By NBF News

Jos- The Plateau State Government weekend said it was disturbed by the spate of killings in the state despite the strong presence of security personnel. It lamented that over N43 billion worth of property was lost in the 2008 crisis.

Chief of Staff, Mr. Gyang Pwajok stated at a meeting with academics tagged 'The Plateau State oneness dialogue' that a situation where those brought to secure the state have been 'drawn into the arena of conflict was regrettable.'

He lamented that the recurring crisis made the first of the 10-point agenda of the Jang administration which is 'Sustainable Peace and Security' difficult to achieve and was slowing down the development of the state as money that should have been spent on projects were being spent on security.

'We believe that this state is really under siege', he said and appealed to the academics to make frank suggestions on the way forward.

Welcoming participants to the forum, the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Yiljap Abraham said it was the first in a series organised by the state information management team designed 'to strengthen the participation of our people in government's agenda setting, policy formulation, implementation and monitoring.'

According to him, 'We see academics as people who can add value to the Plateau project and I am confident you will do so willingly and richly.'

In another development, the military authorities have upgraded the status of the Special Task Force, STF, maintaining security in the state in line with last week's directive by President Goodluck Jonathan to the Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petirin to take over security of the state.

This came as 1,300 anti riot policemen have been deployed in the state to join the STF operations. STF's Media Officer, Captain Charles Ekeocha who confirmed this to newsmen said additional personnel were being expected from the Army, Navy and Air Force to boost the operations of the task force.

The upgrading has resulted in the posting of Major General Oluseun Oshinowo as the new commander of the STF in place of Brigadier General Pat Akem who assumed duties as commander less than two weeks ago.