Your Excellency Sir,
Mr. President Sir, my name is Barr. Menseh Madaki, a legal practitioner, human right activist and an indigene of Plateau State, Nigeria specifically from Bassa Local Government Area. It is with utmost unquantifiable magnitude of respect that I have decided to write to you this open letter. In my usual character sir, I would have been unbothered to write you this letter if the terrible, unfortunate and avoidable circumstances of gruesome and merciless pogrom we have found ourselves in Plateau State, as a microcosm of the nation, have not continued to fester to the exacerbating extent of threatening the fabric of the entire nation.
Sir, the gruesome killings and massacre ongoing in Plateau State have a chequered history but the incidents have heightened and geometrically increased unbearably in the recent years with the last two months rendering shivers down the spines of many and the state practically becoming unsafe for everyone including security operatives. Sir, I am a young man who aspires to see a better country for both the young and the old to thrive, human beings also to operative irrespective of religious differences and divides, therefore I am not a religious bigot or fanatic who seeks to promote, defend and encourage the perpetuation of one religion against the other ethnic nationality.
Sir, without mincing words and at the risk of equivocation, there are various communities in Plateau State today that have been under siege and grave attacks by Fulani Militia notable amongst them are, Irigwe Community in Bassa Local Government, Bwoi Village in Mangu Local Government, Zangam Village in Jos North Local Government, Various communities in Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos and Jos East Local Government Areas of Plateau state aside other strategic places within the metropolis. For the records Mr. President, on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day of August, 2021 in Irigwe village of Jebbu Miango in Bassa Local Government Area, over 68 people were mercilessly butchered in their homes, over 500 homes set ablaze in a merciless conflagration and over 50, 000.00 people rendered homeless and destitute in their ancestral homes. These coordinated ungodly genocides were carried out unperturbed by Fulani militias for almost 3 clear days without security intervention even when the 3rd armored division of the Nigerian Army is but a stone throw from the locus criminis. Sadly sir, when this catastrophic incident happened some gentlemen visited the Governor of the State at the Plateau State Government House only to be told after waiting for an hour that the Governor was asleep. One of the gentlemen came on air to tell the public of his experience, this made some Plateau people to christen the Governor “Sleeping Governor”. When I saw how ominous the onerous and catastrophic cloud was gathering in the sky and like a prophet I quickly wrote an open letter on the 7th day of August, 2021 honestly advising the Governor as his lover and professional colleague so as to swiftly intervene and headlong assuage the anxiety, tension and tempers in people, my letter did not receive any attention from the Governor.
Sadly sir, on the 14th day of August, 2021 another sordid, dingy, condemnable and besmirched incident took place along Bassa-Rukuba Road which led to extermination of the lives of commuters without justification which would have been averted had the Governor listened and acted earlier than that time. It was at this hour that the Governor woke up from his deep snoring sleep and imposed curfew in the three Local Government Areas and sadly on the 15th day of August, 2021 being Sunday innocent students of the famous University of Jos were soullessly, pitilessly and remorselessly attacked and killed by blood-sucking marauders some on their way to the church others while trying to navigate their ways through the metropolis. On that same night of 15th day of August, 2021 sir, Irigwe village was again attacked despite the 24 hours curfew and over 20 people were once again butchered. The pictures trended on social media for days. Lamentably, on the 23/08/2021 there was again another coordinated attack on some civilian motorists along Mangu Boi Bokkos Road, the Inspector General of Police Rapid Response Team (IGPRRT) in Mangu intervened which led to the death of six Gunmen and most unfortunately two of the officers including the Team’s commander Inspector Isah Abdulrahaman Danzakara lost their lives. Again, on the 24th day of August, 2021 at about 8pm till midnight, over 40 people were massacred in Yelwa Zangam village behind the permanent site of University of Jos in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State despite the subsistence of the relaxed curfew from 6p-6am daily. To the people of Plateau State, the curfew is another fiendish style to cage people at home to be killed by Fulani militia..
Mr. President sir, the above graphic records are to demonstrate to you most sincerely that there is no iota of peace in Plateau State at the moment as pontificated by the Governor who visited you at the villa on the 24th day of August, 2021 to formally brief you on the state of insecurity in Plateau State. Sir, Plateau people watched on television what the Governor told you but I want to say without ambivalence that most of the things the Governor discussed with you are outright bright-lines of economy of the truth. On the issue of the efforts of the State Government in respect of the university of Jos students, the speaker of the university of Jos, SUG Rt. Hon. Nanshin Prosper Lakai issued a statement debunking ever “receiving any relief material from the state Government, State Government didn’t guarantee their security, he went further to say that Mr. Governor lied when the Governor told you that the school was resuming academic activities” in fact, the leadership of the university also came out publicly to issue a disclaimer that the school was not resuming activities to avoid any untoward experience.
Perspicuously sir, the people of Plateau State are grateful for your swift intervention and the manifest presence of helicopters hovering daily in the sky and more security personnel in the state but we however are discontented with the services being administered as the wanton killings have rather proliferated and snowballed into a full blown war waxing more dastardly as it was on the said 24th august, 2021 when Gov. Lalong visited you and painted a picture of normalcy and peace being returned that over 40 people were murdered in Yelwa Zangam village as confirmed by CAN. The highest and zenith of dissatisfaction by the people of Plateau State with the way the Governor is treating the issue with Kids gloves, the people of Anaguta and the rest under whose province the attack of 24th August, 2021 was carried out, carried all the over 40 corpses and dumped them in front of the Plateau State Government House, Rayfield for the Governor to see and feel his obvious incompetence and incalculable ineptitude in handling the fragile security architecture of Plateau State. Sir, the people of Plateau State are being killed on daily basis by the blood sucking Fulani militias.
