Plateau: Gunmen Kill 4 Policemen, 9 Civilians in 2 Weeks

Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps - representative image

JOS, NIGERIA: At least 13 people including four Policemen have been killed in Central Nigeria’s Plateau State in two weeks, MK has learnt.

The policemen were killed on September 21, and October 8, 2019 in Barkin Ladi and Bokkos Local Government Areas respectively.

Inspector Raphael Antiye and Sgt. Kumsho Nandet were killed at a checkpoint near Kura Falls junction in Barkin Ladi while Sgt. Kyeri Asasanta and Sgt. Masoyinka Ishaya were killed in an ambush during a routine patrol in Daffo village, Bokkos LGA.

Three people including a community leader had earlier been killed on Monday, 23rd September 2019 in Hukke village of Bassa Local Government.

This was two days after the State government facilitated the signing of a peace commitment between Fulani and Irigwe communities in the locality.

Barely five days after victims of the attack were buried, another attack on September 28, 2019 near Jol village in Riyom LGA left three returning internally displaced persons dead.

On Monday October 7, 2019, three women were killed in a tomato farm in Vatt village of Foron District, in Barkin Ladi LGA.

The women identified as Mrs. Tabitha Joro Dung, Mrs. Yop Gwom Pam and Mrs. Zong Peter were reportedly shot in the evening by men with AK47 rifles, while harvesting the crops.

Four people were killed on September 3, 2019 in the same village by suspected cattle rustlers.

“The Harvest of souls is ungodly, barbaric and a sacrilege,” says Parliamentarian, Simon Mwadkon.

“It does appear simply that some people are determined to undermine all efforts to restore peace in our communities,” Mwadkon said in a press statement last week.

No arrest has been made since the 20 that were arrested after the killing of over 200 villagers in Barkin Ladi last year June.

Fulani herdsmen are however suspected to be behind most of the attacks.

Plateau Governorship Tussle: Nine lawmakers back Useni to Appeal Tribunal Judgment

Sen. Istifanus Gyang and Sen. Jeremiah Useni

JOS NIGERIA: The recent tribunal judgment affirming the election of Simon Lalong as Governor, Plateau State was a “mere setback,” not end to the case, Plateau North Senator, Istifanus Gyang said, Thursday.

The judgment which struck out the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party and its gubernatorial candidate, Jeremiah Useni will be challenged at the Appeal Court, Gyang said.

“The outcome of the tribunal to us is just the first stage and we are glad in the State and National Assembly that having conferred with the legal team, you have resolved that this mandate cannot be aborted at this stage,” the Senator told the Mr. Useni in Jos, the Capital of Plateau State.

Senator Gyang with State and Federal Lawmakers, others during solidarity visit to Sen. JT Useni
Senator Gyang with State and Federal Lawmakers, others during solidarity visit to Sen. JT Useni

Gyang who led eight other State and Federal lawmakers on a solidarity visit to the gubernatorial candidate vowed to join in fighting to recover the “stolen mandate” of the PDP.

“We want to as members of the State and National Assembly assure you Sir, that we are fully with you because this mandate is our collective mandate, this mandate is our collective effort, this mandate was freely given and we will pursue it through the judicial process, through the legal process,” Gyang said.

Useni according to the Senator has proved integrity and capacity to provide widely beneficial leadership to the State but was prevented by the tribunal after being voted in March 2019.

He said, “You have served this nation in many different capacities.

“In none of these capacities were you found wanting.

“At a point in time you were to be the Head of State of Nigeria but God has his ways.

“You have invested your time, your talent and your resources for the good of humanity.

“The philanthropy that you have exhibited over the years is something that is very exemplary.

“Your coming into the Governorship race of Plateau State after serving very glowingly was an opportunity for the glory of this state to be restored.

“And when the people of this State overwhelmingly gave you that mandate, our hope was that the Nigerian judiciary will rise to the constitutional capacity that has been endowed on them so that they will give the people of Plateau State an opportunity to have a lease, that will give Plateau State an opportunity to have the leadership that will bring about true restoration, true reconciliation and lasting peace to the state.”

The PDP Gubernatorial flag bearer, Jeremiah Useni said he was sure of victory at the higher courts.

“I am not shaken by what has happened.

“We have not been defeated. We will pass,” said the ex Senator.

Jeremiah Useni had approached the tribunal challenging the election of Mr Lalong in the March 9, 2019 governorship poll.

The Elections Petitions Tribunal in Jos on Wednesday affirmed the election of Governor Simon Lalong.

A panel of three justices led by Justice Halima Salami, held that the petitioners did not adequately prove their case.

Lalong has empowered more Fulani than any past Governor, Plateau Fulani Youths

Mr. Bayero (left), spokesman of concerned Fulani youths in Plateau State

JOS NIGERIA: Fulani youths in Plateau State say the present State Governor, Simon Lalong has provided more jobs to members of the tribe than any past Governor in the State.

The Governor has since his first term election in 2015 offered political appointments along with business skills and grants to youths from the tribe, Former National Youth leader, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Mr. Abdulkarim Bayero told journalists on Friday.

“The State Government through the Plateau State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (PLASMEDA) purchased 30 cattle and distributed to Chairmen of Miyetti Allah in the 17 Local Governments of the State.

“Prof. Sharubutu was invited to train some selected Fulani youths from the 17 LGAs in modern cattle rearing,” Bayero said in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

Recent allegations by the Jonde Jam Fulani Youth Association of Nigeria, that the Governor has neglecting the tribe are therefore baseless, said the ex Youth leader on behalf of concerned Fulani Youths in the State.

Niger flushes 1000 ghost workers, saves N100m

From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

The Niger state government says its ongoing staff verification exercise has exposed 1000 ghost workers, saving it over N100million.

Several other malpractices in the State’s civil service have also been uncovered, reveals Chairman of the Committee on Civil Servants Salary Management and Verification, Engr. Ibrahim Mohammed Panti.

The screening now reduces the state’s workforce to 26,000 from 27,000.

Nigerian IDPs get African TV College Scholarship

NTA TVC Rector, Barnabas Ban addresses officials

By Pam Moses

CENTRAL NIGERIA: The Nigerian Television Authority's training College has offered scholarship to six internally displaced persons from the country's northeast.

The six were among 120 recently trained in photography and cinematography by the college. 

The training was funded by the Nigerian Commission for Refugees as a rehabilitation strategy. 

The College which aims to be the first broadcast university in Africa currently prides as the only TV college in the continent.

It recently offered admission to dozens of international students.

"The College is committed to providing high quality professional and specialized education in Television Production and Journalism, in promoting standard Television services all over the world," the College Rector, Mr. Barnabas Gbam told journalists in Jos, the capital of Plateau State where the college is headquartered. 

Gunmen kill home returning IDPs in Plateau

Three IDPs killed in Plateau

JOS NIGERIA: Four people have been confirmed dead in Plateau State after gunmen on Saturday opened fire at a group of internally displaced persons making their way back home.

Mr. Dachollom Madu, Mr.Solomon Miango and Mr. Dagul Davou Wop were killed near Vwak village, while riding on a motor bike to Daku hamlet in Riyom Local Government Area.

The hamlet of over 200 inhabitants had been sacked in 2018 by attacking herdsmen, it was learnt.

The villagers mostly taking shelter with relations in neighboring villages had started renovating their destroyed houses for full return, sources say.

A house destroyed by suspected herders

Each night, a selected group was reportedly sent to keep vigilance and monitoring security around the hamlet to ascertain its safety for the IDPs’ return.

This had been done for weeks until the last group was ambushed at about 7pm, local time.

The gunmen believed to have fled to Fass hamlet, located 2kms west of Daku shot about 30 AK47 rounds to ensure all three were dead.

