When we were growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s, the name of Plateau State alone was attractive. Tourists from far and near had no better place than Plateau. Combined with the amazing weather, the people were very accommodating and seemed to be more exposed than many from other places. There was religious tolerance and parents taught their children to be respectful.
These days its not the same. A lot of parents are not bothered about their kids getting involved in crime, avoiding the responsibility of parenting. And for the religious leaders, we have a major problem these days in our country. Anyone can become a religious leader overnight without any credentials. There are too many ignorant “pastors” and “imams” preaching errors and leading people astray” said the Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan.
In a bid to promote peace in Plateau State, I explained the importance of unity and effort the state government had made in a bid to unite its citizens. All in my recent article titled “Lalong’s social inclusion Model: A sure cure for Nigeria’s prevailing unrest“.
It has been trying times in Jos in the past couple of months. With the re-emergence of thugs in our city streets. Thugs that go by the name “Sara-Suka” thugs. These young men after taking hard drugs, walk majestically on the streets with harmful objects; They attack any person including women and children they find on their way. An operation they named “Shara” (To sweep). These actions are not particular to Plateau but some neighboring states as well.
To curb this menace, the state government issued a statement that anyone seen with a harmful object would be dealt with. The thugs drastically disappeared as the military and other security agencies were seen all over the city making some arrests.
Just when we thought normalcy was returning to the once most peaceful city, came the unfortunate bloodshed that ended so many lives. Many innocent souls were lost either on the beds massacred with their loving families or on the road burned in their cars. An incidence we always prayed not to even happen to our worst enemies. Such barbaric action should be seriously condemned by any Peace loving Nigerian.
There’s hardly a political action that has effect on the Nation without the mention of Plateau. The state produced some of the best entertainers as well as footballers, whether indigenes or not. For decades, people from distance found a home on the Plateau.
In as much as it’s the government’s full responsibility to protect our lives and properties, we must equally come together and shame the devils who masquerade amongst us. We must fish them out and flush them. This is not the time for blame games. In such crisis, we need and must seek lasting solutions. We should not allow this unfortunate incidence divide us more.
Sending and posting all the videos of the killings isn’t necessary. There’s no need forcing ourselves to justify who was right and who was wrong. Taking another person’s life for whatsoever reason is inhuman. With such actions, we might unknowingly be encouraging more disasters to our lands.
We, the people on the Plateau must go back to our old ways of tolerating each other and accepting our differences. We should continue to be the role models we once were, the Peace setters.