Open letter to Gov. Simon Bako Lalong on the incessant carnage and pogrom of the Irigwe community of Bassa LGA of Plateau State

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Your Excellency Sir, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong,

It is with deep-seated humility and utmost reverence to your exalted office that I, Barr Emmanuel Menseh Madaki, a legal practitioner and your colleague in the noble professional calling of law have thought it most convenient and worthwhile to write to you this open letter in view of the hydra-headed monster of the Fulani militia on a colossal rampage in our dear state which you superintend as the Chief Security of Officer same. I feel so lugubrious that this carnage is ongoing in our dear state duly bequeathed to us by our forefathers and grandmasters with a caveat to faithfully and decently manage its affairs to the benefit of all which is now under your watch and supervision.

Sir, since the issue of Fulani people constantly killing us in the state is of momentous concern to all well-meaning and all right-thinking people of Plateau State as a microcosm of the entire nation. For the records sir, in just 2 days, August 2-3 2021, 13 villages were raided in Irigwe land, 500 homes destroyed and burnt to ashes, over 68 people butchered like animals and today over 30, 000 people have been displaced and rendered homeless in their own state. The contents of this letter, therefore, should be available to all those who can help in proffering effective solutions for the problem of insecurity in Plateau State because it appears that as the Chief Security Officer of the state, you have not impressed neither our ancestors nor our dear people of Plateau State at all. We are indeed saddened by this manifest show of ineptitude and happy-go-lucky attitude by your Government.

As a matter of fact, herdsmen/farmers crises and menace escalated wildly with this government treating the issue with cuddling gloves instead of hammers. It has festered and spread. Today, it has developed into a lucrative industry of banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over Plateau State. The unfortunate situation is that criminality is being perpetrated almost on recurrent basis yet there is no modicum of visible effort being demonstrated by your government towards allaying the timeless and perennial fears of our people instead, the annihilation of our heritage has left the state on the brink of utter collapse. Remember, perception may be as potent as reality at times.

Funnily enough, sir, it appears so sardonically that you have apparently appeared to have forgotten so easily that the very onerous and catastrophic cloud is gathering. And the rain of horrendous destruction, violence, disaster and disunity which is consuming the very people you vowed to defend and protect can only be the outcome at the end of the day which is already seeing. Nothing should be taken for granted, the clock is ticking with the cacophony of dissatisfaction and disaffection everywhere in and outside Plateau state We must logically discern and appreciate the significance, implication and likely consequences of your lacklustre attitude towards the security and welfare of the people of Plateau state which remains the cardinal responsibility of Government as enshrined under section 14 (2) b of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. With these ugly happenings in the state, we can no longer say with certainty that we have a state called Plateau State.

Pathetically baffling is the injustice, molestation and onslaught of great momentum carefully perpetrated on the people of Irigwe in Miango village of Bassa LGA of the state which is the Local Government that houses the 3rd armoured Division of the Nigerian Military yet there was no intervention from the military for two clear days when the sad event of wanton inhumanity to man happened leaving many dead and many others homeless yet your Government did not come out to condemn the weakness of the military in not acting swiftly neither did you take further plausible steps to assuage the anxiety and frustration of the innocent blood that had been split in the state. Your singular act of perpetual silence has pictured you and your Government as a weak one and the indigenes of our dear state are not happy and therefore tempted to ask you to visit Borno State with some long notebooks to take some lessons from the Governor of Borno State who has been proactive in this area. If I were God, I would not allow rain to fall in Plateau State for the next one month because of the unmitigated bloodshed which has been split in the state by the Fulani Militia, your debilitating silence sir, is only helpful to the adversary. We need cohesion and concentration of effort and maximum force – political, economic, social, psychological and military – to deal successfully with the menace of criminality and terrorism separately and together.

Most ironically lamentable sir, is the fact that on the day when the attacks on our innocent people whom you had sworn to protect and defend were at its peak, a visit was paid to your house at the new Government house by some concerned indigenes of the state only for them to be greeted with the sordid news that you were asleep after patiently waiting for you for almost an hour. This is against the spirit of the great Plateau of our founding fathers.

Sir, as your lover and learned colleague I want you to henceforth know that our people of Plateau State are now more defenceless, uncared for, abandoned and rejected than ever in the history of our collective existence. If you can no longer protect us and our properties by issuing the appropriate orders to secure our people, it will be most honourable to voluntarily tender your letter of resignation and posterity will be kind to you if not step up and impress us in the remaining years. But at the moment we are collectively disappointed, dejected and we feel betrayed that foreigners will come to our dear state and execute their nefarious plans without being apprehended. For how long shall you watch the maiming, destruction, constant and unabated killings consume all of us? Today is Irigwe in Miango, tomorrow is Bokkos and the circle turns vicious. We are tired, act now and save your name!

I conclude by saying that, Plateau State is the only place we have, we must jealously guard same against external intrusion. The families of the homeless indigenes of Plateau State affected by these dastardly acts must be taken care of by the government, their houses must be rebuilt and they should be resettled too in no distant time with adequate security to protect our people. I hope sir, wise counsel shall prevail from your ends in the circumstance.

Yours in the struggle for a better Plateau

Emmanuel Menseh Madaki, Esq. LL.B (Hons.), BL, LLM (ABU), MIPMA
Legal Practitioner

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