A 60year-old woman, said to be related to one of the slain IDPs on Sunday was hit to death by a speeding vehicle while rushing to see the corpses at the hospital.

The three killed were Sunday given mass burial while the woman has been deposited at the mortuary.

Mass burial of slain IDPs

No arrest or official statement has been made on the incident.

The member representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency in the Nigerian House of Reps, Mr. Simon Mwadkon however confirmed the attack, pleading to call back as he was on transit.

A tribute to the Warrior by Femi Fani-Kayode

The warrior is noble and strong. His resolve is firm and his commitment is total. His is to kill, to shed blood and to be killed. His is to die for his King and for a worthy cause. His is to protect and lay down his life for his faith, his nation, his people and his loved ones.

What manner of men are these whose spirit speak of such valour and nobility? Consider the ancient Spartans and the Roman warriors of old. Consider the fearsome Vikings who believed that it was a curse to die a peaceful death and that the only way to heaven was to die violently and heroically in fearsome battle.

Consider the greatest warrior that ever lived, the noble and gallant Achilles, the pride of the Greeks and the glory of the Mermidans, who slew noble Hector and brought down the walls of Troy.

Consider Aragorn, King of Gondor, who saved the Middle Earth from the power of the Ring and from the hordes of Mordor. Consider beautiful Legolas, Prince of the Elves, who gallantly stood behind him with his mighty bow and strong arrow. Consider brave Horatio who stood at the Roman gate.

Consider Ragnar the Viking King who crushed his enemies under his feet and brought glory to his people.

Consider Kahl Drogo of the Dothraki who rode into battle with fire and fury and who crushed all that stood in his path.

Consider Jon Snow Targarayan of the Nights Watch who manned the wall, who rode dragons into battle, who loved Khaleesi and who saved the Seven Kingdoms from the army of the dead.

Consider Alexander the Great who said “lose your fear and conquer the world” and who established the greatest empire that the world has ever known.

Consider King David, the greatest of all Kings, who relished in blood and war yet who was a man after God’s heart.

Consider David’s “strongmen” who stood with him through thick and thin and who fought for him to the very end.

Consider their gallant Captain, the mighty Joab and the others, Abishai, Asahel, Eleazer, the Tachomonite, Shammah, Benaiah, Eliam, Igal and Uriah the Hittite.

These were David’s ”strong men”: all great and valiant men of war whose courage was legendary and whose loyalty to their God and their King was unflinching and unquestionable.

Consider Richard the Lionheart, Shaka the Zulu, Robert the Bruce, Bonny Prince Charlie, Beowulf the Nordic King and William Wallace the liberator of Scotland.

Consider King Henry V of England who routed the French at Agincourt even though he was outnumbered by three men to one.

Consider Julius Caesar who came, who saw and who conquered. Consider Ertugrul Gazi who resisted the mighty Mongols, who rallied the proud tribes of the Orghuz and Anatolia, who called God’s name as he rode into battle, who laid the foundation for the Turkish state and whose brave son Osman Gazi was the founder of the mighty Ottoman Empire.

Consider Salahudeen the Compassionate, who fought the Crusaders, who re-took the City of Jerusalem, who rejected the path of vengeance and who showed the Christians mercy.

Consider Aslan, the great Lion of Narnia, who sacrificed himself, who rose again, who killed the white witch, who saved the world and who crowned Kings and Queens.

Consider the great Heracles who fought giants and monsters and who brought them to their knees. Consider the mighty Hercules whose father was a god, whose strength was unmatchable and who never lost a fight.

Consider Spartacus, who turned slaves into men. Consider Samson, who slew a troop with the jaw bone of an ass and yet who fell at the touch of a woman.

Consider Gideon who slew the Midianites, Jeptha who sacrificed his daughter, Joshua who brought down the walls of Jericho and Jehu, the son of Nimshi, who drove his chariot like a madman, who slew the witch-Queen Jezebel and who fulfilled prophesy by ensuring that the dogs ate her flesh and licked her blood in the fields of Jezreel.

Consider those that laid down their lives for our great and noble faith: Paul of Tarsus, the greatest of all the Apostles, who brought the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the gentiles and to the wider world.

Peter the disciple, who became the Rock on whom the Church of God was built. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Stephen, Isaiah, Elijah, Daniel, John and all the other disciples and Prophets of old.

For martyrs and heroes that lived and died for God are also gallant warriors who feared not death and who stood firm to the end in defence of their faith.

Consider George Washington who led his troops into battle and whose battle cry was “victory or death”.

Consider the noble Samurai and the 47 Ronin who avenged their Lord.

Consider the great Oduduwa who came down from Heaven and who established the Yoruba race.

Consider King Alfred and his gallant Saxon warriors who took their last stand at the Battle of Hastings.

Consider the charge of the Light Brigade, the sheer courage and discipline of the famous 600, at the battle of Balaclava in the fields of the Crimea.

Consider Robert E. Lee and Ulysses Grant at the battle of Gettysberg, Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Nasby, Horatio Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar, King Leonides with his gallant ”300”, at the battle of Thermopalye and Dilios the Spartan at the battle of Plataea.

Consider Generals Marshal, Patton, Eisenhower, Rommel and MacArthur in the great battles of the Second World war.

Consider Zhukov at the siege of Leningrad and his courageous exploits at the battle of Moscow. Consider Bernard Montgomery, with his fearless ”Desert Rats”, at the battle of Alamein, Charles De Gaulle at the siege of Paris and Chiang Kai-Shek in the war against Japan.

Consider Attila the Hun, Ghengis Khan, Peter the Great, Yoni Netanyahu, Hannibal Achuzia, Benjamin Adekunle, Crazy Horse, Marcus Garvey, Sitting Bull, Sir Lancelot, Khalid Bin Al Waleed, Katsumoto the Samurai, Dieneces of Sparta, Hannibal of Carthage, Hector of Troy, the Dragonborn of Skyrim and the mighty Viking of Stamford Bridge.

Consider our gallant Amazons and female warriors of old- Boudica of East Anglia, Joan D’Arc of France, Elizabeth 1 of England, Amina of Zaria, Moremi of Ife, Golda Meir of Israel, Margret Thatcher of Great Britain, Indira Ghandi of India, Idia of Benin, Funmi Ransome-Kuti of the Egbas, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, Esther of the Medes and Persians, Cleopatra of the Blue Nile and Egypt, Yaa Asantewaa of the Ashanti, Eowyn of Rohan and Nwayereuwa, Nwannediya, Ikonnia and Nwugo of Aba and the Igbo nation.

Consider Daenerys Stormborn Targaryan, the Mother of Dragons, the Breaker of Chains, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms and the Queen of the Iron Throne who burnt down Kings Landing.

Consider Arya Stark, the Lady of the North, who slew the Night King.

Consider Arwen, the beautiful Elf Queen, who lifted her sword in battle and who gave up immortality for the love of Aragorn.

Consider King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Consider King Theoden and the Riders of Rohan at the siege of Gondor.

Consider Greyworm, the Unsullied, the Dothraki and the Army of the North at the battle of Winterfell.

Consider Legolas and the golden Elves at the Battle of Helms Deep.

Consider Aragorn of Gondor at the battle of the Black Gate and Jon Snow of the Nights Watch at the battle of the Bastards.

Consider Ntshingwayo Khoza and the Zulu Army at the Battle of Isandlewana and consider Lt. John Chard and Lt. Gonville Bromhead and the British forces at the Batte of Rorkes Drift.

Consider Generals Foche and Hague at the battle of the Somme. Consider George Armstrong Custer at the battle of the Little Big Horn, the Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo, Balogun Oderinlo at the battle of Osogbo and Napolean Bonaparte, in his full glory and power, at the battle of Marengo.

