BURNING POT BY DR. PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON

 

Two-fighting, none winning, looking for peace…

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The affection distorts the perception. The Master used to talk about it often. One day his students got an amazing example, proving those words.

 

They heard the Master talking to one mother.

 

 “How is your daughter living?”

 

“My dear daughter! She is so happy. She has a wonderful husband! He gave her a car, bought her jewelry that she dreamed about, and hired servants for her. They serve her breakfast in bed, and she stays in bed until noon. He’s not a husband, but a prize!”

 

 “And how’s your son?” 

 

“My poor boy! He married a real grouch! He gave her everything she wanted - a car, jewelry, an army of servants. And she is lying in bed until noon! And doesn’t even get up to make breakfast for her husband!

 

The recent killing of community leader Adamu Gabdo in Panyam, Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, once again, highlights the precarious nature of peace in the region. The incident, undoubtedly tragic, has reignited conversations about the efforts made by various stakeholders to secure the state's peace. Let me quickly add that Adamu Gabdo's story is following a known trajectory!

 

On a somber Saturday in Plateau State, Adamu Gabdo met an untimely end in Panyam. His killing is now under investigation by the Plateau State police, and the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Third Armoured Division, Rukuba Barracks, Major General Abubakar Abdulsam, has ordered a thorough inquiry. Their swift response to the incident demonstrates the commitment of our security operatives to upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice prevails. However, like I said it follows a trajectory.

 

Adamu Gabdo's life story takes a tragic turn, as he had previously relocated to Toro Local Government in Bauchi due to the violent inter-ethnic clashes that engulfed the Mangu area. It was during a condolence visit to this troubled region that he met his untimely demise or better put, along official lines that he got missing.

 

In the wake of this horrifying incident, Markus Artu, the Chairman of Mangu Local Government, swiftly issued a statement condemning the killing. He rightly described it as barbaric and an act of criminality that threatens the peace that has been slowly returning to Plateau State.

 

His strong words sent a message that acts of violence will not be tolerated in Plateau State. It is a message that reinforces the commitment of local leaders to the restoration and maintenance of peace in their communities.

 

The efforts of the State Government, under the leadership of Governor Barr. Caleb Mutfwang, in restoring peace to Plateau State, cannot be overstated. The State Government's dedication to reconciliation and peaceful coexistence among people of different tribes and religions is evident, more can be done, and indeed must be done!

 

Under Governor Mutfwang's leadership, Plateau State has seen remarkable progress in its peace-building efforts. The relative peace that many residents now enjoy in the state is a testament to the tireless work of the state government and its commitment to the safety and well-being of its citizens.

 

As I examine the challenges Plateau State faces on its path to peace, it is crucial to appreciate the dedication of our security operatives. The Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) and the Plateau State police have worked tirelessly to ensure that peace prevails in the region.

 

The Operation Safe Haven's General Officer Commanding, Major General Abdulsalami Abubakar, deserves commendation for his leadership and his commitment to resolving the current crisis. His recent engagement with Fulani and Mangu stakeholders is a step in the right direction, as it fosters dialogue and understanding.

 

While I applaud the efforts of our security forces, it is also important to condemn the highhandedness and arbitrary arrests. The recent reports of arbitrary arrests, particularly the detention of women in Mangu, are concerning. While the importance of thorough investigations cannot be overstated, it is equally crucial to ensure that the rights of individuals, especially innocent civilians, are respected throughout these processes.

 

Every person, regardless of their circumstances, deserves dignity and their fundamental rights, including access to legal representation and a fair trial. This principle of justice must be upheld at all times.

 

The reason for this, I state once more is that we have been on this route before, on 31 October 2018, Alkali's lifeless body was recovered from an abandoned well in Guchwet, Shen, Jos South, after the water was drained with a water pump generator to allow access to his body parts. On 3 November 2018, the remains of the general were buried at Gudu Cemetery in Abuja per Islamic rites.

 

Then, credible intelligence revealed that his car was stopped and he introduced himself as a general to the hoodlums who had barricaded the road that he was just passing through to Bauchi. The senior officer was assaulted and killed.

 

I recall that Julius Chuwang, a 38-year-old farmer, told me he would not forget in a hurry the day his community was invaded by marauding soldiers. Chuwang was about to walk into a bar to have some beer with a friend when soldiers shot at him. He caught a bullet in his right arm and another in his left arm.

 

His offense was being a member of the Dura-Du District in Jos South Local Government Area, Plateau State, where Major General Idris Alkali (retd.) was killed on September 3, 2018.

 

Alkali’s killing brought trouble to the whole community and its environs. Arrests were made, suspects paraded and it was the end of the tale.

 

Plateau State now stands at a critical juncture—a chance to build a future where peace and coexistence prevail. Despite the challenges, the determination of local government leaders, the state governor, security operatives, and civil society organizations is a source of hope. As investigations continue and efforts to maintain peace progress, unity and cooperation among all stakeholders remain paramount. When two are fighting, none winning, looking for peace amidst challenges can be tough. We cannot repeat the same mistake, the innocent must not be made to suffer but also, we must not continue this trajectory, we must look at all sides and be sure…

 

In conclusion, I would like to call on all residents of Plateau State to remain calm and law-abiding as investigations into these incidents continue. Community leaders and stakeholders must work tirelessly toward lasting peace and reconciliation in our beloved state. Together, we can overcome the challenges and secure a brighter future for Plateau State—May Nigeria win