In appreciation of the step in the right direction, women in Plateau State have commended the state governor, Barrister Simon Bako Lalong, for signing bills passed by the Plateau State House of Assembly, seeking to effectively tackle criminal activities in the state into law
Some of these, according to the women who are mainly mothers operating under the aegis of Forum of Plateau Mothers (FOPLAM), included anti-kidnapping, anti-land grabbing, anti-cultism among others.
The group however noted that signing the bills into law without adequate funding of security agencies cannot achieve the objective.
In a statement, Monday, the group, appealed to Governor Lalong to compliment the efforts of the Federal Government by adequately supporting the security agencies in the state to crush all criminals.
The forum’s Chairperson, Barr. (Mrs.) Rebecca Pam, in the statement, particularly praised Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) among other security agencies for restoring peace on the Plateau, expressing happiness that some areas in the state which were hitherto known for crises have turned a new leaf.
According to the statement, “We wish to strongly commend the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Barr. Simon Bako Lalong, for taking the bold step by signing into law the state’s anti-kidnapping, anti-land grabbing, anti-cultism and other related matters bills passed by the Plateau State House of Assembly,” it said.
“This is the sure way to start in dealing with the menace of kidnapping in some areas of Plateau State.”
“The death sentence for kidnapping is a welcome step and must be commended by all. However, we appeal to the governor to massively scale up his support for security agencies to enable them to defeat this monster called kidnapping that is threatening Plateau State at the moment”..
It continued that, “our findings have regrettably shown that our security agencies don’t have sufficient vehicles, telecommunications, gadgets, close circuit cameras to police the forest, drones and even finances to buy fuel to respond to distress calls.”
“We are, therefore, appealing to the father of state and peace lover, Governor Lalong to save the citizens of the state from kidnappers and other criminalities by providing logistics to our security agencies”.
The group said it was elated that the security agencies in the state have restored peace.
The statement read partly, “We wholeheartedly and emotionally commend Operation Safe Haven, (OPSH), the special military task force set up in Plateau State for internal security operations, and other security agencies for working so hard to restore relative peace to the state and environs.
“This is so dear to us as mothers because of the so much trauma occasioned by the loss of lives, maiming, raping and others we have experienced in our communities in the past.”
According to the group, “Though these have been very challenging, however, starting from May, this year, relative peace has fully returned.”
“There are no major incidents in our communities except for some criminal activities which we view not to be peculiar to our state and region,” it added.
“The deliberate attacks and killings of our people by criminals in our communities in the past have been drastically reduced due to the concerted efforts and commitment of officers and men of Operation Safe Haven. This feat we cannot take for granted,” the statement said.
“As an association, we have been in the forefront of criticizing the STF whenever they go wrong, hence we must also commend them when they perform well,” it said, adding: “We are happy with them and we will continue to pray for them and also share intelligence with them.”
It also added that “another feat worthy of commendable is the unusual peace, calmness, and quietness in Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas of Plateau State. The areas that used to be the epicenter of crisis in Plateau State have become places of peace.
“Statistically, more than 130 women are killed and about 60 to 70 raped by these criminals annually in the two local governments. But surprisingly, this year, we noticed a drastic decline. This, we must commend Operation Safe Haven for the good work.
“We appeal to them to sustain the tempo and professionalism they are using to achieve these uncommon results.
“Women now go to their farms freely in Riyom and Barkin Ladi without fear of attacks and rape.
“Worthy of another commendation is the peaceful Christmas celebration we had. We celebrated without any incident of robbery on our major highway leading to Plateau State. All our members who travelled down-home for Christmas confirmed the heavy presence of men of the Operation Safe Haven on all the routes leading to Plateau State and parts of Southern Kaduna. This in no small way averted robbery and kidnapping cases during this yuletide period.