Plateau State Governor and Chairman of Northern Governors Forum Simon Lalong has directed the state’s Police Commissioner, Isaac Akinmoyede, to arrest Ardos and community leaders in the violent ridden communities with a view to find a lasting solution to serial killings in the state.
He said the community leaders should be detained until they produce those who carried out the recent killings in Mangu and Bokkos Local Government areas.
Lalong gave the directive on Tuesday during a security meeting with stakeholders from Bokkos, Mangu, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom Local Government areas, held at Government House, Jos, the Plateau State capital.
Lalong, visibly angry over the fresh attacks, said:
“Those communities have Ardos and community leaders, I don’t know if the security has made any arrest, if you have not, all the Ardos and community leaders should be in the cell; I will handle the rest myself. All of you should go to the cell, we cannot continue to have this and we are not making any arrest.“If the Ardos and the community leaders cannot bring out those who do this, by the time you go to jail, you will bring them out. That is my charge today. The rest of you should prepare and go and defend the communities, people are dying.
“The Ardos and the community leaders are from these communities, all of them should follow you, if you can’t keep them there, I will send them to Abuja immediately. How can you say 18 people were killed and there is no arrest, are the people spirit?”
Lalong said there is no individual or group of people greater than the government, adding that the government would not accept the crime wave being perpetrated by criminals.
“There is nobody that is more than the government, we were using carrots and stick approach not because the government doesn’t know what to do. We cannot say we are afraid of criminals. If you want to give evidence, I don’t want it here, go and give your evidence there. CP you must arrest them immediately. If you don’t, I will drive to Abuja and they will know what to do.”
Lalong said his administration will no longer tolerate such criminality because, if it is allowed, it will spread to other parts of the North, adding that some of the Ardos and community leaders have done well and shouldn’t allow bad eggs among them to take the state back to its darkest days.
Police Commissioner Isaac Akinmoyede, who briefed the Governor earlier, said that he had a meeting with stakeholders in the affected areas on Saturday with a view to calm the situation, only for him to be called on Sunday night that there were gunshots in Kwattas, Bokko LGA.
“When I heard that, I directed my DPO to go to the area. He said 13 people were killed and some sustained injuries. On Monday morning, some people were killed to make the figure 15. Three persons were also killed in some parts of Bokkos, four in Mangu and five persons sustained injuries,” the Commissioner reported