A two page, eight point communiqué of a one day peace meeting organized by Dialogue Reconciliation and Peace DREP has blamed the continue attacks and killings on inflammatory comments by community leaders of Irigwe and Fulani of Bassa local government area in Plateau state.
The documents on Monday, accused leaders of the two ethnic groups of instigating violence among youth; the communiqué warned the leaders to desist from making inflammatory comments against one another
“We observed that some elders have continued to make unguided and provocative comments that can cause more violence. We therefore urge our leaders to be circumspect and avoid making such provocative statements.” The communiqué query.
The communiqué jointly signed by its leaders was read by a board member Dialogue Reconciliation and Peace (DREP’) Sani Ibin Salihu.
It stressed that “we observe that there is a growing suspension and distrust between the Irigwe and Fulani communities. This is worsened by accusation and counter accusations against each other.”
The document observed that the continue attacks in Bassa local government area was due to unpleasant comments by community leaders, thereby instigating the youth in taking arms against each other.
On his part, the immediate past President Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria, Bishop Ignatius Kaigama while appealing for calm call on Muslims in Nigeria to pray for peace of the country, particularly for prone insecurity states in Nigeria.
Bishop Kaigama made the appeal at the quarterly meeting of religious and community leaders held at Dialogue Reconciliation and Peace DREP, between Irigwe and Fulani community leaders.
The clergy said the only solution to the prevailing killings can be addressed through divine intervention from God, through prayers.
“Now that our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters are observing their Ramadan, I will urge all Muslim to intensify prayers for peace in Nigeria, particularly for us here in Plateau state, but to most especially to the trouble communities. Christians should not also relent in prayers for peace.”
Participants of the DREP meeting, second quarter of 2018 were between warring Irigwe and Fulanis of Bassa local government area of Plateau state, at which instance the meeting was convey, following failed attempts by Irigwe traditional ruler to hold a peace talk.
Participants at the meeting urged security operatives to persecute any culprit found wanting in the protracted civil unrest that has claimed several lives.
The communiqué observed with dismay, the inability of authority responsible in curtailing the unrest in Plateau state to bring the violence to an end.
The communiqué however sue for peace “we urge the leaders of the two communities and their youth to own wrong doing.”
It is on record that funders of the Dialogue Reconciliation and Peace DREP have continued to wade into the protracted civil unrest in Plateau state since 2013.
Earlier, during the meeting, the Irigwe traditional ruler Ronku Aka and the Fulani leader Ardo Waziri in their separate submissions during the meeting affirmed that lack of forgiveness has brought about the protracted unrest in Plateau state.
“Reprisal attacks has to be stopped, people must forgive in spite of the offense, each time there is an attack on either Irigwe or Fulani, be rest assured that there will be a reprisal the next moment, that is why the crisis has continued unabated.” Irigwe and Fulani leaders had stated.
The Irigwe traditional ruler Ronku Aku had in his address while reacting to comments by his Fulani counterpart accused Fulanis of over exaggerating the number of cows allegedly rustled and killed.
“Each time you hear that 65 cows rustled and killed, but the actual number of cows affected might be 10, that is why I have been saying that whoever that is arrested by security operatives in connection with cattle rustling and killing of people, be it Irigwe or Fulani, the culprit should be persecuted accordingly.” They revealed.