23 rights groups condemn looting, burning of properties in Plateau

A coalition of 23 civil civil society groups and human rights organisations has condemned the recent mass looting and burning down of private and public properties in Plateau State,saying the development which it noted,was strange to the state must not be allowed to reoccur.

This was as the group commended Operation Safe Haven, (OPSH), the Special military taskforce responsible for internal security in Plateau, South Kaduna and Bauchi states for its professional conduct in handling the situation without recording any casualties.

The group under the umbrella of Coalition of Civil Societies for Peace and Human Rights (COCIPAH) also noted that Plateau has for long not recorded any human rights abuse from military personnel in the state and commended the military outfit for the feat.

In the statement signed by its National Chairman, Dr Gyang Sha, the group particularly commended
Operation Safe Haven, for what it described as “the exceptional role they played in deescalating the violent conflict in Jos.”

It tasked the Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong not only to set up machinery to begin youth engagement in the state but take the initiative to his counterparts as Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, saying the initiative would restore peace in the entire northern region.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the recent mass looting and stealing of both government and private properties in some parts of Nigeria, particularly in Jos, Plateau State and call on law enforcement agencies to swing into action with a view to arresting the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity,” it said.

“At a point before the military came out the hoodlums and looters were operating with impunity, stealing and destroying people’s private properties unchallenged until Operation Safe Haven stepped in and saved the situation.

“They made several arrests and recovered exhibits of high magnitude. This singular act went a long way in deterring the looters who were operating initially as if there is no law in Nigeria,” the statement said.

“While we call on Governor Simon Bako Lalong to set up machinery to begin youth engagement in the state, we discovered there is a huge communication gap between the youths and governance. This is one of the major factors responsible for the high level of destruction in some states in Nigeria, particularly in Plateau State.”

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