Management Committee Chairman of Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, Titus Bise, has blamed incessant violent attacks in the state on communities with border disputes.
Bise dislosed this yesterday in Mangu, when the House of Assembly’s Special Committee on Security met with traditional and religious leaders, youths and other stakeholders in the area.
It would be recalled that Langai District of Pyem chiefdom had consistently come under attack that left many dead, while property worth millions of naira were destroyed.
The most recent attack was in Kadunung village of Langai District where many were killed, several others injured, while more than 197 houses were burnt down.
The chairman described the attacks on his people as ‘terrible’, saying they were comparable to insurgents’ activities in the north-eastern part of the country.
“The crisis bordered on land ownership and that is usually deadly,’’ he stated.
He said four communities in Langai District had been under siege in the past three days.
“The attackers usually come in their numbers with very sophisticated weapons to maim my people. People are being slaughtered like animals on a daily basis; sometimes it is on the road. At times, the attackers follow them to their farms or houses,’’ he said.
He said he was particularly sad because the heavy presence of security personnel had not deterred the attackers.
The council boss urged the state boundary commission to wade into the matter, so as to put an end to the lingering problem “before it claims more innocent lives.’’
He also called on the federal and state governments to intervene, especially in the aspect of catering for displaced persons, saying most of them were living in very bad conditions.
The youth leader of the community, Bello Musa, in his remarks, alleged that security agencies were not doing much to protect the people.
He also opined that the security personnel stationed in the attacked communities were not enough to contain heavy attacks.
“We have also discovered that it usually takes security operatives a very long time to respond to attacks,’’ he alleged.
However, the Sum Pyem, Mr. Charles Mato, said the people of his chiefdom were optimistic that peace would soon return.
“We have continued to preach peace and want to entrench it in the area.’’
He warned against counter-attacks as that would only escalate the violence and begged the House committee to arrange a meeting between the people of Langai District and those of Foron District, so as to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Responding, Chairman of the committee and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Yusuf Gagdi, said the committee would leave no stone unturned toward ensuring that lasting peace returns to Plateau.