Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau, has warned those calling for reprisal attacks to desist from causing crisis in the state.
Lalong stated this on Tuesday, August 24, when he briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the security situation in the state.
1st News had reported on August 14, more then 20 persons were killed, while several others sustained injuries when some buses conveying Muslim faithful on their way from Bauchi to Ondo were attacked on a highway in Jos, the Plateau capital.
According to Lalong, while his government is making efforts to douse tension and reconcile aggrieved parties, some persons are instigating reprisal attacks.
He said the state has enjoyed relative peace for years, noting that he and his people will not allow anyone take them back to the days of crisis.
“Again, I want to appeal to people, because most of those who are outside the state calling for reprisal are not people from Plateau state. I am yet to see one cleric coming out to say I want reprisal. I have set up an interreligious committee, which comprises all top religious leaders in Plateau state, both Muslims and Christians, and when things like this happen, they address it,” Lalong said.
“So, for people to call from outside the state for reprisal, I say ‘no’, because they are crying more than the bereaved. Leave us; we are handling our issues. We are doing reconciliation and consultations; don’t call for reprisal attacks. If you want to do reprisal, you are on your own. We have agreed with the religious leaders and all of them are doing their best. They are cooperating with the state and we are also doing our best.
“For over six years now, we have been enjoying peace in Plateau state. So, anybody that wants to take Plateau back to those old days of crisis, it is not only me as governor, but all Plateau people will resist that. They have said ‘we don’t want to go back to crisis again, we are enjoying peace and we want to continue to enjoy our peace’.”
Lalong announced that the security situation in the state has greatly improved, and that the curfew imposed on troubled areas would soon be relaxed.
He further said Buhari promised that support would be given to victims of recent attacks in the state.
“I also made a request to the president about relief materials and re-echoed the issue of resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs). We have a lot of IDPs in my state. We have a lot on our hands already and when such happens, you expect the state to seek support for relief materials,” he said.
“We are doing our best, but the president said he will talk to the minister of humanitarian affairs, so that attention would be given to those who are displaced as a result of this crisis.”