By Teryima Andrew
Plateau residents have been placed on red alert over the massive influx of suspected killer herdsmen and kidnappers from the North Central states into some rural communities of Barkin-Ladi, Riyom, Bassa and Bokkos Local Government Areas respectively.
The warning is contained in a communique signed by Chairman of Catholic Bishop of Nigeria and Archbishop of Jos, Dr. Ignatius Kaigam, Representative of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alh. Yususf Sarumi, Representatives of Fulani Community, Alh. Haruna Baro during a meeting of Religious and Ethnic/Community leaders in conjunction with Security agencies at the Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre, Jos, Plateau State on Tuesday.
“We observed that there is mass movement influx of herdsmen from other states into Plateau. This has has the capacity to spark conflicts with e natives. We appeal to our native Fulani herdsmen with whom we have coexisted peacefully to help in fishing out strange elements who invade our communities to cause trouble.
“We condemned in strong terms the growing spate of crime such as kidnapping, pick pocketing and armed robbery among others in the state. We also observed that most communities are becoming militarised as possession of illegal firearms is rising.
“Armed proliferation can only endanger our communities and expose us to more risks. We called on citizens to cooperate with security agencies to protect us rather than take the laws into our hands.”
Rev. Kaigama encouraged citizens of Plateau and neighbouring states to be open to security agencies and cooperate with them by reporting suspicious movement and gathering by strange persons in rural communities.
He commended security agencies for their efforts in combating crime within Jos and caution parents against lack of cooperation with security agencies particularly when their children are involved in criminal activities.
“We observed that parents and relatives whose children are hoodlums are not cooperating our security agencies especially agent their children and wards involved in crime. They don’t only block access to their suspected children, but also make efforts to bail them out when they are arrested.”
Ignatius Kaigama condemned the growing spate of fresh criminal acts perpetuating in Jos by hoodlums which includes stabbing with knives, stealing, raping and violence perpetrated by boys in their teenage aged.
He said added that there is a mentality which is ravaging the state like a spreading very fast like a wild fire in the state which kicked against the culture of love and forgiveness which the state was practicing that ends it the name “Home of Peace and Tourism” and lamented that the culture is fast fading in the present generation.