Lalong begs community to forgive killers of 484 persons in 2010
Lalong, who was in the community to celebrate Christmas with the orphans and widows, in company of top government officials, which included the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Rufus Bature and chairman of the Caretaker Committee of Jos South, Mr. Augustine Pwakim, told them to leave vengeance for God.
The governor said God would avenge for the people without them doing it themselves. “All we can do now is to pray for peaceful rest for those killed and I appeal to you to sustain and build on the existing peace.”
The governor commended Apostle Eugene Ogu, the President, Arm of Hope Foundation, Port Harcourt, for establishing the first secondary school in the community.
The governor assured the community of rehabilitating all the property destroyed by the attackers. It would be recalled that the people were abandoned after the media attention, which trailed the tragedy.
Principal of the only school in the community, which was also destroyed, Esther Samson, called on the governor to assist them with educational facilities such as a laboratory and computers, adding that the school has not been registered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO).
One of the students, Bulus Daniel, said the school is transforming them into better citizens, however, during the attacks, many children were made orphans while many of their parents were made widows and widowers.
Lalong later led a delegation to the mass burial site of the victims, where a special prayer session was held for the repose of their soul and peace of the state.
In another development, more than 30 communities in the southern part of Plateau State have agreed to end years of hostilities, which have culminated in the death of hundreds of people and destroyed property worth millions of Naira.
In an agreement, signed last Thursday in Shendam, the communities sequestered in six local councils of Langtang North, Langtang South, Mikang, Qua’an Pan, Shendam and Wase, resolved to put aside their differences and live in peace irrespective of tribe or religion.
The agreement contained in a statement made available to The Guardian was brokered by Switzerland-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), which is an independent mediation organisation, dedicated to helping improve global response to armed conflict. It has been mediating in the inter-communal disputes in Plateau and Kaduna states.
The historic occasion tagged ‘The Southern Plateau Peace Declaration’, was witnessed by the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, W. Stuart Symington, his German counterpart, Ambassador Bernhard Schlagheck, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Plateau State governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, Transition Committee Chairmen of the six local councils, traditional rulers and member representing Wase Federal Constituency, Idris Majei, among others.
Lalong, who was elated by the development, said the state has enjoyed relative peace in the two years of his administration, which has enabled him to concentrate on delivering democracy dividends to the people.