Consider Ajayi Crowther, Herbert Macauly, Patrice Lumumba, Jaja of Opogbo, Thomas Sankara, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Kwame Nkrumah, Leopold Senghor, Olusegun Obasanjo, Jerry John Rawlings, Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, Oliver Tambo, Ayo Adebanjo, Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere, Emeka Ojukwu, Isaac Boro, Aminu Kano, Alfred Rewane, Dappa Biriye, E.K. Clark, Solomon Lar, Jonah Jang, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Paul Gindiri, J.S. Tarka, Gideon Orkar, Phillip Effiong, MKO Abiola, Frederick Fasheun, Bola Ige, Hannibal Achuzia, Nnamdi Kanu, Gani Adams and so many others.

Had these great men and women all not stood their ground and had they all not played their role in our collective history, where would the world be today? They sacrificed their today so that we may have our tomorrow.

They lived for the sake of others and asked for only one thing in return: that their names should live forever and that we should never forget their noble deeds and their worthy sacrifices.

And we must not forget, nay we dare not forget, for as Martin Luther King once said “if a man is not ready to die for something, then he is not worthy of living for anything”. The warrior is prepared to die for his cause. That is what makes him so noble and that is why he will always have a special place in our hearts.

May the spirit of the warrior fill us all and, like the true warriors that we are, when the angel of death comes may the Lord give us the strength and boldness to look him fearlessly in the face and treat him with the contempt and disdain that he deserves.

May we never forget that he has lost his sting and that, by the power of Christ Jesus, he has been conquered and crushed.

When the dark angel comes, as come he must for us all, we must be men and we must die a good death, not cringing and crying like fearful puppies but, like true warriors, fighting to the bitter end.

For it is never for the warrior to ask the why: it is only for the warrior to do or die.

The warrior does not vanish into the night. The warrior will not go down without a fight.

Kidnapping: Police hunt government officials, others with covered car plates

Police in Jos community - representative image

JOS NIGERIA: Police in Central Nigeria will begin impounding cars with unlicensed tinted glasses and covered car plates in two weeks.

Private individuals and politicians, government officials included, using such vehicles pose threats to the fight against kidnapping and other violent crimes, Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer, Tyopev Terna said, Thursday.

“Kidnappers, armed bandits and other criminals could disguise using these antics to beat security at checkpoints,” Terna said in a statement.

The clamp down according to the Force spokesman begins on Thursday, 10th October, 2019 across Plateau State.

Plateau Attacks: What Fulani, Bassa natives want

Fulani, Irigwe leaders signing commitment to peace

JOS, NIGERIA: Central Nigerian Meyango District, in Plateau State’s Bassa Local Government Area has witnessed dozens of armed attacks since September 2017.

At least 300 villagers have been killed in the attacks suspected to have been carried out by Fulani herdsmen.

The attacks have mostly occurred after communities agreed to work for peace.

Thus, when the Plateau State Peace Building Agency facilitated the signing of a peace commitment during the celebration of the 2019 international day of peace in Meyango town, in Bassa LGA, the locals protested.

The government and community representatives did sign the document, but the attacks resumed 48hrs later, with the killing of three people in the LGA’s Hukke village.

The document was not a peace accord, said the Director General of the Peace Building Agency, Mr. Joseph Lengmang.

“It is a process and one that needs to be nurtured,” Lengmang said at the dialogue and reconciliation meeting during which the commitment was signed.

However, with at least five of such failed agreements recorded so far, the natives seem no longer confident in the possibility of a peace deal with the settler herdsmen.

"Every time we have a meeting seeking for peace with them (herders), that very day they will attack us or the following day.

"This seems like the Fulani do not even want the peace that we are talking about at all,” said President of the Irigwe Development Association, Mr. Sunday Abdu.

Communities reject peace meetings

‘We are a small tribe’

The Irigwe tribe is very small, and might not survive such violent attacks for long, Mr. Abdu told MK news.

"I have told the Fulanis that we are no match for you. You are coming from different countries – Mali, Senegal, Guinea and all what not.

"But we are a very little people even in Plateau we are not a big tribe. Leave us alone and go and fight the big tribes. What do you want? We will do it just so you can leave us in peace.”

The IDA President’s concern is predicated on the fact that the reoccurring attacks have continually increased vulnerability for women and children in the locality.

This group often suffers most, each time conflicts arise, spokesperson of the Irigwe women association, Mrs. Victoria Chega told MK.

"Whenever things like this happen, it is we the women and children that suffer most.

"The attacks often leave us with no one to cater for us, or provide for us. Let the government end these conflicts to save us. I am sure they know who the killers are. Let them serve them justice," she said.

Mourners at the mortuary after killings in Bassa

‘Elitist approach’

The Nigerian government has done much to reduce the vulnerability of the locals, but perhaps, not much enough.

"What have they done in Irigwe land? Who are the criminals that they have arrested? Who are these herders that have been killing? How unknown are the unknown gunmen? These are not invincible people.

"There is a place they operate and they know it,” President, Irigwe Youth Movement, Mr. Chinge Dodo said in an interview.

With the increased laxity of government, soon, violence might be the only option available to the locals, fears Mr. Dodo.

I think time will come when people will begin to clamour for the legalization of weapons. Because if you have a weapon and know I have one, you will be cautious when coming to attack me. This is called balance of terror,” he said.

According to the youth leader, the nonviolent solutions the government has proposed are “too elitist” to solve the conflicts.

"People are called to exotic hotels for meetings while the real victims are left in pains. What is happening to the issue of justice and compensation? Now what we hear is an attempt by government to build RUGA (defined by government as Rural Grazing Area) for people that have been killing.

"The killers are the ones who are being housed while the victims whose relatives have been killed and their homes and means of livelihoods destroyed have had nothing coming their way,” Dodo said.

Hasty Conclusions

The violence in Plateau State has persisted for nearly two decades due to mutual suspicions and conclusions which are often based on rumours not facts, says Plateau State Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Mr. Nuru Mohammed.

"Anytime an attack happens, people jump into conclusions without having to investigate. This will not take us where we should go. There is need to investigate to understand who exactly is the culprit, and what happened, before taking the necessary step. But if we will just jump into conclusion without investigating, we might end up victimizing the innocent."

"Let us not just be in a hurry to conclude that a Berom or Irigwe man is the suspect when a Fulani man’s corpse is found or when a Berom or Irigwe corpse is found, a Fulani man is at fault. When it is investigated, it might be found that the real culprits are different.”

The real conflict drivers according to Mohammed are largely parties not directly connected to the farmer-herder conflicts.

"Much of what is happening is the activities of criminals who have taken gun violence as a business. These include armed robbers, kidnappers and others. Those that are also into gun and ammo dealing are always out there looking for ways to keep their business alive

"The day we will all come together and sincerely work for peace, and say these criminals must be exposed, we will all be surprised because these criminals are all among us and in every tribe and religion.

Joint Vigilance

One way to rid communities of criminals is joint neighbourhood watch, says Plateau and Nasarawa State Coordinator, Search for Common Grounds, Ms. Patience Chaimang.

"The fact that people are making commitment to peace does not mean that they should be relaxed. They have to at the same time strengthen mechanisms for the protection of their communities. Protecting their communities means that they must set up a joint vigilante to secure their borders and the neighborhoods to know who comes into a community, when, from where and why."

According to her, dialogue and community cooperation remains the safest option to peace.

"Conflict merchants will always come in to cause distrust but there are people from both sides of the conflict who are committed to the peace process. These people need to be identified and utilized,” she said.

Multi-stakeholder engagements, Chaimang said would provide better ways out of the conflicts.

