By Palma Ileye
Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has strongly condemned the heinous attacks on various communities in Plateau State, resulting in the tragic loss of approximately 100 innocent lives.
The Forum in a press release issued by Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, Director Publicity and Advocacy/Spokesperson, NEF
expressed deep sadness and offers its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
The NEF statement stated that recent invasion of five communities in Gashish and Ropp Districts of Barkin Ladi and Bokkos Local Government areas of Plateau State, which occurred on Christmas Eve, is just the latest in a long series of coordinated attacks, rampant killings, wanton destruction, and mass displacements that have plagued the northern region.
It stated that the Northern Elders Forum acknowledged the dire situation and deems it necessary to address these pervasive challenges.
Moreover, NEF expressed concern over the inability of the military to prevent the Christmas Eve killings, despite claiming to have promptly responded to 36 distress calls from different locations in Plateau State in the 48 hours leading up to Christmas. This highlights the Forum’s growing suspicions regarding the efficacy and sufficiency of the government’s operational methods.
NEF questions whether the strategies employed by the government are flawed or grossly inadequate, given the audacious regularity and ease with which the attackers operate across the northern region.
NEF is also deeply concerned about the recent security incident in Ruwan Dorawa village, Zamfara State. The tragic event that unfolded on the same Christmas Eve resulted in the loss of two innocent lives and the abduction of over 25 individuals, predominantly children and women, including the wife of the village head.
In light of this incident and the escalating security challenges faced by the region, NEF urgently demands a comprehensive investigation into the reported security lapse in Ruwan Dorawa village. The findings of this inquiry must be made public, and those responsible for the security breach must be held accountable to ensure justice for the victims and prevent such incidents from reoccurring.
Furthermore, NEF called upon the relevant authorities to give immediate attention to the several administrative and judicial commissions of inquiry reports concerning security incidents in Plateau, Kaduna, and other conflict areas in the North. These reports contain vital information and recommendations that, if implemented, could contribute to strengthening the security infrastructure and maintaining peace and harmony in the region.
NEF urgently called for a reassessment of the current strategies deployed by the government, as they have proved ineffective and inefficient in curbing the escalating violence.
The Forum emphasized the need for immediate action to address this disturbing situation, protect innocent lives, preserve the peace, and ensure the security of the people living in the northern region.
NEF strongly condemned this devastating act and expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families affected by this heinous crime. It is deeply distressing to witness the continuous deterioration of security in the conflict-affected areas of the North, which has led to countless lives being lost and a pervasive sense of fear and instability amongst the communities.
The Forum insisted that every life is valuable, and the senseless loss of innocent lives in Plateau State and beyond is unacceptable. NEF appeals to the relevant authorities to prioritize the protection of lives and property and bring the perpetrators of these acts of violence to justice swiftly.
NEF remained committed to working closely with government stakeholders, security agencies, and other relevant bodies to achieve lasting peace, stability, and security in the northern region. The Forum calls for a collective effort from all stakeholders to identify and address the root causes of these attacks, promote dialogue, and foster harmony among the diverse communities.