Governors, politicians and religious leaders from the federal government and state visited Jos, Plateau State yesterday in an attempt to find a lasting solution to the communal conflict.
The delegation included the Co-Chairmen of the Nigerian Inter-Religous Council (NIREC), Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar and Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle, who is also President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN); Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi; Governors of Sokoto and Niger States, Aminu Tambuwal and Abubakar Sani Bello respectively.
Rev. Dr. Samson Oyakunle, Co-Chairman of NIREC, said they were in Plateau in response to recent attacks that claimed lives and property.
NIREC has followed with regret the toxic narratives emanating from some religious and political leaders, who, instead of calming down tension, have escalated it.
NIREC has resolved to pass such persons on to security agencies for prosecution, according to him.
Sultan of Sokoto said the visit was part of their commitment to promote peace in Nigeria in accordance with their mandate and resolutions from the last quarterly meeting held in Abuja.
Plateau State remains a place of peace, according to him, with a diverse population that wants to live together.
The issue is that criminals who use religion, ethnicity, and politics to harm others are not punished for their actions, he said.
In a statement released by the Nigerian Governors Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said that the state governors are in solidarity with their colleague, Governor Simon Bako Lalong, who is building structures for peaceful coexistence and supporting peace and reconciliation across the country.
According to him, the governors would do everything possible to maintain peace on the Plateau, which is renowned for its hospitality and attraction to people from all backgrounds.
According to Boss Mustapha, the federal government has continued to support the Plateau government and security agencies in putting an end to the attacks. President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the engagement by the secretary to the government of the federation.
According to him, the residents should respect each other and report criminals among them to the security agencies.
Assuring the state that the federal government would support it in meeting the needs of the internally displaced persons, he promised that the federal government would do all it could to assist the state.
Plateau State Governor Lalong has challenged the people to rise together and unite against those who wish to cause divisions and hatred through all means, including politics.
In fresh attacks on two villages in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, four people were killed.
At least two beheading attacks were reported on Sunday in the Kpachudu community, including one that took place on Sunday evening.
Malam Nura Abdullahi, state chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), has accused members of Irigwe ethnic group of beheading Musa Sale, as well as wounding Abdulsalam Nuhu, aged 13.
Despite the truthfulness and lack of credibility of the allegation, the Irigwe dismissed it.
Three members of the Irigwe ethnic group were killed on Monday morning in the same Bassa Local Government Area.
Davidson Malison, spokesman for the Irigwe Development Association (IDA), identified the victims as Gya Evi (60), Sunday Nah (45) and Friday Yakubu (40).
He accused the Fulani of launching the attack, but the Fulani denied responsibility.
ASP Ubah Gabriel, the spokesman for the state Police Command, confirmed the two attacks.
Investigators have begun searching for the suspects, he said.
The command is aware of the unfortunate incidents at Kpachudu and Renwienku villages in Miango District that resulted in the deaths of four people. To restore peace, more personnel have been deployed to the affected areas. The investigation has since begun to find those responsible for the dastardly act.