STATE OF EMERGENCY IN PLATEAU, A MOVE TO PLACATE VESTED INTERESTS - LAWMAKERS
Members of the National Assembly from Plateau State have decried the declaration of state of emergency in four local governments in the state as a move to placate certain individuals bent on punishing the people of the state.
In a joint press conference, the members insisted that from all indications the state was the victim of terrorist acts sponsored, organised and executed by external forces.
The conference, which was addressed by the Senator representing Plateau North, Dr. Gyang Datong said this suspicion was supported by the fact that after the meeting with President Jonathan over the Madalla massacre, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammad Saad Abubakar, was quoted as demanding for the implementation of the Solomon Lar report on Jos crisis as if that had any immediate connection with the Christmas Day outrage.
'Such linkage,' they insisted 'distort the reality of the security challenges in the country perpetrated and owned up to by an undisguised Islamic fundamentalist group.'
The National Assembly members, six of whom were present at the briefing, said before the state of emergency was proclaimed, Jos crisis had received adequate attention from the Federal Government with the setting up of the special task force on the crisis and the taking over of the security management of the state by the chief of defence staff.
'Now with the state of emergency, the same CDS and the inspector general of police are to take charge of the control and management of security in the affected local government areas. Does this suggest improvement or is it merely running round in circles?' they queried. As the National Assembly was still on recess and details of the proclamation yet to be released, the members said after due consultation with their constituencies, their people had said they smelt a rat in the proclamation and believed they were being targeted for punishment.
While calling on the people of the state to continue to maintain peace, they appealed to the Federal Government to come to the assistance of the beleaguered communities who as victims, needed relief, rebuilding and resettlement since the intendment of emergency provisions in the Constitution was to confer more powers on the president to provide not only protection to the citizens but succour as well.
'Therefore, in transmitting the detail of the proclamation, specifics on these reliefs and protection should be included.' The press conference had in attendance Senators Gyang Dangtong and Victor Lar and five House of Representatives members including Emmanuel Go'ar, Aminu Jonathan, Innocent Tirsel and Simon Wadkon. Though Bitrus Kaze was not at the briefing, he, however, signed the text, while Senator Joshua Dariye as well as Beni Lar and Idris Ahmed of the House of Representatives were absent at the briefing and did not sign the text, though the members explained this was due to time factor.