The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has strongly condemned the recent attack in Plateau State, expressing deep concern about the escalating insecurity in the region. In a press release issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Professor Tukur Muhammad-Baba, the ACF lamented the tragic incident that claimed over 100 lives and left numerous others injured.
The press release acknowledged the grim impact of the attacks on lives and property, drawing parallels with recent incidents in Tudun Biri, Kaduna State, and Zurmi, Zamfara State. ACF expressed heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, mourning the loss of lives and praying for the injured to recover swiftly.
While recognizing the broader challenges of insecurity nationwide, the ACF emphasized the need to address the specific threats Arewa communities face. The statement underscored the urgency for the government to declare a state of emergency in security for vulnerable and banditry-prone areas. ACF called for comprehensive early-warning and early-response strategies involving active community participation.
The ACF urged the government to intensify intelligence efforts across all security agencies, including the armed forces, the Department of Security Service (DSS), the Nigeria Police, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). This collective effort aims to gather actionable information, identify perpetrators, and prosecute those involved in communal conflicts and insecurity.
Furthermore, the ACF called for the implementation of containment and elimination strategies against the rising incidents of banditry, terrorism, farmer-herder clashes, and senseless killings. The statement emphasized the importance of providing immediate relief and compensation for victims affected by arson, banditry, and terrorism.
In addressing the complex issue, the ACF advocated for empowering community leaders, elders, clergy, traditional leaders, and other stakeholders to engage in community dialogue for conflict resolution, reconciliation, and cooperation. Specifically addressing Plateau State, the ACF called on elders, traditional and community leaders, civil society organizations, and others to intensify their efforts in conflict resolution.
The ACF concluded by urging citizens to provide security agencies with credible information about the activities of insurgents and criminals. It emphasized the importance of avoiding the glorification of terrorists with ethno-religious biases. The collective call is for a concerted effort to restore peace, security, and stability to the affected regions and the nation at large.