"If we have more than two people groups in Bassa other than Fulani and Irigwe, can we identify others and bring them in? Bringing other tribes to the peace table could also be helpful. In the peace process, everybody needs to be involved. From tribal groups to associations and all other social groups, everybody should be brought on board so that they can add their voices to the processes."

‘Herdsmen Attacks’ in Plateau

Herdsmen attacks began in Plateau State began with the alleged killing of over 500 people in Dogon Nahawa, in Jos South Local Government Area, in March 2010.

This followed nine years of recurring religious conflicts in the Plateau State capital.

Thousands of people are believed to have been killed since the start of the attacks with dozens of communities sacked and taken over.

The Plateau State government in 2016 established the State Peace Building Agency to promote reconciliation and forgiveness, but justice appears to be the major cry of the people.

The agency however believes that justice alone cannot produce the desired peace in the state.

Bassa peace commitment not final solution to conflicts - Plateau Peace Building Agency

Joseph Lengmang, DG, PPBA

The Director General of the Plateau State Peace Building Agency, Mr. Joseph Lengmang has said that Saturday’s signing of a commitment to peace by Irigwe and Fulani communities in Bassa Local Government Area was merely symbolic.

Fulani and Irigwe communities signing commitment to work for peace

Peace building according to him is a process, not an event as the dialogue and reconciliation forum organized by the agency, during which the commitment was signed.

“Peace building is not an event. Peace building is a process, but one that needs to be nurtured, one that requires the buy-in of everybody, one that requires the trust and confidence of every party, one that requires sincerity of purpose.

“If there is no sincerity of purpose, then it becomes practically impossible for us to achieve our goals of building lasting peace and also attaining the goals of development in Irigwe land and across the state,” Lengmang said.

The signing of the peace commitment was followed by a fresh attack barely 48hrs later in the LGA’s Hukke village.

Victims of Monday’s attack in Hukke village, Bassa LGA, Plateau State

During the signing in Meyango town, youths and women groups openly protested that the agreement was not to be trusted.

The President of the Irigwe Development Association, Sunday Abdu said, “We hope that this one (agreement) will not be like the others.”

Most previous attacks in the locality were reportedly preceded by similar peace meetings.

The PPBA DG, Mr. Lengmang was however clear that the meeting was not an assurance of the return of peace.

“There can ever be peace without agreement, understanding and the willingness to work together,” he said at the event.

Although there have been disagreements, there is hope for peace and reconciliation in Plateau State, said Mr. Lengmang.

He said, “Yes, we have been touched by adversity, yes we have had our bad times, yes we have lost so much human and material, yes relationships have been broken, yes neighborhoods have been uprooted and communities have become segregated but yet we want to overcome, we want to triumph, we want to open a new chapter in our social relations.

“We want to open a new social compact on the basis of mutual respect, confidence and trust.”

The Plateau State Peace Building Agency was established in 2016 to resolve and prevent conflicts for societal growth and development.

The agency has held several dialogue meetings among other events to discuss the ways forward on the peace process in the State, which has witnessed violent clashes for nearly two decades.

Plateau: Bassa Community Leader, two others killed days after peace meeting

Three killed in Bassa LGA, Plateau State

MKR, JOS NIGERIA: Barely 48hrs after Plateau locals in Bassa Local Government Area signed a peace agreement with their Fulani neighbors, three people were Monday killed in what appeared to be renewed gun attack in the area.

A community leader identified as Mr. Musa Yevuh was killed along with two women in the bush in Hukke village, it was learnt.

Mr. Yevuh, 40 had reportedly accompanied the two women – Mrs. Ladi Wuh, 45 and Mrs. Laraba Audu, 36, wife to the only survivor, Mr. Dewe Audu, to fetch firewood when the attack occurred at about 8:30am.

The attackers said to be numbering more than 10 had reportedly planned to attack the entire Hukke village, local sources say.

They were however said to have been repelled by a joint team of local vigilante groups and military operatives who were alerted by the gun blasts from the attack on the first three.

No arrest was made but locals suspect the assailants to be Fulani herders resident in neighboring Funture hamlet.

“The attack was a surprise to us after we agreed to accept peace in a meeting facilitated by the Plateau State Peace Building Agency last Saturday,” says a youth leader in the community, Laurence Zongo.

The Plateau State Peace Building Agency had on Saturday led representatives of Fulani and the native communities to sign a commitment to work together for peace.

President of the Irigwe Community Development Association, Mr. Sunday Abdu had feared the effort might be a decoy like previous treaties which were immediately followed by sporadic attacks.

“We hope that this will not end up like the other ones,” Abdu told journalists in Meyango during the agreement.

The Director General of the Plateau Peace Agency, Mr. Joseph Lengmang was optimistic of a positive outcome with sustained partnership and understanding.

“It is not something that can be achieved on one day but as long as communities agree to work together for peace, you can be sure of reconciliation in the not too distant future,” he said.

Bassa Local Government has witnessed series of attacks over the past three years, with at least 300 people reportedly killed.

The State Government established the Peace Building Agency in 2016 to resolve such conflicts and prevent a reoccurrence through strategic engagements and dialogue.

Why PPPN remembers 2001 Jos crisis

Plateau Peace Practitioners Network commemorate 2001 Jos crisis

THE Plateau Peace Practitioners Network last week Thursday organized a special event to remember the 2001 Jos crisis.

Over 1000 people were estimated to have died during the clashes that broke out between Christians and Muslims over a political appointment.

The city has witnessed more violence since then, with unprovoked attacks taking over in farming communities across Plateau State years later.

While State authorities were still to curb this new phase of the conflict widely referred to as farmer-herder clashes, drug abuse and gang violence began springing up in Jos the State capital, leading to several deaths and destructions.

“This is a sad narrative, considering that we are trying to recover from the bad experiences of the past,” says the PPPN Chairman, Mr. Zakka Mugu Bako.

The crimes which have grown in frequency and scale are capable of returning the state to its violent past, says Bako.

Most of those involved according to a human rights activist, Mr. Jacob Choji were either born or raised during the 2001 crisis.

These might be influenced to replicate what they might have experienced during the violence in their communities.

“Those currently hunting communities on the Plateau are very young people between ages 15-25 in all communities.

“This implies that they experienced the Sept. 7th, 2001 crisis in their early
childhood,” Choji said.

Community leaders, governments and civil societies he said have a responsibility to curb the activities of the gangs and deradicalize them.

An official of the Plateau State Peace Building Agency, Godwin Okoko specifically called for legislations that regulate sale and production of drugs and toxic substances.

The essence of the event was to single and tackle drug abuse and gang violence as a potential threat to the fragile peace in the State.

The event was accompanied by various symposia and other activities aimed at reuniting segregated communities and rebuilding broken relationships.

“We are saying never again for us to have this kind of experience in Plateau State,” the PPPN Chairman, Mr. Bako says.

80year-old clears gutters, others in rival community for free despite being evicted during crisis

Mr. Isa Muhammadu has for over 10yrs religiously cleared gutters and grasses in community that displaced him during crisis

The Plateau State Peace Building Agency, Thursday honoured Mr. Muhammadu Isa, 80, who voluntarily clears grasses, gutters and water wells in community he was displaced from during religious crisis.

Mr. Isa, a former Muslim resident of Jenta Makeri, a Christian dominated community in Jos, the capital of Plateau State was sacked during the 2008 Jos crisis with his house demolished.

However, every year, he returns from Magama village in Bauchi State, about 40kms from Jos, to offer free sanitation services for a week.

This he did for over 10 years thus attracting the attention of the conflict resolution agency.

“If there is anything that exemplifies service, forgiveness and reconciliation, it is this old man,” said Mr. Joseph Lengmang, the Director General of the Agency.

