CLEEN Foundation has condemned, in strongest possible terms, the recent killings in Benue and Plateau states of Nigeria, stressing that the wanton destruction of lives and property is unacceptable and has no place in a civilized society.
The Foundation called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Armed Forces, Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to decisively tackle the malady of insecurity in these states and across the nation.
The Executive Director, Mr. Gad Peter, in a statement on Thursday, said, “CLEEN Foundation as a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting public safety and security in Nigeria is deeply concerned about the rising insecurity in various parts of the country, with Benue and Plateau states experiencing a particularly disturbing trend.
“The recent killing of 24 persons in Akpuuna and Diom communities of Ukum LGA of Benue State and the attack that claimed 12 lives in Mangu in Plateau State calls for a government-citizens approach to end this nefarious act.
“The killings in both states have left many families grieving, communities traumatized, displaced and the entire nation in mourning.
“Recall that just around June 2023, 24 persons were killed in two communities in Maradun area of Zamfara State. Beyond the killings that happened in these communities, time and time again, community members are also displaced from their original settlement which equally has other resultant effects.
“How can we forget the incessant destruction of lives and property in the South-East in a bid to reinforce the IPOB sit-at-home order? Only today- 13th July the IPOB group issued another statement reinforcing sit-at-home across the entire South-East states for a period of 2 weeks, the implications are enormous.
“While we appreciate the effort of the government of Benue and Plateau States towards forestalling peace, we use this opportunity to also implore the governments to judiciously seek both reconciliatory and punitive measures audacious to finally put an end to these unreasonable killings. Something remarkable must be done to end this cycle of violence and bring the perpetrators to justice!
“In the same vein, we want to appreciate the effort of security agencies at the frontline but again we charge these agencies to be proactive and not reactive. Active intelligence with support from locals is a key to handling these crises and this makes proactive policing achievable.
“Similarly, we want to charge the leadership of the military and the police to deploy technology empowered intelligence gathering platforms in the troubled states of the country in order to ensure peace within the walls of Nigeria.
“The peace, stability, and development of Nigeria is non-negotiable and we therefore call on stakeholders concerned to work assiduously towards achieving this.
“Lastly, CLEEN Foundation recommends the following actions:
- Communities affected by the recent violence should engage in peaceful dialogue to promote reconciliation and healing. Dialogue is key to ending the cycle of violence and finding long-term solutions to the conflicts.
- The government and citizens should prioritize intelligence gathering and information sharing. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring public safety and security. Citizens can help by providing information about suspicious activities in their communities to law enforcement agencies.
- The government should take proactive measures in its quest to secure the lives and properties of people in the state, especially those in communities that have been ravaged by crisis such as farmer-herder, banditry and gang operations.
“CLEEN Foundation calls on all stakeholders in Nigeria to work together to secure the country’s future. We must ensure that everyone plays their part in promoting peace, security, and stability in the nation. Equally, Nigerians must remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the appropriate authorities.”