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ActionAid Blames Plateau Killings on Government ‘Incompetence, Insensitivity’

“The security agencies have failed woefully in their fundamental duty to protect citizens “

ActionAid Nigeria has laid the blame of the massacre in Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas of Plateau State, which claimed the lives of over 150 innocent individuals and left thousands displaced, at the doorstep of state and federal governments, insisting that governments at both levels are glaringly incompetent and insensitivity.

The non-governmental agency in a statement on Thursday signed by its country director, Andrew Mamedu while
vehemently condemning the brutal massacre, said: “This horrific incident lays bare the glaring incompetence and insensitivity of both the federal and state governments, as well as security agencies in responding to human rights violations swiftly.”

Mamedu said: “The security agencies have failed woefully in their fundamental duty to protect citizens and the tardiness in responding to critical situations must be promptly addressed and rectified.”

ActionAid Nigeria called for the following immediate, resolute action from the Federal and State governments, security agents, and relevant ministries, departments, and agencies: “The security agencies must ensure that the perpetrators behind this heinous crime are promptly identified, apprehended, and subjected to the full extent of the law. The government’s duty is to demonstrate that such atrocities will be met with unwavering justice.

“The federal government must urgently deploy a substantial military presence in vulnerable areas to prevent further bloodshed, reprisal attacks and guarantee the safety of citizens.

“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and state emergency management agency (SEMA) must expedite the delivery of humanitarian aid to the displaced, addressing their immediate needs for safe shelter, quality food, and accessible medical care. A lackadaisical approach to this humanitarian crisis will not be tolerated as this will exacerbates the suffering of already traumatised families.

“The State government must confront and resolve the longstanding causes of ethno-religious conflicts in Plateau State through comprehensive community engagement, dialogue, and reconciliation efforts. The recurrence of the same tragic events is a damning indictment of governmental failure.”

Action Aid also added that: “The state government must also coordinate with FEMA and SEMA to address the persisting issue of discrepancies in the numbers reported dead during the incidents. The lack of accurate and consistent data poses a significant challenge, hindering effective response and accountability. The provision of accurate information is crucial for providing justice to the victims and their families, as well as maintaining public confidence in crisis management.”

It warned that it would not hesitate to engage citizens to vehemently demand an end to the government’s apathy and the tardiness of security agencies that blatantly disregard human rights, adding that: “We demand a paradigm shift in all tiers of government from a reactive stance to a proactive approach in addressing security challenges. It is imperative to prioritize preventive measures over reactionary responses to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens, fostering the creation of a resilient and secure nation.”

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

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