Church leaders in Plateau State said 1,000 houses and 22 churches have been burnt by bandits in the recent attacks in Mangu, Bokkos, and Riyom local government areas.
The leaders from different denominations said they were saddened by the resurgence of mindless killings of innocent residents by bandits. Several lives and property have been lost and many persons still missing in the three councils affected by the latest killings.
The church leaders said over 1,000 houses and about 22 churches were burnt. They view this round of killings and destruction as devilish, barbaric, and an act of ethnic cleansing against innocent and armless villagers.
A statement issued in Jos by ECWA president, Rev. Dr. Stephen Baba Panya on behalf of the church leaders lamented that it was another sad commentary on the unabated bloodletting that has engulfed Plateau State over the years without any meaningful attempt by the government at federal and state levels to address the unfortunate situation decisively.
“The persistent attacks and killings in Plateau communities continue to raise a number of questions.
Who really wants to destroy Plateau State and why? Are the killers really ‘unknown’ gunmen and why do they always have sophisticated weapons and enough time to wreak havoc on innocent citizens?”
According to the statement, “If we must move forward as a peaceful, united and democratic nation, then these and many other questions must be answered through deliberate action by the government to bring these killings to an end and restore peace and tranquility in Plateau State and other troubled parts of the country.
“We the church leaders and spiritual fathers are calling on the government and all security agencies to immediately stop these ongoing killings as it spreads to more communities. We also urge relevant emergency management agencies to urgently provide shelter and relief materials to the affected communities and bring them the much-needed succor.”
They also implored public-spirited individuals, groups, and organizations to also come to the aid of these devastated communities.
“We call on citizens to remain calm and peaceful in the face of this unwarranted persecution, and trust that the government and its relevant agencies will immediately restore normalcy and build confidence in the people,” the statement added.