The Elders Forum for Plateau Central Senatorial District has urged Nigerians not to take the recent claims by former defence minister, General Theophilus Y. Danjuma, over the ongoing killings in different parts of the country with levity.
It will be recalled that the retired General had about two weeks ago asked Nigerians not to depend on security operatives to defend them against bandits carrying out killings in different parts of the country.
Danjuma had also alleged that security operatives are giving cover to the bandits to kill Nigerians.
Danjuma, who spoke against the background of the killings in his home state of Taraba allegedly being carried out by herdsmen said: “You must rise to protect yourselves from these people; if you depend on the armed forces to protect you, you will all die”.
Nigerian military authorities as well as the Federal Government have condemned the assertions of the retired General.
But in a chat with journalists, Chief John Mankilik, speaking on behalf of the Forum, pleaded with Nigerians to take the assertions by the retired General on the ongoing killings in various parts of the country with all seriousness.
“We are totally with Gen. Theophilus Y. Danjuma as he spoke the minds of the bewildered people of Nigeria on the menace of the Fulani herdsmen," he said while lamenting incessant killings going on in Pleteau State in particular and middle belt generally.
“A trend seems to emerge in the Middle Belt States of Nigeria that there seems in correlation between President Buhari’s visits (Like Taraba, Plateau and Benue) and bloodshed trailing during such visits,‘’ the elders claimed.
He claimed that 30 persons were killed and several people were declared missing in an attack on Daffo district in Bokkos local government of the state during the last visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Plateau.
He claimed Plateau Government hid the killings from the President to score cheap political points at the detriment of the people of the state.
Mankaliki said even more saddening was the fact that two sons of Bokkos in the persons of Sen. Joshua Dariye and Chief Jethro Akun, were given opportunity to address the president, but kept mute over the killings in their home front.
“While Akun’s village and community was being extinguished, all he could tell the president was that he sponsored stories in seven national dailes in support of the president’s 2019 ambition.
“The duo (Dariye and Akun) have endanger the dignity and integrity of Plateau Central Senatorial District by sadly and shockingly declaring a clean bill of health for Plateau even when fighting was on-going in Akuns village with all houses, including his own, were being razed down by terrorists, ’’ he pointed out.
The forum therefore said that, “In this state of despondency, it may be very unfair to dimiss Gen T.Y. Danjuma’s call to self defence as a call to anarchy while the legitimate security forces who are supposed to protect all and sundry have failed to disarm the Fulani herdsmen.’’
The elders urged the people of Plateau to rise up and rescue the state.