In a recent interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang revealed a disturbing reality: terrorists have been occupying schools in the Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area for the past five years. Expressing disappointment in the lack of political will by the Federal Government to dislodge these insurgents, Governor Mutfwang voiced his concerns over the escalating crisis on the Plateau.
The governor, visibly disturbed by the recent Christmas Eve attacks on over 15 communities in Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi, emphasized the unfortunate toll of these assaults. Reports indicate that the attacks have claimed over 115 lives, left scores injured, and resulted in the torching of hundreds of houses.
Governor Mutfwang called for a shift from a reactive to a proactive security strategy, stating, “We must stop this carnage.” He highlighted that in Barkin-Ladi Local Government, schools have been under terrorist occupation for years, displacing at least 64 communities and leading to the takeover of vast lands.
Expressing his commitment to addressing the issue, Governor Mutfwang pledged to approach President Bola Tinubu to provide clear instructions to security agents for protecting the people on the Plateau against land-grabbing attackers. He emphasized the need for a constitutional approach to land acquisition, urging potential settlers to engage in peaceful negotiations with communities.
The governor warned against resorting to violence, stating, “Where they resort to violence to take over those lands, you will be sure that this is a time bomb because it will reach a time when people react, and we are going to have a large-scale conflict.”
Highlighting a crucial aspect of the problem, Governor Mutfwang lamented the lack of arrests or prosecutions in connection with the attacks, suggesting that some feel the attackers are being protected. He urged a confrontational approach to address this issue head-on, emphasizing the lasting impact on schools, healthcare centers, and communities affected by the prolonged occupation.