Somebody keeps wondering why Plateau?
Somebody keeps asking why a particular zone in Plateau?

Why the killings of innocent children,women and Men that are defenceless?

And the only narrative the media and the leaders keep selling is the issue of Land grabbing- Agreed

Some say it's the  Jihadist plan-Agreed
Some say ethnic cleansing-Agreed.

Now this reasons have been with us since the first farmer/conflict  in Gashish in 1967.

I want to think outside the box and look at another perspective to the killings of the innocent on our beautiful Plateau.

Fast forward to 2018,what we are witnessing now on the Plateau is way beyond the farmer/herder conflict as new conflict trends are emerging and We the People of Plateau, the Government and the Media has refused to call a spade a spade.

Let's be truthful, there have been series of engagements between local communities, intra-dialogue between conflict partners,religious bodies and Governments effort that led to the creation of the peace building agency that culminated to a roadmap to Peace,but yet the peace on the Plateau seem elusive.

THE CHALLENGES TO LASTING PEACE.

1.Proliferation of Arms
2.Armed Robbery
3.Religious Intolerance
4.Deep rooted hatred and lack of mechanism to check the excesses
5.Drug trafficking and consumption
6.Kidnapping
7.Youth Militia groups
8.Unemployment
9.Misrepresentation of facts to the public(Media)
10.Insincerity of stakeholders
11.Hate speech
12.lack of political will
13.high level of Alcohol consumption.
14.Complicity of the security apparatus.

THE MASTERMINDS

Certainly, there are people that are behind the conflicts on the Plateau.

There is a systematic crime syndicate that specialise in creating crisis for Economic gains.

There are sponsors that have the sole aim of making Plateau state ungovernable for their own selfish interests.

The Plan is to turn the people against themselves and against the government and this plan was hatched from Joshua Dariye's administration to Jonah Jang and to Governor Simon Bako Lalong whom has faced Peace and Security as his cardinal point of governance.

The Plan is to create mutual suspicion amongst the Plateau people,to divide and rule along ethnic,tribal and Religious sentiment to exterminate the Plateau dream of our forefathers and rubbish the hallmark and pride of the Plateau People which is the hospitable nature aimed at de-marketing the "Home of Peace and Tourism".

Early warning signs are left unattended to due to connivance between locals and some security outfits.

Some masterminds are Politicians that are hell bent on causing crisis only to use it as a campaign tool against the Government of the day using Religious leaders to whip up sentiments in places of worship and traditional rulers/stakeholders to do their bidding of deceit as to the cause of the crisis.

For how long will the Plateau People keep getting sacrificed on the altar of partisan politics?

THE BENEFICIARIES

For the attacks to have persisted despite efforts to curb it,certainly there are beneficiaries.

The media and the people keep selling one narrative "Cattle Rustling,Herdsmen attack,farmer herder conflict" and refuse to call it what it is " Criminality and terrorism."

Certainly criminals have taken over and are selling the gullible propaganda dummy.

The major beneficiaries of the conflict are;.

1.The Man who steals (rustle) the cows must be someone who knows how to communicate with the cows (Herders)

2.The Man who buys and sales the cow to an existing market in the Southeast or South South

3.The Man who knows the villages and the inroads and where to beat the securities and escape(Locals/ indigene)

4.The security personnel that compromise the arrest of the criminals.

We must begin to say it as it is,we cannot continue to harbour criminals in our midst and keep blaming Government,a particular people or tribe for our misfortune.
Indeed,some operatives are benefitting from the crisis and they don't want it to end so that security votes will keep coming.

The other beneficiaries of the crisis are youths that take up arms to block the highways in what is now termed " Reprisal attacks" where they loot,kill commuters on the expressway and destroy properties.

SOLUTION.

The idea of Ranching as been sold by the federal Government should be looked into with peculiarities to each state according to its conflict pattern.

We the Plateau People need to come together in a confab of all the Nationalities and face this monster headlong as we can't continue to be tossed by some masterminds who use the Plateau People as puppets to dance to their evil tune.

We must rise above ethnic,tribal,religious and political sentiments to find lasting peace on the Plateau as peace is a collective effort by all and not only Government.

We all have the right to life and freedom of speech and association,but let us avoid hate speech and politics of bitterness and un-forgiveness.

"I disapprove of what you say,but I will defend to the death your right to say it"-Voltaine.

PLATEAU is ours to build and not to destroy.

We can never Jump over our Shadow,We must face insecurity and our challenges of Peace building headlong.

#Makut Alfred Mashat
Email-munataray@gmail.com