The Governor of the State, Simon Lalong at the event – Peace Summit organized by the agency said attention needed to be given to “transitional justice mechanisms such as forgiveness, healing and reconciliation” as channels to achieving lasting peace in the state.

The Summit was part of activities marking the 2019 international peace day.

The Agency had held several other programs since Monday ahead of the Day’s celebration on Saturday.

It is expected to carry out tree planting activities, Friday in line with the International Peace Day theme: “Climate Action for Peace.”

International Day of Peace: Thousands march for peace in Jos

The Plateau State Peace Building Agency on Tuesday led thousands of people in a colorful “walk for peace” across Jos city.

The match was organized as part of activities marking the 2019 World Peace Day in the State.

Its essence was to demonstrate the resolve of citizens to rebuild relationships previously broken by violent conflicts, Mr. Joseph Lengmang, the Director General of the Peace Building Agency told journalists.

He said, “It is a way for us to express our commitment and resolve to put the past behind us, and to begin to explore pathways toward healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.

“Relationships were broken, social relationships were fractured but we have an opportunity to rebuild those broken relationships.”

Such exercises according to the Commander of the Special Task Force codenamed Operations Safe Haven, Maj. Gen. Augustine Agundi are crucial for peace maintenance.

“Plateau is marching towards peace and we (STF) cannot do it alone.

“We need events like this to demonstrate our resolve to walk together for the collective good of the State so that other States can learn from us,” he said.

The Chairman of the Plateau State Council of Chiefs and Gbong Gwom Jos, Jacob Gyang Buba was also excited about the march when the crowd gathered at his palace to pay homage.

He equally sued for unity towards peace development in the State.

The activities marking the World Peace Day continue today with a Peace Conference in Jos the capital of Plateau State.

Opinion|| The Future is female and pregnant, by Palang Mallo

Humanity has not been particularly fair to the ‘She’ gender. Over the years, issues of gender based violence, gender segregation and gender inequality has popped up that it feels almost impossible for women not to feel guilty of their feminine nature as though it is a crime.

Gender segregation is somewhat inherent in our humanity that even females sometimes accuse other females of being feminist simply because they talk about gender equality.

In the past, society considered families with more females as wealthy, in counting with farms, sheep and cattle as though women were mere assets or investments for purchase by capable men. Gender based segregation developed overtime to a scenario where the boy child received training on how to express his uncontestable superiority over the female child while the “she” was taught the act of total unquestionable submission.

With the advent of western education, the male child was sent to school and the female was trained to be a “housewife”.

While the foregoing may not be the case in many societies today, gender segregation has taken roots that we hardly even notice. It surfaces in little instance like when a slow or careless driving is noticed on the high way, people are quick to say ‘I know it is a woman’ without even looking to be sure of that accusation.

The society is so conscious of gender difference and has made it almost impossible for a “She” to contribute her quota to societal development without making trivial criticisms.

Let’s take Nigeria for instance, Women in Nigeria make up forty nine percent (49%) of the total population, but only four percent (4%) of lawmakers. Over fifty (50) years of independence and twenty (20) years of democracy, Nigeria is yet to produce a single female governor in any of the thirty six (36) states of the Federation while about fifty one percent (51%) of women are involved in active voting during elections.

The problem is not that women are incompetent; they just do not fit into the “ideals” of the society and if you think these ideals are imaginary, try joining a conversation where females in leadership positions are criticized. It almost feels like competence cannot be attached to a pretty face. A case study of Natasha Akpoti the gubernatorial candidate of the Social Democratiic Party (SDP) in Kogi State Nigeria.

Notably, mothers play the largest role in decision-making concerning family meal planning and diet. It is quite troubling how it is okay to leave a vital role like the fate of one’s nourishment in the hands of a woman but not an official duty. Right from scriptural times, the central role of women in society has ensured the stability, progress and long-term development of nations as recorded. A case study of Deborah and Abigail.

Across Africa for instance, eighty percent (80%) of the agricultural production comes from small farmers, most of whom are rural women. It is widely accepted that agriculture can be the engine of growth and poverty reduction in developing nations. So if you still think the future is not female, think again. The contribution of women to societal development cannot be over emphasized, their contribution to society’s transition from preliterate to literate is undeniable. Basic education is key and the bedrock to a nation’s ability to develop and achieve sustainability targets and who offers basic education better than the woman? Empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps in the world of work are key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Being Female is not a flaw but a strength, a belt of honor, an advantage to pride in and an opportunity to explore. Research has shown that the best task ever carried out were the ones that everyone thought of as impossible. So, while the world still thinks it is impossible for women to make positive contribution that will shake the world, and hence think that women should be passive in participation, it is time for women to vantage on these opportunities, to rise up to their unexplored potentials and incorporate their feminine nature in their work in order to add value and to show the world how much they can do for societal development along side economic growth because the future is female and she is most certainly pregnant with untapped potentials.

– say no to mediocrity, say no to mental limitations and Open a chapter in your life for self-actualization.

Palang Faith Mallo writes from

She is a Social Rights Activist/ Economist/ and Child Crusader.

9000 ex students abandon certificates in Minna College

From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

Over 24 years later, at least 9000 graduates of the Niger State College of Education (COE) Minna, are yet to collect their certificates.

Provost of the College, Professor Yakubu Auna, told Journalists on Sunday that the College has since 1995 appealed to those affected to claim their certificates but with no commensurate response.

According to him, “the owners failed to claim them despite appeals to do so by the College’s management through various media. Some of the unclaimed certificates stretch back to a period of over 20 years.”

The College according to Auna has written to the State Government to prevail on its workers with its statements of result to provide their originals.

He said, “Management has written to the state government requesting that those who secured employment into the state and local government service with statement of results from the institution should be made to submit their original certificates.

“How can somebody who graduated for over 10 years from an institution not care about a certificate he or she spent years and resources to acquire?”.

He also urged employers to take interest in knowing the status of their employees through regular screening exercises, adding that such measures would compel employees to update themselves regularly.

“We have received the disturbing reports of some civil servants and other individuals parading themselves with forged results which bears our logo but we are liaising with the state government with a view to checking the trend,” he stated.

62 “political thugs” arrested over Niger APC Primaries violence

From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

No fewer than 62 suspected political thugs have been arrested by the Niger State Police Command for allegedly attacking residents during the recent All Progressives Congress (APC) Local Government primaries in the State.

Two persons were allegedly killed in Shiroro LGA, when the APC conducted its primary elections for Chairmen and councillors ahead of the LG polls slated for November 30th, 2019.

The State Commissioner of Police, Adamu Usman told newsmen that the suspects were from five local government areas.

He said, “we arrested 44 suspects from Paikoro Local Government Area, 4 suspects from Rijau Local Government Area, 10 suspects from Tafa Local Government Area, 2 suspects from Katcha Local Government Area, and another 2 suspects from Rafi Local Government Area.

“We also impounded one Toyota vehicle with dangerous weapons, such as machetes, daggers, and knives which we recovered from some of the suspects.”

While assuring that the Command was committed to providing a peaceful atmosphere for the conduct of free, fair and credible LGA elections, the Commissioner warned politicians, especially those seeking elective positions, against sponsoring political violence during and after the local government elections in the state.

He further disclosed that, the suspects would be charged to court for unlawful assembly, disturbance of public peace, being in possession of dangerous weapons and for sponsoring thuggery in accordance with the Niger State Anti-Thuggery law.

Zamfara Governor gets best security award

Zamfara State Governor, Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle was on Sunday conferred with the 2019 Nigeria Media Award of Best Security Conscious Governor of the year award.

The award was presented to him at this year’s Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award held at B Event Hall, Ikeja, Lagos State today Sunday, 15th September, 2019.

