RE: PRESS STATEMENT BY “PLATEAU PATRIOTS” –A REJOINDER BY THE UNITED MWAGHAVUL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (Unedited)

By: Our Reporter,

Our attention has been drawn to a press conference said to have been addressed by one of our respected elders in Mwaghavul land Chief S.D. Lot, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of Plateau Patriots. In the said press conference our elder was quoted among other things as stating as follows:

“That he was speaking on behalf of Plateau Patriots;

“That when there were killings in Bokkos, Mangu, Langtang and Bassa, Local Governments, there was no road block by aggrieved youths;

PLATEAU STATE MAP

That the reactions by youths to the Gashish District gruesome killings through mounting of road blocks and the unfortunate killings that occasioned it, were politically motivated;

That Governor Lalong’s failure to visit villages attacked was justified as he (Lot) chronicled alleged similar killings that occurred in previous governments;

That his group ((Patriots) shall mobilize themselves against any ethnic group or tribe which resorts to violence while reacting to attacks on Plateau communities;

That the IDPs are victims of “our own’’ violence and politicizing the welfare is double victimization and may change in IDP administration to the detriment of the IDPs”.

We as Mwaghavul lawyers are worried about the provocative and highly emotional nature of such statements. We are also disturbed about the factual inaccuracies contained therein and what purpose these statements were intended to serve ab initio. We as critical stakeholders of the Mwaghavul nation wish to disassociate ourselves from both the letter and spirit of the said press conference and wish to further state as follows:

That the long standing crises on the Plateau, even though more predominant in certain areas at different times is no longer selective but targeted at the entire peoples of Plateau State to make us subservient in our land;

That any attempt to pitch any Plateau ethnic nationality against the other is a trap the enemy of our common heritage would like us to buy into to our collective detriment;

That the generality of the Mwaghavul nation share the pains and anguish of their brethren of other nationalities and therefore the statement by our elder is not representative of thinking of the Mwaghavul nation.

It may also be useful to remind ourselves that spontaneous reactions and mob reactions to issues of violence are not new to Nigeria. Few years back, people were killed in some parts of Nigeria because of a painting in far away Denmark.

People were also killed in Kaduna and Kano when there was a report on Beauty pageant in Lagos State.

These are but a few spontaneous reactions to situations in and outside Nigeria. Therefore to assert that the reactions by youths to the June 24, 2018 carnage in which over 200 innocent persons were murdered by terrorist herdsmen as being politically motivated is tantamount to sacrificing truth on the altar of political correctness.

For the avoidance of doubt, we do not in any way support of any form of violence or killing even in the name of reprisals. We appeal to our elders particularly in those communities residing along major highways to prevail on our provoked youths not to turn their anger on innocent passersby. By the same token, we expect our patriotic elders to sincerely take a deep look at the root cause of such incessant attacks on our people and proffer solutions. We also expect our elders to show leadership by initiating immediate measures that will assist the immediate return of the IDPs to to their respective homes considering their horrendous plights in the 31 IDPs camps spread across Mangu, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, Riyom and Jos South Local Governments.

There is no gainsaying that anyone conversant with the happenings on the Plateau cannot in all good conscience attempt to limit the crisis to one particular ethnic nationality when the reality is that virtually all the ethnic nationalities have been hit by attackers or attacks. For the record, these dastardly attacks have gone from the Irigwe in Bassa to the Ganawuri in Riyom to the Ron/Kulere/in Bokkos, who even lost their Paramount ruler or First Class Chief, to the Mwaghavul in Mangu, to the Tarok in Langtang, to the Ngas in Pankshin/Kanke and to the Goemai in Shendam. We must resist every provocation and inducement to turn against ourselves and dissipate energy on name calling. We must remain our brothers keepers. We, at U.M.L.A. therefore call on all genuine Patriots and lovers of Plateau who have the interest of the State at heart should do all in our power to foster the unity of all our people as we stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with one another in defense of our people and heritage! We also seize this opportunity to commiserate with all those who lost their loved ones. We also appreciate all people of good will who have assisted the IDPs in one way or the other. We also call on the PLSG and all its agencies rise to the occasion and show leadership in every respect.

Signed:   P. A. Daffi (Esq)                  A. R. Danbaba (Esq)

 

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