Sir, it is quite interesting to point out to you that Governor Lalong has not helped the course of Plateau State’s dwindling security network and in a constitutional democracy where freedom of constructive criticism is permitted, it behooves on us to tell you the truth, Plateau State is under fierce and serious burning fire and a stitch in time will save nine because as at now, the members of the Plateau State House of Assembly are being charged by their various constituents for the impeachment of Governor Simon Bako Lalong from office due to his sheer administrative impotence which has continued to consume the very people he constitutionally vowed to protect. One of such petitions flows from the statement issued by the Patriotic Youths Vanguard of Plateau State (PYVP) an umbrella of Youths of all the 17 LGAs issued on the 25th day of August, 2021 who inter alia asked for the resignation of Governor Lalong under section 306 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for his unpopular and unfavourable leadership style.
Lucidly sir, the issue is not that of Muslims/Christians dichotomy in Plateau State but it is clearly of Fulani Militias who are diabolic agents of darkness on colossal rampage and just like El-Rufai of Kaduna State once said on BBC these Fulani herders/Militias are neither Muslims nor Christians because some of them that were caught could not even recite the “Fatihah” neither could they recite the Lord’s Prayers meaning that they are devilish mercenaries on a monstrous mission, to kill and destroy innocent people on the Plateau. We have noticed with great consternation that the Governor’s operation as the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum has further destabilized his concentration to the detriment of the people. Where security of the state gives way to conspiracy and does not improve within the next 21 days, we would urge you sir to invoke the sacred provisions of section 305 (3) of the 1999 constitution as amended for the declaration of a state of emergency in Plateau State more so that in 2001, President Olusegun Obasanjo declared a state of emergency when Chief Joshua Dariye could not tame the crisis in the state as the then serving Governor.
Sir, when you won the presidential elections in 2015, you categorically told fellow Nigerians that you are for nobody but for everybody and we were all gladdened by that singular statement, sir we want you to demonstrate to the good people of Plateau State irrespective of any primordial sentiment and prejudices or religious dichotomy that peace can be restored and we need it now. We want to see the presence of the Federal Government in Plateau State immediately as you promised while subscribing to your Oath of office and Oath of allegiance for peace to reign in Nigeria. Sir, you must be compassionate to the plights of ordinary masses at these perilous times which had continued unabated to the detriment of the collective peaceful co-existence of ordinary Nigerians. Section 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution squarely rests the primary and carinal responsibility of ensuring the welfare and security of the people on every government and I must say both the welfare and security of the people of Plateau State have not been guaranteed as Plateau State now has more IDP camps more than conventional homes. In fact, people no longer sleep with their eyes closed in Plateau State despite the rising number of corpses of innocent masses.
In sum sir, the people of Plateau State both Christians and Muslims are collectively disappointed with the Governor of the State in every respect, no infrastructural development in the State, no human capacity development, poor road networks and the existing ones left by previous administrations have been abandoned and now moribund, insecurity now more palpably felt than ever in the history of the State, small scale and micro businesses no longer growing concerns and other myriad issues. By this open letter we demand among other things the following:
(a) The immediate arrest, detention and prosecution of all perpetrators of these dastardly acts in the state irrespective of their religious affiliations and ethnic proclivities howsoever.
(b) Immediate and prompt declaration of a state of emergency on the security of Plateau State and by extension middle-belt
(c) Mobilization of adequate security personnel including air and land armies to Plateau State as the existing ones on ground are quite inadequate and the need to have more.
(d) More helicopters should be provided and a thorough ransack of all the bushes and mountains around Plateau State should be carried out with the aim of neutralizing all the hideouts of all these criminals who keep terrorizing the state in all facets.
(e) Relief materials should as a matter of utter urgent attention and concerns be provided to all the displaced persons and all those affected by this menace irrespective of their religious or tribal identities
(f) The houses of those demolished and burnt to ashes should be reconstructed and or rebuilt with the aim of relocating all the affected communities to their ancestral homes with military camps provided in those areas/communities for the assurances of security to the people.
(g) The Governor must voluntarily relinquish one of his offices either as the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum or cease to operate as the Governor of Plateau State in the circumstance since it appears that he cannot proficiently handle the daunting security challenges of the State.
(h) Monetary compensations should also be provided as relief funds to the affected community members which must be shared and or distributed directly to all affected persons without compromise.
(i) Justice must not be compromised in the discharge of Government’s sacred responsibilities in the circumstance.
Sir, I am an advocate of one peaceful Nigeria governed under the principles of equity, fairness, fear of God and justice without manifest injustice. Above all, God is watching, the blood of the innocent people that had been split is also crying to high heavens for Justice sir. May the dream of our founding fathers not die in your regime. Wake up to the occasion and I assure you, the heavens will applaud your danielic equanimity.
Yours in the Struggle for a better Nigeria and a peaceful Plateau
Barr. Emmanuel Menseh Madaki, LLB (Hons.), BL, LLM (ABU), MIPMA
Legal Practitioner and Human Right Activist