By Tognaan Dada Bawa in Jos
Hours after relaxing the 24-hour curfew imposed on Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has held a meeting with stakeholders from the area to consolidate on efforts to sustain peace.
Governor Lalong while addressing the stakeholders at the Government House Rayfield, on Monday, said the recent attacks in the Local Government Area are very disturbing and have brought back sour memories that have been almost forgotten.
He thanked the stakeholders for their roles in calming the tension as well as assisting security agencies to bring the situation under control. However, he told them that there must be deliberate efforts to ensure that there is no more violence.
The Governor said his administration has done a lot to improve security in the State in the last six years through various avenues including the Peace Building Agency. He asked them to take control of their areas as Government will not allow the breakdown of law and order under any guise.
Lalong regretted that the Government has been forced to use curfew as a last resort, but this can be avoided through dialogue and continuous engagement. He also assured them that he will continue to uphold justice and fairness which is the bedrock for peace.
During the meeting, the stakeholders expressed dismay over the recent attacks that led to loss of lives of lives and properties leading to the imposition of curfews.
They said most of the crises are pure criminality that are usually exploited using politics, religion and ethnicity to the point of escalation. According to them, the time has come for all well meaning citizens of Jos North to come together and fish out criminals among them to be punished.
The stakeholders assured the Governor that they will increase surveillance within their communities to fish out those instigating the crises as well as perpetrators in order to maintain peace.
They also warned those fuelling the situation in Jos North through provocative statements to desist as they will no longer watch and see people from outside the State instigating violence while they bear the brunt.
The effort of Governor Lalong in restoring peace in Plateau State over the past six years was also commended because there has been more engagement, empowerment of security agencies, equity and fair representation, and efforts to boost economic growth.
Drug and substance abuse, fake news and hate speech were also raised as some of the most disturbing issues that are heightening tensions unnecessarily which the Government must rise up to address.