He said that Plateau would guarantee the safety of farmers as "the farming season approaches and the federal government will deploy more agro rangers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps across the country.

"They are trained to protect farmers and their investments and they would be deployed to protect farmers to enable them to sustain their source of livelihood''.

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