The Plateau State Peace Building Agency says it has discovered signs that the 2019 General elections might be violent in some parts of Jos North Local Government Area.

Latest intelligence reports, as well as the experiences of 2001, 2008 and 2010 where civil unrests in the Plateau State capital began from the LGA are of great concern, Mr. Joseph Lengman, the Director General of the Agency said, Tuesday.

According to him, investigating emerging trends that point towards electoral violence and the panacea for promoting peaceful coexistence before, during and after the general elections is the concern of the agency.

Thus, the agency he said is engaging critical stakeholders including community groups, security agencies and civil societies to find ways to stop the potential for violence in the city's commercial area.

Mr. Lengman in a meeting with Police, Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, State neighborhood watch officials, Secret Services and representative of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Jos was worried that during conflicts, ordinary citizens are most vulnerable.

"During crises, those in government are often shielded and the people that feel the greatest pains are the ordinary people in the streets whom government should protect," he said at the meeting which also had community representatives, civil society groups and the media in attendance.

Neutralizing any threats to peace before escalation therefore forms the basis for the expanded engagements of the body which initially got funding from the United States Embassy to tackle conflicts between farmers and herders, said the agency's boss.

Destruction of billboards, others

The spokesperson of INEC at the forum, Mr. Osarentin Imahirebo warned that pulling down of billboards and other political campaign media by opposing political parties was a major trigger to violence in the coming elections.

He also alarmed that politicians were drugging and arming youths to engage in violent demonstrations during campaign rallies thus threatening peace.

Mr. Imahirebo specifically called for interventions on the segregated nature of the communities in Jos North where Christians are separated from Muslims saying such poses threats to electoral officials.

10 raids a day

An official of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, Mr. Alex James equally alarmed that the LGA was a top consumer of illicit drugs.

He said in a day, the agency has made over ten raids with hundreds of arrests in a suburb in the LGA with daring exhibits but has yet to completely rid the communities of drugs.

He however assured that the agency has mapped out all the flashpoints in the state and was taking necessary actions.

So far from its raids and arrests in just two years, the NDLEA has seized 32tons of tramadol aside other hard drugs with some suspects already jailed.

Representative of the Police Command in the State, Mr. Deinma Abibo however asked citizens to "police" their vicinities and only seek official intervention in extreme cases.

This according to him is that the regimented police structures in the country are understaffed and underfunded to be everywhere.