The Governor was represented by his Director General Press Affairs, Mallam Yusuf Idris Gusau.

and the award was presented to the Governor by

Presenting the award to him, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju of TVC said the organisers of the Annual media award have justified the selection of Matawalle owing to his efforts in addressing the menace of Security challenges in Zamfara State and the Northwestern parts of Nigeria.

Responding Governor Matawalle thanked the Nigeria Media award for acknowledging his administration’s stride in the area of Security and promised to do more.

Matawalle further said that his security success was the result of positive and encouraging reportage of journalists in the country.

He therefore sought for their continued support and cooperation in that direction for his administration to adequately address challenges that may confront the state government while trying to meet the people’s expectations of dividends of democracy.

Matawalle promised to continue to partner media organisations in the country in his administration’s bid to rid Zamfara State of all forms of criminality.

He added that his administration has always considered the Media as an integral part for the attainment of meaningful development .

The governor informed the gathering that his administration’s decision to dialogue with bandits who have terrorized the State for over a decade is aimed at ensuring lasting peace in the state and beyond.

He maintained that the peace process have made the State more conducive and attractive for investment and other social activities as people’s lives and properties in the state are now fully guaranteed while farming and other business activities have since resumed with vigor.

Matawalle expressed pride to tell the world that Zamfara has reclaimed its position as the most peaceful state with many states of the federation now keying into and adopting peace process initiative.

He was accompanied by Hon Yusuf Alhasan Kanoma and his special adviser on Special Duties Dr Sadiq Umar Abdullahi.

PDP not crushed by tribunal failures, says Sen. Gyang

Senator Istifanus Gyang of Plateau North says recent setbacks of the Peoples Democratic Party at various election petition tribunals are not a ‘terminal point’ in the political calling and service of its members to the nation.

“No tyranny of circumstance can permanently imprison a determined will, more so that as a party, we are on the rise and not going down,” said the Senator in a press statement.

He asked his affected colleagues to remain hopeful and strong.

“I stand together with my affected colleagues and the greater PDP family,” said Gyang.

Farmer-herder conflicts: Plateau to fight climate drivers through tree planting

The Plateau State government will next week Friday plant trees at strategic locations to fight the effects of climate change on the environment.

This is essentially to prevent further conflicts between farmers and herders over agricultural land, Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency, Joseph Lengmang told newsmen, Tuesday.

The climate change according to him has caused land degradation, desertification and destruction of stock routes, increasing competition on available land resources.

“The animosity between farmers and herders as witnessed today is caused by climate change.

“Climate change has changed our lives, and is reflecting in the way we invest in buildings, how new farmlands are emerging, how stock routes have been destroyed over the years,” Lengmang said.

The tree planting project he said is in line with the 2019 World Peace Day theme – “Climate Action for Peace”.

It will be preceded on the 16th of September 2019 with a peace media advocacy – an engagement with partners of the PPBA to sensitize citizens on efforts of government in peace building.

On 17th September 2019, there will be Peace Walk in Jos to foster unity among different ethnic groups in Plateau.

On 18th September, there will be peace engagements in segregated communities in Jos – Jos Jarawa, Abattoir Dogon Karfe, and Bukuru Gyel.

On 19th, there will be Unity and Peace Discourse to discuss healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.

On the World Peace Day which is Saturday 21st after the tree planting of 20th September, there will be Conflict and Peace building engagement in Meyango, Bassa LGA of the state.

All activities lined up for the WPD celebration aim to promote healing, forgiveness and reconciliation in the drive for peace and security in the State, said the PPBA boss.

Farmer-herder conflicts: Plateau to fight climate drivers through tree planting

The Plateau State government will next week Friday plant trees at strategic locations to fight the effects of climate change on the environment.

This is essentially to prevent further conflicts between farmers and herders over agricultural land, Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency, Joseph Lengmang told newsmen, Tuesday.

The climate change according to him has caused land degradation, desertification and destruction of stock routes, increasing competition on available land resources.

“The animosity between farmers and herders as witnessed today is caused by climate change.

“Climate change has changed our lives, and is reflecting in the way we invest in buildings, how new farmlands are emerging, how stock routes have been destroyed over the years,” Lengmang said.

The tree planting project he said is in line with the 2019 World Peace Day theme – “Climate Action for Peace”.

It will be preceded on the 16th of September 2019 with a peace media advocacy – an engagement with partners of the PPBA to sensitize citizens on efforts of government in peace building.

On 17th September 2019, there will be Peace Walk in Jos to foster unity among different ethnic groups in Plateau.

On 18th September, there will be peace engagements in segregated communities in Jos – Jos Jarawa, Abattoir Dogon Karfe, and Bukuru Gyel.

On 19th, there will be Unity and Peace Discourse to discuss healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.

On the World Peace Day which is Saturday 21st after the tree planting of 20th September, there will be Conflict and Peace building engagement in Meyango, Bassa LGA of the state.

All activities lined up for the WPD celebration aim to promote healing, forgiveness and reconciliation in the drive for peace and security in the State, said the PPBA boss.

Sen. ID Gyang: Xenophobic attacks unacceptable, SA must pay for destructions

Maj. General Augustin Agundi and Sen. ID Gyang

Nigeria’s Deputy Senate Committee Chairman on Defense, Istifanus Gyang says recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa were driven by “envy and jealousy”.

Black South Africans attribute their ‘backward’ economic status to the ‘resourcefulness’ of foreigners, especially Nigerians, Gyang said, Monday.

“These attacks are misplaced, unacceptable and condemnable,” said the Senator in a press statement on Monday.

The press statement issued through his media aide, Musa Ashoms, the Senator regretted that South Africans see Nigerians doing business in their country as a threat, hence the xenophobic attacks.

This according to him is against the relationship between the two countries especially as Nigeria played a leading role in liberating South Africa from colonial rule.

“Nigeria played a key role in the liberation of South Africa from the Apartheid regime. Today, South Africans have suddenly forgotten all the sacrifices that Nigeria and Nigerians made, and like the Egyptians, see Nigerians doing business in their country as a threat, hence the Xenophobic attacks,” he said.

Plateau: Gunmen ambush 11, Senate Defence Deputy Chair broken

Senator ID Gyang, NASS, Abuja

Gunmen on Sunday ambushed 11 people in Senator Istifanus Gyang’s home District killing two, reports say.

The attack near Nding Loh village of Fan District in Barking Ladi Local Government Area occurred at about 7pm, local time, it was learnt.

Five people were wounded in the attack while four escaped unhurt, MK gathers.

The attack is the third in less than two weeks in the District.

This is regrettable, says Senator Istifanus Gyang who represents Plateau North in Nigeria’s Parliament.

Gyang, the Deputy Chairman, Senate Defense Committee has been a strong advocate of security, reconciliation and empowerment in his domain.

In a press statement issued through his Protocol and Media Aide, Musa Ashoms, the Senator said “I am shocked and sad that after several appeals for Peace and Unity in Plateau North Senatorial District, my constituents are witnessing attacks while several lives have been lost.”

He however insists on nonviolent solutions to the crisis.

“I remain focused and committed to the mandate given to me to secure the people, reconcile the people and empower the people of Plateau North,” he said.

What Senator ID Gyang told his wife on her birthday


It is endearing and gladdening to rejoice with you always, especially today as you mark an additional year.

My beloved destiny and life companion, mother of nations, and darling to my heart, I celebrate and cherish you dearly.

Memories of the path and distance which God has brought us to date is such that it can only be by the hand and making of God.

The ever faithful and never failing God deserves all our praise and endless thanksgiving.

Happy Birthday!!!!

Senator I.D. Gyang, esq.

Plateau: Mupun Community gets interim exco

MUCDA interim exco

Jos: Central Plateau’s Mupun Community Development Association, MUCDA now has a new executive board.

