The member representing Jos North/Jos South Federal Constituency of Plateau State in the House of Representatives, Dachung Bagos, has described the killings in the state as “a genocide.”
The lawmaker, at a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, said the attacks should not be referred to as crises but a genocide committed against the people of the state.
Mr Bagos said the people of the state are being killed while their lands are grabbed by non-state actors.
He, however, failed to reveal the identities of the non-state actors, saying it is the responsibility of the State Security Service (SSS) to name the perpetrators.
Stating that a clash would involve two sides having casualties, Mr Bagos said: “I have not seen where the people that are having clashes — farmer-herder clash — when it is farmers that are always chased from their land, killed on the land. Their lands are being grabbed and you call it clash, I don’t understand .
“The real situation, the real issue on the ground is genocide. So if we don’t start looking at these angles very well, I know that — how many of the people that have been killed on daily basis — I know how almost a tribe is almost being extinct as a result of these killings on a daily basis and you call it a crisis? We call it clash?”
Mr Bagos called for state and community policing to resolve the issue of insecurity in the country.
He said though the crisis is not new, land grabbing is at the heart of the killings.
The lawmaker blamed the inability of the government to dispense justice on the killings, noting that security agents are arresting youth of the affected communities after attacks.
“Justice is the answer. Bringing the perpetrators to book is the answer. The youths that come out to defend themselves are always the ones that are always arrested. Where is justice?
“Imagine that a community is attacked and at the end of the day the people that are being arrested, youths from that same community, which means they are the one that attacked their own communities, which is irrational,” Mr Bagos said.
There have been renewed killings in Plateau State in the recent months.
In August, PREMIUM TIMES reported the killing of 35 persons in Yelwa Zangam, which prompted mourners to take the corpse of the deceased to the State House of Assembly.
Earlier, 20 persons were killed along Rukuba Road in Jos. The victims of the attack were returning from Bauchi State to Ondo State after a religious programme.
About 20 suspects were arrested in connection with the incident.
The attack was condemned by Christian Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), and President Muhammadu Buhari.