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Plateau communities call for empowerment of local vigilantes

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Communities in the Wase Local Government Area of Plateau on Friday renewed their call for empowerment for local vigilante groups to protect lives and property in the areas.

The renewed call came as an aftermath of recent attacks in the area.

The Rekna (emir) of Bashar, Alhaji Adamu Idris, made the call during an interface between key stakeholders in the local government area and Gov. Simon Lalong at the council’s headquarters in Wase.

Represented by a member of his traditional council, Alhaji Nuhu Ali, the emir said the local vigilance group was able to drive away bandits out of the Sabon Gari community in times past and stressed that they would perform well if empowered.

Alhaji Ali expressed concern that communities which share borders with Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe states were more vulnerable to attacks, urging the government to deploy security personnel to those areas.

The Emir of Wase, Alhaji Muhammad Haruna, who also sent an emissary, the Waziri of Wase, Alhaji Muhammad Gbadamosi, thanked the governor for commiserating with the local government area over the loss of lives and property during the attack.

He called for concerted efforts to end attacks in the area, adding that farmers desired to return to their sources of livelihood.

In his remarks, Chairman of Wase Local Government Council, Dr Ado Buba, said 14 villages had been deserted following attacks by bandits.

He called for the investigation and prosecution of suspects arrested to serve as a deterrent to would-be bandits.

“We request for a well-equipped and manned clearance operations by security agencies, particularly the military to restore confidence in the people.

“We also want the establishment of army formation at our borders with Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe states.

“The army formation should cover villages like Pinau, Bangala, Kampani/Zurak, Zak, Sabon-Gari and Yuli,’’ he said.

In his remarks, the governor commiserated with the communities over their losses. He said the attack was one of the reasons why President Muhammadu Buhari summoned an emergency Security Council meeting.

The governor assured that the government was already making efforts to improve security at border communities.

He said security agencies would be stationed in displaced towns to build peoples’ confidence to return to the villages.

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