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Insecurity: Chief Of Defence Staff Meets Stakeholders In Plateau

Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor, yesterday met with Plateau State stakeholders in Jos as part of efforts to restore peace in the state, describing the security challenge in the state as worrisome.

He said the meeting aimed at finding lasting solution to the killings and wanton destruction of lives and properties in the state.

The CDS said the meeting would grant him the opportunity to hear from the people on factors responsible for the killings and what should be done to address the menace.

Irabor described the myriad of security challenges in the state as “worrisome”, hence the need for key stakeholders to meet and examine solutions.

According to him, “Recently, the peace process in Plateau has been distorted and we recorded loss of lives and massive destruction of properties. These occurrences are not heart-warming at all; these killings cannot continue.

“So, I am here with my team to look at what has been the problem, first by hearing from you and to get your opinions on what should be done. It is also to ensure that as a people, we have a common understanding that never again will we allow the loss of lives and properties as we recently experienced.”

The CDS, who commiserated with the government and people of the state over the recent happenings, urged for collective efforts toward entrenching lasting peace.

He said: “The security agencies alone cannot give you peace. It can only create the enabling environment for you to take the lead in the peace process. Plateau used to be the best place one can be in this country; the favourable weather, fertile land and the ambience is second to none. The desire of Mr President is to ensure that lasting peace returns to Plateau. This is why I am here.”

Governor Simon Lalong, his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden and other top government officials attended the meeting.

Traditional rulers, local government chairmen, representatives of cultural and development associations, youth and women groups, were also in attendance.

Earlier, the CDS, called for cooperation from stakeholders and residents of Plateau to end insecurity in the state.

General Irabor, who spoke when he paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Simon Lalong over recent attacks in the state, said “Peace on the Plateau can only be achieved with input from everyone that is in the Plateau. The military and security agencies’ input to the peace process is only a minute part. The greater part is to be borne by the citizens and every inhabitant of the Plateau.”

According to him, the military only created enabling conditions to enable security agencies, led by the police, to discharge their critical traditional roles in curbing insecurity.

Irabor said mutual understanding was required from Plateau people to enable them to play their roles in the state’s peace process.

Irabor assured Plateau people that the armed forces would work assiduously to restore peace in the state through its various outfits particularly through Operation Safe Haven.

He decried the spate of killings in the state, especially of women and children, saying peace initiatives by the people and the state government would ensure an end to insecurity.

In his remarks, Gov. Lalong thanked the CDS for his concern on the security situation in Plateau and commended the military’s efforts at calming situations.

“The military is doing its best. I thank you for that,” the governor told the CDS, he said.

He said Plateau is home for everyone and his administration was doing its best to maintain the status quo, saying he established the Plateau Peace Building Agency as part of his peace initiatives.

Gov. Lalong expressed optimism that the stakeholders meeting would contribute in finding lasting solution to insecurity in the state.

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