Christmas Eve Killings: Declare a state of emergency in the security sector in Plateau State – NBA SPIDEL tells President Tinubu

The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public interest and Development Law, NBA SPIDEL has called on the president of the federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu to declare a state of Emergency in the security sector in Plateau.

The section made this urgent call in a statement made available to BarristerNG on Tuesday and signed by its Chairman and Secretary, John Aikpokpo-Martins and Funmi Adeogun respectfully.

Condemning the inhumane act, SPIDEL noted that “the need for more proactive measures to be put in place in securing the lives and property of persons, especially those living in attack – prone areas of the country, can not be over emphasised”.

Read the full statement below 

CHRISTMAS EVE KILLINGS: A CALL FOR A DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN THE SECURITY SECTOR AND AN URGENT AND SUSTAINABLE ACTION FOR JUSTICE IN PLATEAU STATE.

The joy of Christmas was cut short in the most cruel manner for the indigenes of Bokkos and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas of Plateau State as bandits invaded the homes and environs of ill-starred villagers residing in several villages in the two local government areas on Christmas eve, the 24th day of December 2023 and committed brutal and serial acts of arson, bloodshed and murder without restraint. The official record of deaths as of when this statement was issued was approximated at about 115 persons. This is in addition to the burning down of about 221 houses, 27 motorcycles, and 8 cars.

NBA-SPIDEL condemns these atrocious and brutal killings and notes that these attacks which occured from Saturday night to the early hours of Monday, have left an open wound in the hearts of peace loving citizens of not just Plateau State but the whole country. The spate at which these attacks reoccur further suggests a pattern by unfazed and emboldened savages who do not fear for the consequences of their gruesome acts, having repeatedly carried out their attacks successfully in different villages and communities in Plateau State in particular and other neighbouring States.

NBA-SPIDEL states that the government cannot just keep making ineffectual statements whilst folding its arms while these repeated acts of unjustifiable and beastly killings continue to spread all over the country. This incident must, therefore, become the wake-up call for some proactiveness from the government and for the security forces to stamp their feet on every act of terrorism, banditry, and indiscriminate violent attacks in Plateau State. Nigerian citizens should be able to celebrate the festivities and go about their daily activities without fear of sudden and unprovoked attacks from armed men. This is a duty the government owes to each and every citizen of the country; that their lives and properties are secured, and that every element of violence is eliminated from the society.

Whilst acknowledging that this vicious attack has, quite unfortunately, already been carried out, we urge on the security agencies to quickly fish out the perpetrators of these dastardly acts of carnage. Not one of them should be spared. This is the only way these deaths can be avenged and the confidence of not just the survivors but every peace loving citizen of the country in the ability of the security agencies to protect them, can be restored.

The need for more proactive measures to be put in place in securing the lives and property of persons, especially those living in attack – prone areas of the country, can not be over emphasised. In the light of the foregoing, we call on the government and the respective security agencies to immediately take steps to ensure that the perpetrators of these horrendous acts are brought to justice and that such attacks do not occur again.

NBA-SPIDEL notes that Plateau State has suffered many incidents of insecurity, especially in its villages located in the hinterlands. It is observed that hardly does any festive season pass by without Plateau State recording a case of insecurity such as the instant one and in monumental proportions.

NBA-SPIDEL also notes that under the immediate past administration of Muhammedu Buhari, many incidents such as this were recorded in Plateau State. The question that appears to beg for an answer is how much the Buhari administration fared in ensuring an end to these nasty incidents particularly in empowering the relevant law enforcement agencies and the institutions of justice administration to bring to justice the criminal elements responsible for these terrible acts?

The current situation where hapless citizens who have been improverished by the harsh economic situation of the country (which situation is attributable to the impact of acts of monumental corruption and mismanagement of the country’s resources) are also subjected to the harrowing experience of killings and arson such as that which has continuously been witnessed in Plateau State, is totally unacceptable. No government, seriously concerned with the welfare of its citizens, should condone or sleep over such situations.

It is unfortunate that despite the intimidating record of the many occurrences of killings of citizens and razing of houses and properties of hapless and innocent citizens by bandits and armed men both in Plateau and other States of the Federation during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, there are no traceable records of thorough investigations and/or arrests and prosecutions of suspects arrested for these heinous crimes, hence the impunity on the part of the criminal elements to constantly perpetuate and continuously indulge in these eggregious crimes.

It is the expectation of every Nigerian that President Bola Tinubu would ensure that those involved in the shedding of the blood of innocent villagers in Bokkos and Baki Lardin Local Government Areas of Plateau State on Christmas eve would be brought to have their day in the appropriate courts as no justice could be said to have been done to the victims of these satanic acts if their assailants and their accomplices are walking the street free.

Consequently, NBA-SPIDEL calls on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR to immediately direct the heads of the security agencies to forthwith, commence a high powered investigation into this incident with the purpose of apprehending and prosecuting the perpetrators who participated in the brutal killings of the innocent natives of those villages.

NBA-SPIDEL urges the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR to declare a state of emergency in the security sector in Plateau State given these incessant, brutal and satanic attacks which seem to have defied all previous solutions, if indeed any solution were attempted in the first instance. These security breaches can only be condoned in a failed state.

NBA-SPIDEL calls on the Federal Government to immediately provide relief materials to the victims and rebuild the villages for occupation.

Finally, NBA-SPIDEL condoles with the families of those who lost their lives in these gory incidents and prays for the repose of their souls.

Dated the 26th day of December, 2023.

John Aikpokpo-Martins
(Chairman)

 

Funmi Adeogun
(Secretary)


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