Friday Olokor, Jos
A former Military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd), has asked the military authorities to dismiss men and officers found culpable in the killings in the country.
He lamented that after his experiences in the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970), he “never thought such large scale deaths would happen again in the Nigerian history.”
“But recent events have proven that wrong. God should comfort all those who lost their love ones during these attacks. God will also heal those wounded in hospitals and various Internally Displaced Persons Camps”, he stated.
He also asked the military to ensure that bad eggs in the system accused of complicity in the killings going on in the country were “shown the way out and prosecuted to exonerate the military” from such accusations.
The elder statesman described the recent attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen for which over 200 persons were killed in Plateau State as “horrific and inhuman.”
Gowon stated these during a condolence visit on the Gbong Gwom Jos, and Chairman, Plateau State Council of Chiefs and Emirs, His Majesty, Jacob Gyang Buba, in his palace in Jishe over the recent killings in his domain.
A statement issued on Wednesday by the spokesperson of the monarch, who is also President, Jos Joint Traditional Council, Alex Rwang-Pam, quoted Gowon as lamenting that the people attacked and killed were defenceless and innocent, stressing that he received the news of the attacks while in London.
Gowon said he had earlier underestimated the magnitude of losses until he was shown the gory images of the aftermath of the incidents.
Buba appealed to Gowon to add his voice and prevail on the Federal Government to ensure the return of all displaced persons to their ancestral homes and lands.
“Land is the only asset of economic value to the common man and it is the responsibility of government at all levels to ensure that such assets are not illegally and forcefully taken away by any individual or terror groups”, he emphasised.
Meanwhile, Buba has called on the National Assembly “to recognise the traditional institutions in the ongoing constitution amendment” to enhance their civil responsibilities in the maintenance of peace and justice.
He said unlike the present arrangement, the traditional rulers, especially at the third tier of government, were constitutionally recognised, until some few decades ago.
The monarch made the request while receiving a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory and Senator representing Plateau South in the National Assembly, Jeremiah Useni.
Useni was at Buba’s palace in Jishe to condole with him on the recent killing of over 200 persons in some villages within his domain by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Buba said, “Until a few decades ago, the traditional institution was constitutionally recognised with specific roles at the third tier of government that aided in the maintenance of peace, justice and civil responsibilities through tax collection. Not recognising the traditional rulers, who are custodians of Nigeria’s history, culture and traditions in the constitution amounts to doing away with the heritage, values and history of the nation.”
Earlier, Useni said he was at the palace to commiserate with the Berom ethnic nationality over the loss of lives during the recent attacks.