Mr. Lazarus Agai, Plateau Monarch allegedly killed July 18, 2016


Da Saf Lazarus A. Agai (JP), the Paramount Ruler of the Ron/Kulere people and the Chairman, Bokkos Traditional Council in Central Nigeria's Plateau State was reportedly ambushed on July 18, 2016 while returning from his country home, Sha village of Bokkos Local Government Area at about 2pm.

Local media report that the Chief, his son, driver and orderly were killed in the attack while several others in his convoy sustained various degrees of injuries.

Days after the incident, Police authorities announced a reward of N10m for anyone who volunteered information on the assailants.

However, three years down, nothing has been heard of the Paramount Chief or his supposed killers.

Mr. Agai was believed to be the longest serving First Class Chief in Plateau State, installed on 11th February 1974.

Yet, no official pronouncement has been made or right of passage observed for him as is done for Officials of his status.

The Traditional Council over which he superintended had claimed he was alive receiving treatment at an undisclosed location. 

Nonetheless, his Palace was relocated, his staff sacked and an Acting Chief installed in his place within months of his disappearance.

Equally, rumours emerged early 2019 that moves were being made to install a successor for him.

The moves were resisted by local stakeholders who demanded the truth about his whereabouts.

Since the attack on his convoy, Bokkos Local Government has witnessed series of armed attacks with many more community leaders also killed.

At least 40 people were killed in January and March 2018 and over 7000 people displaced from 11 villages in Daffo District.

This is aside from earlier attacks in Sha the Chief's home village, Mangor, Mbar and Monguna villages among others.

Many have wondered if the Chief was taken out to pave way for the annihilation of his communities.

Unfortunately, State authorities have in fact long stopped talking about investigating the attack on his convoy with many arrested suspects freed.

This has left the Ronkulere nation and particularly his family in prolonged grief and feeling of neglect.

Moreover, no relief or official visitation has reached them since the Chief disappeared.

As they and all well-meaning members of the Bokkos community remember him this day however, government has an obligation to revisit the case of the attack and ensure justice, while seeking ways to pacify the family to ease their frustration.

After all, it is its responsibility to care for the welfare and security of its citizens.

And since the nation's laws provide for the protection of influential persons given the likelihood of deadly riots following any attack on them, the government might be saving a lot by remembering the Chief, his attackers and family as the case turns 3years today.