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A Call for Justice and Unity in the Face of Tragedy: Condemning the Atrocities in Plateau State, Nigeria

December 26, 2023

The recent wave of violence in Plateau State, Nigeria, marked by heinous attacks on communities in Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi LGAs, is a grim reminder of the deep-seated issues plaguing the nation. The reported death toll of over 115 individuals, along with the heart-wrenching scenes captured on social media, paints a stark picture of the inhumanity faced by the people of the region.

The brutality witnessed, including the disturbing image of a baby crying on the back of its deceased mother, demands more than mere words of condolence. This is a time for decisive action and a united front against the forces that perpetrate such acts of violence.

It is disheartening to witness the recurrent pattern of attacks in the Middle Belt region, and the government’s response must go beyond the routine expressions of grief. The call for justice, as initiated by the Plateau State governor and law enforcement, is a step in the right direction. However, it must be accompanied by a thorough and transparent investigation that leaves no room for impunity.

The deployment of security forces to the affected areas is a necessary measure, but it is imperative that their efforts are intensified to prevent further bloodshed. The tragic events in Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi must serve as a wake-up call for Nigerian leaders to address the root causes of such conflicts and work towards a sustainable solution.

The suggestion of a Conference of Nationalities is worth considering, as it provides a platform for open dialogue where grievances can be expressed and solutions sought. The unity of the nation is at stake, and it is crucial to avoid the dangerous path of using religious or ethnic sentiments to deodorize these acts of mass murder.

The citizens, too, must play a role in demanding justice and promoting unity. The prospect of individuals resorting to taking up arms against these perpetrators is a dire warning of the potential escalation of violence. It underscores the urgency for the government and security agencies to act decisively before the situation spirals out of control.

The aftermath of the attacks reveals not just a loss of lives but also extensive damage to communities, with reports of over 221 houses, 27 motorcycles, and 8 motor-vehicles destroyed. The scale of destruction is alarming, and the government must take immediate and comprehensive action.

In addition to pursuing justice, it is imperative that the government undertakes the responsibility of rebuilding the villages decimated by armed assailants. The affected villagers must be resettled in their homes, providing them with the support necessary to rebuild their lives. Compensation should be issued for the farmlands, businesses, and means of livelihood that were maliciously destroyed.

This restorative approach is essential not only for the physical rehabilitation of the affected areas but also for instilling a sense of security and hope among the traumatized communities. It is a crucial step towards addressing the long-term impact of these atrocities and fostering a renewed sense of unity and resilience among the people.

The Nigerian government must recognize that beyond seeking justice, there is an obligation to rebuild lives shattered by these acts of violence. Only through such comprehensive efforts can the nation hope to heal the wounds inflicted upon its citizens and prevent further descent into chaos.

The killings in Plateau State are a tragic and unfortunate chapter in Nigeria’s history. The nation must stand united against such acts of violence, and the pursuit of justice must be relentless and unequivocal. It is time for Nigerian leaders to rise to the occasion and address the underlying issues that fuel these conflicts before the entire country is engulfed in flames.


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