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Plateau Killings: Senate To Meet Military Chiefs

Posted: May 6, 2015 at 10:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ignatius Okorocha, Abuja


The Senate on Tuesday mandated its Committee on Defence to meet with the Military High Command for the identities of those behind the alleged killing of over 50 people in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State.

This is as the Senate condemned the alleged invasion of the community, which led to the displacement of hundreds of the people.

The Senate resolution for the committee to meet the Military High Command followed a Point of Order on Matter of Urgent Importance raised by Victor Lar, representing Plateau South Constituency.

Senator Lar had narrated how on Saturday, May 2, 2015, armed men wearing Nigerian Army uniform in about 11 hilux vehicles and one truck raided Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State and sacked five villages, killed over 50 people, wounded over 100 and more than 20,000 people displaced and that the displaced persons were seeking refuge in Lantern South LGA.

“The immediate cause of the attack is not known. We suspect that these are armed militias, or Boko Haram or soldiers but they are using Nigerian Army uniforms and they are using equipment that are exclusively known and reserved for use by the Nigerian Army.

Their operations tended to imply that they are not genuine Nigerian army personnel because they used machetes to hack down people, they shot at and killed women and children, they killed uniform policemen and Civil Defence personnel; they burnt down every house within reach and used petrol to burn the bodies of the victims that they killed.

These are war crimes against humanity and they violate the provisions of the Geneva Convention,” he said.

According to the lawmaker, the essence of making these explanation is because “when our brothers and sisters in the North-East were under the heavy yoke of insurgency and there were operation that tended to imply that it was either the army or Boko Haram, this Senate took the wise decision of listening and sending a committee to investigate and report it.

“I plead with my colleagues that it is the lives of Nigerians that are at stake, it is the professional performance of the Armed Forces that is at stake, it may happen in any other district. I plead that this Senate show the usual understanding in attending to the plight of members of my constituency.”

Commenting on the situation, a governorship candidate of the PDP in just concluded election, Senator G. Pajok, lamented that the kind of sad event that took place at the weekend in Plateau State happens when “you bring security men that ordinarily should not be on the street for too long; there has never been any time in the history of Nigeria where the military has been on the street for too long.

“You must admit that there are also criminal elements among them; it is not all of them that are good to a large extent. I believe they must look inward to identify these bad eggs within the security circles, because citizens cannot be accusing soldiers for nothing.

“They must have seen them, they must have actually experienced the attack and the format in which it took place and, to that extent, we must take the cry of the citizens not lightly because when your child begins to cry and point at a particular direction, and people just disregard this cry, it doesn’t  really  give you a picture of what it really takes to maintain security in the society. I believe that we must take this allegation very seriously.”

The Deputy President of the Senate who also presided over the plenary, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on behalf of his colleagues sympathised with the people of Wasse and the entire people of Plateau State for the unfortunate incident.

“Our prayer is that we should see the end of this insurgency in any form, whether it is the military, armed militias or insurgency or any form of attack on ordinary citizens,” he said.

He noted that since the Senate is not sure whether the attack came from the Armed Forces or insurgents, the Committee on Defence should contact the Military High Command to find out the identity of those who involved.