Plateau killings: ‘Devilish, barbaric, an act of genocide’ – Church leaders

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By Agabus Pwanagba

Church Denominational Leaders and Spiritual fathers in Plateau State have described the recent killing of armless civilians in some communities of the State “as devilish, barbaric and an act of genocide”.

They also called on the government to take deliberate action by halting the killings and restoring peace and tranquility in the State, and other parts of the country facing similar challenges.

Recall that since last week Monday, some communities in Mangu LGA of the State have been attacked by yet to be identified assailants.

Also recall that the State Police Command had confirmed arrest of seven suspects in connection with the incident, but nothing has been heard again.

The Church Denominational Leaders and Spiritual fathers through Rev. Stephen Baba Panya, ECWA President, expressed worry over the recurring killing of armless civilians who are mainly Christians in Mangu and Riyom LGAs of the State.

It reads: “We are very deeply saddened by the resurgence of mindless killings of innocent citizens, mainly Christians, in Mangu and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State.

“The killings which started in Mangu villages, Plateau State, Nigeria on Monday, 15th May 2023, by so-called unknown gunmen, have claimed many lives and properties, with many persons still missing.

“The villages affected include Fungzai, Hale, Kubwat, Bwoi and many other communities of Kombun District of Mangu Local Government Area and some communities in Riyom Local Government Area.

“According to reports, about 130 people were killed, about 1000 houses and about 22 churches burnt, and about 22 villages affected.

“We the Church Denominational Leaders and Spiritual fathers on the Plateau view this round of killings and destruction as devilish, barbaric and an act of genocide against innocent and armless villagers.

According to them, “This again is another sad commentary on the unabated bloodletting that had engulfed Plateau State over the years without any meaningful attempt by Government at the federal and the state levels to decisively address the unfortunate situation.

“For how long will this bloodletting continue?

“The persistent attacks and killings in Plateau state continue to raise a number of questions.

“Who really wants to destroy Plateau State and why? Are the killers really ‘unknown’ gunmen and why do they always have sophisticated weapons and enough time to wreak havoc on innocent citizens? What has happened to those arrested in previous attacks? Are the security agencies in Plateau really handicapped?

“If we must move forward as a peaceful, united and democratic nation, then these and many other questions must be answered through deliberate action by government to bring these killings to the end and restore peace and tranquility in Plateau State and other troubled parts of the country”, the Church leaders maintained.

“We the Church Leaders and Spiritual Fathers are calling on the government and all security agencies to immediately stop this ongoing massacre and its spread to more communities.

“We also urge relevant emergency management agencies to urgently provide shelter and relief materials to the affected communities and bring them the much-needed succour.

“We implore spirited individuals, groups, and organizations to also come to the aid of these devastated communities.

“The church must not relent in praying to God for his divine intervention, inner strength and perseverance for the people of Plateau State.

“Let us hold on to God’s promises and fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith”, they stressed.

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