This follows the expiration of the tenure of the immediate past exco, led by Mr. Nanle Gujor.

The newly constituted committee includes:

1. Chief Pedro Ardyel Dafur – Chairman

2. Mr. Yohanna M. Chingle – Vice Chairman

3. Mr Simon Vilji Samuel

4. Mr. William Mwantu – Assistant Secretary

5. Mrs Suzan Dayol – Treasurer

6. Mr Abinatus Plangtok – Financial Secretary

7. Mr Kenzy K. Ngupar – PRO.

The committee was constituted last weekend at Tambal Hills Resort in Lankan, Pankshin Local Government Area.

This was done in presence of the Mupun Traditional Council led by the Mishkom Mupun, His Royal Highness, Da Yusuf Wale Fwambring, the Executive Chairman Pankshin LGA,Sir John Damap and Titleholders of the Mupun nation.

Present also were the out-gone exco of MUCDA, Religious Leaders, Youth Leaders, Women Leaders and other stakeholders of the community.

The interim exco is expected to run the Association pending the election of a substantive exco.

Speaking at the event, the Paramount Chief of the Mupun community, Miskom Fwangbring tasked the exco identify and fix all existing anomalies within the association for general progress.

He lauded the performance of the outgone exco amid obviously challenges.

In his farewell speech, outgoing Chairman of the association, Mr. Gujor appreciated members’ support during his tenure, pledging same to the new exco.

The new caretaker committee Chairman, Pedro Dafur pledged to properly run the association till substantive elections are held.

What Nigerian Ace Journalist admires about Central Plateau Senator, Hezekiah Dimka

Hezekia Dimka

The name Hezekiah Ayuba Dimka is synonymous with security, says veteran Journalist, Katdapba Gobum.

Dimka, the chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics can be as engaging as he reveals the quality of the elite police officer that he had being, says Gobum in a widely circulated online article.

The ex Police Commissioner is however not just all about social but also food security, Gobum wrote.

“He has longed to depart from the usual political crowd that has characterize our polity.

“No wonder, only recently, he came to the aide of farmers in the zone with fertilizers, knowing there cannot be anything worth giving than this in this season; even as he is aware the zone is populated by farmers.

“Those who were affected by recent disasters in some parts of the zone are remembered and not forgotten,” the piece reads.

Read the article in full here:

It is not for nothing that the Distinguished Senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial Zone, Senator Hezekiah Ayuba Dimka is passionate about his new role. He should, he has been involved in securing the lives of people for the better part of his life, and now to legislating for good laws for the same.

Winning the coveted crown of the office of the senator was herculean, but from all indications, it has become a major millstone for the genuine dreams he has always had for people. He has been quick to point it, he can’t go into overdrive to think that the victory is absolute; it is for the people because it involves all of those that made him what he is today. Because it is not a winner-takes-all, all his constituents have a voice so long as his mandate is sustained through them.

Since he was declared winner of the election and subsequently inaugurated as a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic, the soft spoken Senator of the Plateau Central Senatorial Zone does not want his tenure to be a road show.

Already, he has worn the right shoes to run with the people’s mandate ensuring that the right things are done for the zone, state and the federal.

If what his office plans to do are anything to go by, the word indifference to people and quality of representation would for long not be mentioned near them. The senator is not blind to the yearnings of the people he represents. They are not fables. His office is deliberately planning to achieve the mileage, the zone may not have witnessed for long.

He has long to depart from the usual political crowd that has characterize our polity. No wonder, only recently, he came to the aide of farmers in the zone with fertilizers, knowing there cannot be anything worth giving than this in this season; even as he is aware the zone is populated by farmers. Those who were affected by recent disasters in some parts of the zone are remembered and not forgotten.

For the period of being in the wilderness, a hard lesson may have been learnt in the zone, such that traveling on that same road is one that should be avoided. ‘Our constituents, more than ever before, know what they want; and not how they should be treated’, Senator Dimka has been quoted as saying repeatedly.
Going forward, for him that is an enormous task which has not been taken for granted. Today good conscience in Nigeria, they say is hard to find in the vicinities of public leadership, but here are we with a scenario; where in just a matter of months, we are on the way of having one, who can beat his chest about having a conscience in the performance of his duties as a representative of the people of Plateau Central Senatorial Zone.

The journey to realizing a workable partnership is through the creation of a constituency office, a development most of his predecessors had jettisoned. What that translates to is that the one way they can reach such a representative may be through phone calls, when he comes home and perhaps during hard-to-come stakeholders’ meeting. If there was any suggestions to be made, hardly are they given access to their houses in the state or at Abuja.

For most constituents who genuinely want to pass certain vital pieces of information that could drive the process of democratic representation can be anything but frustrating. In the past such pieces of information had been withheld, given the fact that meeting a Senator, Reps or a house member could be like the proverbial camel passing through the eye of the needle.

In Senator Hezekiah A Dimka’s time, returning to meet his constituents as well as access to genuinely meeting him for the progress of the zone is a concern that is receiving premium. Already, a constitutional lawyer who has a pedigree in law drafting, working in concert with his associates has been brought on board to assist in areas that would invigorate the system. He has started work in setting up a constituency office and recommending the right caliber of officers and personnel that would run it.
Apart from the above brief, one area that has not helped our representatives is having quality research officers. In saner climes, particularly; in the United States, Britain and many more, representatives are able to present quality motions that are translated into bills as a result of the painstaking researches that go into it.
Senator Dimka will be depending on such researchers who will in turn give him the latitude to change the face of law making. If there is a difference in this area, note that he has listened to those at the background, who are silently working for the progress of representation and to advance the course that the Distinguished Senator has set out to achieve. He is not oblivious of this.
Before long, it will be on record that the quality of presentations on motions and bills from him will be different from others. It is the kind of representation for which Senator Dimka has longed to play in the course of his tour of duty. Already, work has started on about three areas which are close to his chest; and for which Nigerians will be the primary beneficiaries. One of such areas which address technical education has been conceptualized by an expert who has spent about 35 years teaching and researching in that area. What better hand to get than this?

Currently he is the chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, an assignment he took with equanimity knowing the state at which its consumption has spiraled and cut short the lives of the young and indeed the old. As a retired security chief, the import of what should be done to achieve a mileage is not lost on him.

There is an opening for help through the committee, even as he is aware that there is an increase in the concerns about drugs and insecurity in Nigeria lately. It is a general concern that insecurity has taken over all our communities, much to our chagrin. It has been discovered that there is a linkage between insecurity and the consumption of drugs and narcotics.

In his words: Drugs is responsible for the increased rate of insecurity and crime in Nigeria, as we have witnessed of late. The Senate is worried as we are all, which is why we shall be working assiduously to stem the tide; otherwise, we shall be swallowed if left unattended to.

‘We are facing a youth quake. As a result of lack of employment, most youths are easily drawn to taking illicit substances, which do not stop at that alone since they do not have skills to engage themselves productively; they turn to crime. Skills give them a future; drugs and unemployment give and support the rise of the tide of insecurity. We must be united to fight the scourge in our communities through the provision of jobs and other skills to the youths to secure their future’.

It is understandable that in some climes, the penalty for the sale and the consumption of illicit drugs is death. It is on record that several Nigerians have faced the hangman’s noose in foreign countries as a result of drug trafficking. If the institution is strengthened here, the capacity to fight and ward off the youths will be appreciated.

However, in a situation where the NDLEA’S capacity to mobilize to fight the crime is lacking, due largely to neglect and motivation; we shall continue to live with it. Not this time around, knowing that our communities are not immune to crime and criminality boosted by the availability of drugs at every corner.

