The United States has, again, urged Nigerian Government to arrest and prosecute people behind killings of innocent persons in the Middle Belt region of the country.
Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Abuja, David Young, who made the call, said prosecuting those arrested in connection with the killings in Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, Taraba and other parts of the country, would be a step towards ending the circle of violence.
Young said this yesterday, during a three-day Peace and Security Conference, organised by Plateau Peace Building Agency, entitled: “The resurgence of violence in Plateau State: Towards a multi stakeholder partnership for peace and security,” held in Jos, Plateau State.
“The US government condemned, in the strongest terms, the violence which claimed innocent lives here in Plateau State, the Middle Belt and across Nigeria. The killing of innocent persons is not acceptable, whether in Plateau, Zamfara, Benue, Borno, Delta, Taraba states and any other part of the country.
“We, as a people of faith, must submit ourselves to God; we love God, but, some people don’t submit themselves to God. We must ensure that the criminals who commit this terrible act must be caught and prosecuted, we must break the circle of impunity.
“We call for effective reinforcement to arrest and prosecute the criminal elements and evil men. It is absolutely essential that those arrested should face charges in court, because bringing the criminal people to justice is a first step to end the violence.”
He charged Nigerians to dedicate themselves and work as drivers of conflicts resolution in the Middle Belt, Borno and the Niger Delta to enthrone peace in the country.
Young cautioned that effort must be made to halt the impending scarcity of land and resources in the country, particularly in the Middle Belt, to avert generational crisis.
“We must work as drivers of resolution of conflicts in Plateau, across the Middle Belt, in Borno, Niger Delta and beyond this country, because here, in the Middle Belt, we see there is a competition for land and resources, and it will get more in years to come.
“It’s time for everyone to realise, in Nigeria, that your country’s population is growing fast, and in 30 years to come, the population of Nigeria will grow from 190 million to about 400 million, and most of this population will be found in the Middle Belt region of the country.
“The challenges we face about land and resources is not going to get easier, it will get hotter and your children and your grant children will face greater challenges in the future; this is a crisis and we must give it a long term solution in Plateau State and all over Nigeria.
“We want different groups, farming communities and others to work together with government, to find solutions about their future and for everyone. My hope for Nigeria is that people will think about this, talk about this and work together to find solution now, because the attention the country needs is so much.”
He applauded the Imam of Yelwa Gindin-Akwati, Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, for saving over 300 women and children during the recent bloody attacks which consumed several lives in the villages of Barki-Ladi Local Government Area.