Updated: February 24, 2021
Things are escalating very fast in Nigeria. On Sunday, Fulani herdsmen stormed some localities in the central state of Plateau and killed as many as 200 people.
The massacre triggered an avalanche of anger and condemnation and calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to wake up and act.
Mr. Buhari, a Fulani Muslim, has been accused of turning a blind eye to atrocities by Fulani herdsmen or killings of Christians in Nigeria.
But the President had denied such charges, saying that he was putting in his best.
President Donald Trump on April 30 during a bilateral meeting at the White House in Washington DC called on Mr. Buhari to ensure Christians were not targeted and killed.
Following the massacre on Sunday, and as statements and counter statements flew around on Monday and Tuesday, some youths organized protests that turned violent on Wednesday.
Hours later, the governor of Plateau state tried to salvage the situation, calling for calm and end of hostility.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong “condemned in very strong terms the protest organized by some group of people over the recent attacks in the Northern Senatorial District which turned violent,” Samuel, Emmanuel Nanle, the Director, Press and Public Affairs, said in a dispatch to media houses.
He noted that the protest represented one of the saddest commentaries in the States collective resolve to stand as a people united against evil.
He said the Executive Governor was “taken aback that while Government is making concerted efforts in sustaining the tempo of arrest and prosecution of those who have over the years threatened our peace, and worked so hard to turn our State into the sad era of bloodletting, unpatriotic elements are choosing to frustrate this good intention”.
“What is more worrisome about the protest is that protesters were not willing to listen to the voice of reason in allowing the Governor attend to visiting Senate President, Distinguish Senator Bukola Saraki and the Former President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR who were on a condolence visit to the State ahead of his addressing them.
“The Governor finds it regrettable that while Government has chosen to recognize the right of its citizens to peacefully assemble and protest within the confines of the law, the conveners of the protest under the joint auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Northern Zone of Plateau State, the Youth Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN), Plateau State and Bazata Gospel Team allowed the protest to be hijacked by hoodlums who took advantage of the procession led by these Organizations, to destroy Government properties and vehicles of Civil Servants and visitors to the Government House running into millions of naira.
“The Governor views this attack on the seat of Government as a serious affront on the authority of the State which should not be taken lightly because of the very clear and obvious unpatriotic self serving interest of a few who have chosen to make a mockery of the grief of the victims of the attack in Gashish District and other areas of the Northern Senatorial District.
“Governor Lalong opines that the name of the Church as a moral rectitude should not have been associated in any way with any person or group of persons who would contemplate violence as a show of discontent especially in this period that all Godly and peace loving citizens are sharing in the grief of the bereaved, and calling on God in prayers and sober reflection for healing in the Land.
“While Government mourns the loss of innocent lives and has extended deep commiseration to victims of the unfortunate attacks, with assurances that it will not rest on its oars in fishing out the perpetrators, it would not fold its hands and watch disgruntled citizens throw the State into a state of anarchy and chaos under the guise of mourning.
“According to the Governor this is the time for a united effort, prayers and vigilance as the People of Plateau State collectively seek to find a solution to the resurgence of the vicious circle of violence after the State had made considerable effort in restoring relative peace. In this regard, Government has identified the sponsors of this protest which resulted in the destruction of properties and will certainly bring them to account for their unpatriotic conduct.
“The Governor further wishes to assure citizens that Government will not relent in ensuring that the safety of citizens in guaranteed and peace restored in the affected areas and the whole of the State.
“The Governor also wishes to thank the Security Agencies for professionally carrying out the duties of restrain on the protesters without the use of force even in the face of extreme provocation”
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