There are several unemployed youths walking our streets in search of non-existent jobs. To take them off, they need to be genuinely engaged; otherwise they can be productively employed by the devil. Under the present circumstance, God may have brought him and the members to salvage an institution that has been neglected and not given a voice to fight drugs and narcotics.

The National Drugs and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) would have been stronger had there been definite attention to strengthen their capacities for their activities at the headquarters, commands, and its training wing. He confirmed the Senate’s readiness to change for the better the development that would not give those engaged in sanitizing our communities of drugs. The institution deserves to be strengthened and reorganized for productivity.
It is understandable, his choice is informed by the debilitating effects of drugs and the course younger people have chosen to pursue for themselves. The road to perdition is easy to be chosen, but its recovery and the effect on the society is better imagined.

The journey has just begun, though far in our estimation; he wants to be seen to be engaged in programmes that would change the lives of the people who gave him the mandate. He has hit the ground running, but at will not leave anyone behind. He wants everyone to be on board, because it is their mandate for him to execute.

Plateau seeks more slots in NIPSS

Gov. Simon Lalong, Plateau State

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong says the State deserves more slots in the Senior Executive Course of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos South Local Government Area.

This is particularly as it hosts the decades old institution, said the Governor when he received the newly appointed Director General of NIPSS, Prof. Habu Galadima on a courtesy visit to Government House, Little Rayfield, Jos.

Governor Lalong lauded the role of the institution in advancing development in the State
particularly through research.

He assured that the State will continue to support the Institution in its operations.

The DG NIPSS Prof. Galadima however requested for additional land of about 100 hectares to build more facilities that will enable the admission of more participants from the current 60 to 100.

Galadima also appealed to the governor to facilitate the speedy completion of the approved 6
units of 2 bedrooms flats promised the Institute for the Directing Staff and the completion of the Legacy Project of the Governor.

He equally asked the Governor to use his influence as Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum to
urged the Governor to bring the attention of the Federal government to the needs of the institution.

Government knows Fulani are attacking villages - Rep Mwadkon

Simon Mwadkon

Nigerian Federal Legislator, Simon Mwadkon says female Internally Displaced Persons in Plateau State are being raped without government attention.

Over 13,000 IDPs are currently in makeshift cramps, with some taking menial and housekeeping jobs to survive, said the representative of Barkin Ladi/Riyom consistency in the Nigerian House of Reps on Saturday.

Most of the rapes take place when the girls go out for these jobs, Mwadkon told Journalists in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

"They are raped but they have to keep themselves busy because they have to find something to eat," said the Rep member.

The government according to him has shown little concern for the IDPs and the safety of their homes.

Three days ago, two people were killed in what appeared to be resurging attacks in Vatt community of Foron District in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.

The government, Nwadkon said knows the attackers but has failed to track them.

In his words, the government has proved unwilling to arrest the attackers in

He said, "The hypocrisy within the Nigerian context is so high.

"Everybody knows that Fulani have been attacking communities.

"Even the government in Nigeria, the least person in government is aware of this.

"We hope that the government will do something.

"It's becoming a national issue. Its no longer a Plateau or Middle Belt issue. Its affecting virtually every community."

Over 200 people were killed last year June in three days of sustained attacks in Riyom and Barkin Ladi LGAs.

Community groups place the number of displaced persons at over 130,000 while state officials said 30,000.

Over 50 native villages are said to have been sacked and reoccupied by armed herdsmen in the attacks that have persisted for over a decade.

Senator ID Gyang invokes Presidential order, sends Army after attackers

Victims of Tuesday's attack in Foron, Southwest Jos, Nigeria

The Senator representing Plateau North in the Nigerian National Assembly, Istifanus Gyang has asked law enforcements to “quickly” track down those attacking communities in Plateau State.

“President Buhari recently gave an order to the Military and Police to ensure that all bloodthirsty bandits across the nation are done away with.

“The STF and the Police should quickly enforce the Presidential order to arrest violent attacks on peace-loving citizens and communities in Plateau North,” said the Senator.

Gyang, the Deputy Senate Committee Chairman in a press statement signed by his Media and Protocol Officer, Mr. Musa Ashoms, condemned Tuesday’s killing of two people in Rubong Hamlet of Foron village, in Plateau’s Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.

The ‘criminals’ who rustled 100 cows and 120 sheep after killing the villagers are “enemies of peace and peaceful coexistence”, he said.

In his words, “Peaceful coexistence does not admit of crime and criminality. Criminals and bandits who trade in crime and bloodshed must face the wrath of the law so that the lives and property of law abiding citizens can be secured.”

While assuring of his resolve to secure, reconcile and empower his constituents, the lawmaker asked villagers” to be very vigilant against criminals and bandits whose actions constitute a threat to peace and peaceful coexistence.”

Thunderstorm, bandits kill College student, others in Plateau

A final-year Diploma student of Federal College of Education, Pankshin, in Central Plateau State has been killed by “lightening”.

Mr. Ponyak Danladi Nanfa, 27 was reportedly stroke to death while returning from school during a heavy evening rain on Monday.

The Southern Plateau’s Langtang North native was walking on foot to get foodstuff sent by his parents when the disaster occurred, it was learnt.

The National Certificate of Education (NCE) III student of Music/Social Science started his final examination on Monday before the incident.

“He had just written his first paper, and was passionate about making good grades, when he met his end,” said a student Union official, Mr. Renan Ibrahim.

The rain which started at about 2pm local time was characterized by hailstorms and thunderstorms, another union official said.

“The thunderstorms rumbled many times before the heavy rainfall which caused many damages to students,” Mr. Dandam Vendiya Sule told MK news.

This is the first time such a tragedy is happening in the school, authorities say.

Meanwhile, two people have been reported dead following a violent attack by armed bandits in Vatt community of Foron District, Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State.

The bandits carted away dozens of cattle and fired gunshots at random to escape.

It is not clear how the two died, but village sources say they were hit by bullets during the operation.

"We have no excuse to fail," says Nigerian Governor, Simon Lalong

New Plateau Secretary to the Government of the State, Prof. Danladi Atu (left), signing oath of office, Monday

JOS, NIGERIA: A Central Nigerian Governor, Simon Lalong, Monday said, State Officials have no excuse for failure, having been elected on trust, based on their campaign promises.

Mr. Lalong, a reelected Governor of Plateau State said electorates in the West African oil-exporting giant are 'thirsty' for the 'good governance' that was promised to them during the country's March 2019 general elections.

While swearing-in his newly appointed 'Secretary to the Government of the State' and Chief of Staff in Jos, the capital of the State, the Governor said, "We have no excuses to roll-off our sleeves and get down to work and deliver on such promises."

The administration will therefore not spare any Official found sabotaging its efforts in this regard, Lalong said.

"We are resolved that the next four years will be devoted to consolidating ob the gains we made (in the first tenure) and expanding on critical areas of development for the benefit of our people," stated the Governor.

According to him, the appointment of the State Secretary and COS, Mr. Danladi Atu, and Mr. Noel Dongjur respectively is for them to add value to governance, and 'resonate' government's impact all over the State.

"Remember that your appointment is not a license for self-aggrandizement nor self-enrichment or any personal gain.

"It is about service to the people and ensuring that this administration delivers on its mandate," he said.

Mr. Lalong, a trained lawyer was first elected in 2015 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress Party, and reelected in March 2019, for another four years.

He was shortly later elected as the Chairman of the Nigerian Northern Governors' forum.

The Governor has faced stiff criticism for allegedly failing to end the persistent violent attacks on local communities by armed herdsmen.

He has however earned international recognition for reducing the attacks from nearly daily occurences in 2015 to few isolated cases in months.

Under him, Plateau became the first Nigerian State to set up a peace Commission in 2016.