Plateau People Demand A Stop To The Harrasment And Intimidation By The Military & Police High Commands Of Our Innocent Citizens And State Agencies sign now


We are constrained to address members of the press today, so that you may assist us to draw attention to the numerous acts of harassment and intimidation being visited on hapless citizens and some state agencies in Plateau State.

In the wake of the unfortunate, violent civil disturbances which took place between Sunday 17th and early Wednesday 20th January 2010, we watched with dismay how some key personnel within the Police and Military high command have undertaken a patently selective and biased approach in dealing with the fallout of the sad events.

We first got inkling to their unjust conduct when the Commissioner of Police in Plateau State Mr. Gregory Anyanting was unceremoniously and hurriedly replaced, apparently to satisfy the vociferous demands openly canvassed by a section of the Hausa community. You will all recall that Mr. Anyanting had, during a media briefing on Sunday 17th January 2010, identified the immediate cause of the crisis, when he named the group responsible for the unwarranted attacks upon innocent, unarmed Church goers. You may question the timing of his bringing this information to the public domain just when the crisis broke, but we cannot deny his courage, given the inability of previous officials in his shoes to call a spade, a spade.

It is an irony that rather than commend the Police boss, and then rally round adequate security personnel to cordon the area and ensure the arrest of these identified culprits, the Police high command wobbled and succumbed to the virulent campaign of blackmail waged against Mr. Anyanting in the Hausa-Muslim dominated press. This is most unfortunate to put it mildly.

But by far, what gave and continues to give - a lot of discerning citizens of Plateau State the pause, was the open show of shame by some of the soldiers deployed to Jos. Upon their arrival into the city centre on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, most of these soldiers proceeded to act out a bizarre script; without any provocation whatsoever, some of them broke into carefully identified homes, arrested, brutalized and in many documented instances, murdered in cold blood, some of our youth. Parents and families are still in shock over these mindless and cold-blooded killings by soldiers, ostensibly deployed to keep and maintain the peace.

These unwholesome and unprofessional acts of targeted arrests and killings were witnessed by many people in Gada Biyu Zaria Road, Nasarawa Gwong, Abbatoir, Dogon Karfe, parts of Rayfield, and Bukuru in Jos South.
To further buttress our assertion that there was, and there is a selective approach to quelling the crisis by the military, virtually all those of our youth that were arrested, have been clandestinely moved to Abuja where they are being held in clear breach of constitutional provisions and extant criminal laws. When in the aftermath of the November 2008 civil unrests in parts of Jos North some persons suspected to be mercenaries were arrested during curfew hours, bearing dangerous firearms and sundry weapons, we watched in utter shock how a conspiracy between the military and police high command was quickly hatched, which ensured their surreptitious transfer to Abuja without the knowledge of the State government.

We all know that it is the Plateau State Ministry of Justice that is legally vested with the duty of prosecuting those suspects, but alas, some other superior vested interest would rather the case is compromised, and so it stands today, as we hear that all the suspects have been freed.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, we urge you to keep in mind that at its most ferocious stage, the crisis in Jos which lasted from that black Sunday to early Wednesday, witnessed an unprecedented use of sophisticated firearms, wielded by Hausa men and their youth population. Such arms and dangerous weapons surfaced within the twinkle of an eye in the hands of men and youth across Jos North, giving vent to the position of many residents that a section of the community had engaged in a careful and deliberate stockpile of arms and ammunition, and were therefore only too happy and ready to precipitate the violent uprising of Sunday 17th January 2010.

Today we wish to report that none of those weapons nor their bearers have been arrested by the combined patrol teams of the military and the police. Indeed we can confidently inform you that all of those arms-bearing youth and their men, wore complete military uniforms, save for the sneaker shoes they wore, and our people watched in horror as the fake military personnel easily and freely mingled with the army deployed to Jos, together with whom they went on a rampage, arresting, maiming, brutalizing and killing our unarmed youth in a brazen and naked display of partisanship.

However, this negative complicity by supposed agents of the Federal government has now been ratcheted up, and extended to target, undermine and perhaps cripple state institutions on the Plateau. We find these developments not only curious but worrisome, given the systematic nature of their progression.

Only last Friday, the Nigerian Police headquarters Abuja, acting on what we now view as a well-laid out script of this vicious assault on the integrity of the government and people of Plateau State, concluded plans to arrest and silence the General Manager of Plateau Radio Television Corporation (PRTVC). The GM has been summoned to report to Police Headquarters Abuja on Tuesday 2nd February 2010 to answer charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbance, armed with dangerous weapons and culpable homicide in the current Jos Crisis.

But even before this invitation by the Police high command to the GM of PRTVC, a series of recent, untoward happenings affecting some staff of the state media outfit, have been recorded during curfew hours. On 21st January 2010 armed soldiers molested three members of staff of PRTVC on essential duties during curfew hours. Tellingly, the soldiers threatened to WASTE THEM, should they see the PRTVC crew on the road again. The Board and management of the station appropriately filed a complaint and are awaiting a response.

On the 24th January 2010, Military Police personnel slapped a driver with the PRTVC. His crime? That he belonged to (as a staff of) the PRTVC!!! On the 25th January 2010 the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) threatened the PRTVC with restrictions. The NBC then compelled PRTVC to air a message inviting aggrieved members of the public to send complains about the stations broadcasts. Officials of the NBC thereafter invaded the station and removed radio and television transmission log books, but not before it had recklessly accused the station of airing inciting news commentaries, failing to air the national anthem and failing to air Muslim prayers.

At this juncture, it is pertinent that we draw the attention of esteemed members of the fourth estate of the realm, to a very interesting piece of coincidence in this macabre drama of the absurd. When those suspected mercenaries were arrested in Jos during curfew hours, dressed in military gear and bearing dangerous firearms and assorted weapons shortly after the 2008 crisis, Plateau State government officials were able to establish that the suspects were hurriedly moved to Abuja in a neatly orchestrated plot to compromise the case and free them, which plan was aided and facilitated by one Yuguda Abdullahi, Deputy Commissioner of Police.

It should therefore worry all genuine lovers of justice, fairness and the rule of law, that it is the same Yuguda Abdullahi, Deputy Commissioner of Police who is billed to interview the General Manager of PRTVC Mr. Abraham Yiljab on Tuesday 2010 at the Force Headquarters Abuja. Can any honest striving come from such a thoroughly compromised, biased and unfair personality, given his antecedents as provide by us today?

Ladies and gentlemen, the whole might of the security apparatus of the Federal government is being massed against the Government and people of Plateau State. We are left with no option but to cry out through your respective media, so that this campaign of blackmail, lies, and serial violence and assault on the land, our land, is seen for what it is: the underhand attempt by a few connected protagonists of the senseless violence being visited on Jos Plateau State, to secure through the back-door, what their failed war-mongering, actual war and hate-filled posturing cannot get for them in our peaceful state. We say, enough is enough

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