Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has warned against any rush to bail suspects of the Aug. 14 killings along Rukuba road in Jos, and other attacks in the state
The governor spoke on Tuesday, August 17, at an emergency peace and security stakeholders meeting held in Jos.
1st News reports that the meeting focused on the August 14 incident; as well as other attacks in Bassa, Jos South, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom Local Government Areas.
“The rush to bail suspects of unrest when arrested for investigation frustrates efforts to find a lasting solution to insecurity in Plateau. Henceforth, people rushing to bail suspects will also be arrested.
“If you find them, please arrest them; if people rush to bail them, arrest them,” he said.
The Governor said that such action would deter people fond of bailing suspects of unrest; alleging that such gestures implied that most of them were either sponsors or accomplices to such crimes.
He said that the meeting with critical stakeholders; comprising former governors, political leaders, elders, traditional and community leaders; was to seek their views on measures to end the cycle of violence in Plateau.
Lalong held that the insecurity, particularly in some local governments, required concerted efforts toward lasting peace.
“We cannot afford to fail the upcoming generation by refusing to do the needful,” he declared.
He decried the misuse of social media by people to worsen an already bad situation through the massive spread of fake and unsubstantiated videos and messages.
“Such fake messages only ignite further attacks.
“I have directed the security agencies to go after such persons and ensure they faced the law for incitement and hate speech,” Lalong said.
He also urged religious leaders and other stakeholders holders not to incite their followers with their sermons or comments on insecurity, noting that they (clerics) were also guided by the constitution.
“In future, defaulters will be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
Lalong banned any form of protest in the state, explaining that Plateau was experiencing a sensitive period where such attempts could degenerate to insecurity.
He expressed concern that the state was experiencing insecurity when it was struggling to come out of the economic downturn turn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and when investors had started showing interest in investing in it.