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Plateau communities urged to form vigilante groups

Religious and community leaders in Plateau State have called on all communities in the state to, as a matter of urgency, form and train vigilante…

Religious and community leaders in Plateau State have called on all communities in the state to, as a matter of urgency, form and train vigilante groups to help protect them during the festive season.

In a communiqué, issued at the end of a quarterly consultative meeting and signed by the outgoing Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama, leaders from Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), leaders of Berom, Fulani, Afizere, Igbo and other ethnic groups, the leaders stressed that vigilante groups can play an effective and complementary role to the police.

The meeting, which was chaired by the Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) in Plateau State, Muhammad Nuru Abdullahi, held at the Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace Centre (DREP), also frowned at the lack of presence of security heads and government representatives describing the development as disappointing.

The communiqué read that; “while we agree that security is everyone’s business, we however notice with dismay the continued absence of security agents during our meetings where respected religious and community leaders meet quarterly to deliberate on security issues that affect the peaceful coexistence of our citizens.”

While speaking on the sideline, Kaigama, who was recently appointed the Archbishop of Abuja Diocese,  said the presence of security agents at the meeting would make a huge difference.

“It will enable them to hear directly from the community and religious leaders and those in the grass roots who are dealing with the problems that may arise. But if they don’t come, there is a disconnect that is not healthy.”

He assured that the role of DREP in peace building will be sustained after he leaves the state adding that, “when we inaugurated this centre in February 2013, I said, even though an initiative of the Catholic Church represented by me, we are donating the centre to the people of Plateau State, that it is a neutral place where people can come and share, interact and seek ways to resolve problems that arise in the communities and state.”


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