Jos Massacre: Middle Belt Dialogue blast Army over utterance
By: Luka Binniyat
ABUJA The Middle Belt Dialogue (MBD) yesterday lampooned the Nigerian Army for making incendiary remarks over what it termed as the Army’s failure at stopping the March 7th massacre of mostly women and children in some villages near Jos, plateau State by armed men said to be Fulani herdsmen
In a statement released in Abuja yesterday, signed on behalf of the group by Hon. Bitrus Kaze, of the House of Representatives (PDP/Plateau), immediate past National Legal Adviser of the People Democratic Party (PDP) and former Commissioner of Justice, Kaduna State, Barr. Mark Jacob, among others, MBD said that the Nigerian Army ought to be remorseful over the mass murder, instead of trading words with its critics.
“It is shocking that the Nigerian Army in a shameless statement that exposed its irresponsibility, insensitivity and dereliction of duty, sought to defend its failure to prevent the cold blooded massacre of hapless and helpless people of Plateau State in their sleep by accusing its critics of naivety”, said the group.
The group was specifically irked by Army describing the comments of Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State after the massacre as, “naïve, and in bad taste”
“By this accusation, the Army is suggesting that the massacre was officially sanctioned by it and that the Governor, a senior military officer, ought to have known about the plans of the Army to look the other way while citizens of the state are massacred”, said the Middle Belt Dialogue.
“We now know, that the Governor of Plateau state, alerted the GOC, 3rd Armoured Division, Major General Shehu Maina (who has been severally accused of partisanship by victims and their relations) of the impending attack, yet the Army did not respond while the attack lasted”, the group insisted.
The group went to ponder why the Army, who were within earshot of the massacre did nothing for hours in spite of booming gunshots and the wailing of victims.
“These questions the Army has not attempted to answer, rather the Army Authorities elect to dwell on trivialities and the trading of tackles with those oppose to their questionable role”, the group said.
“This incident adds credence to the suspicion in several quarters that the Army facilitated this massacre to spark up nationwide chaos that will create the grounds for a military takeover of Government and to further some ethnic and religious agenda”, the group alleged.
“While it is not our place to ask for the removal of the failed GOC, perhaps it is correct to invite the Army to borrow a leaf from the Police who responded swiftly to the complaints of the Muslim community in Plateau State in the wake of the January crisis by swiftly removing the then Commissioner of Police”, the group observed.
“If the Army Authorities do not have the liver to do so, it should at least advice this failed General to shut up and stop embarrassing the Army”, said the group.