Plateau Legislator raises alarm over killings of Christians

The member representing Pankshin, Kanke, Kanam in the house of representatives Abuja, today through a world press confrence raises alarm on the killings of Plateau Christians by the terrorist groups in the North East. The legislator did not hide he emotions as he berates activities of international NGO in the North-East as suspect in funding of this terror groups who continued to kill people.

The legislator after the Press conference visited the the parents of the late Ropvil Daciya, the young student who before his death was a student of Unimaid.

Cheif Robert Taple who spoke on behalf of the Mupun Nation appreciated the legislator for standing with the family and mupun nation in this moment of grief.

see details of the press statement available to viewpointnigeria:

BEING TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY RT. HON. YUSUF ADAMU GAGDI, MEMBER REPRESENTING PANKSHIN/KANKE/KANAM FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NIGERIAN NAVY, ON THURSDAY, 23RD JANUARY, 2020 AT THE NUJ PRESS CENTER, JOS.

With a heavy heart, I address you this morning concerning the deplorable state of security in our dear country and its devastating consequences on the lives and property of the entire citizenry, with particular reference to my constituency and Plateau state as a whole, which if not checked, will threaten the harmonious coexistence of faiths and ethnic diversities in the state.

We woke up in the morning of Tuesday, 21st January, 2020 to the gory video of the gruesome execution of Daciya Ropvil Dalep, my Constituent, and a 200 level Biology/Education student of University of Maiduguri, who was abducted on the 9th of January 2020 by Boko Haram insurgents on his way to school from Jos.

I want to use this medium to extend my sincerest condolences to his immediate family, Pankshin/Kànke/Kanam Federal Constituency, Mupun nation and to the government and people of Plateau State over this tragic incidence. I pray God almighty to grant the immediate family of the deceased the fortitude to bear this painful lost.

This unfortunate incident occurred when we were exploring lobbying mechanisms for Federal and State Government’s intervention for the release of one Bashir Abdulhamid, a native of Kanam LGA of Plateau State, and also my constituent, who was abducted by Boko Haram insurgents on 4th December, 2019 at Gambu, while on his way to Maiduguri to take polio specimen for experimentation. Bashir is an adhoc staff of the World Health Organization, who is still being held in Boko Haram captivity.

These two unfortunate incidences involving my constituents within the span of one month has left me devastated, wondering if the efforts of the federal government in curbing the menace of terrorism in the country is yielding the desired results.

Not long ago, a similar video of the gory killing of two Plateau citizens from Mangu local government area was released by the insurgents with similar message of their intention to continually abduct and kill in like manner Christian citizens of Plateau State. Two other constituents of mine were also ambushed and killed along Maiduguri-Damaturu road by Boko Haram on 23rd December, 2019. They are Dauda Gojang Gaskiya of Kazuk village and Joseph Wutuk of Amper village, both in Kanke LGA. May their souls rest in peace with the lord, amen!

As the representative of the good people of Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam Local Government Areas in National Assembly, I found this act of the Boko Haram insurgents as not only condemnable but it is devilish. It is a bad tone that is capable of igniting religious conflagration between Muslims and Christians citizens of Plateau state and Nigeria as a country.

While I challenge the federal government to go beyond lip service to guarantee the safety of Nigerians anywhere within the country, I passionately appeal to the Executive Governor of Plateau State to, as a matter of urgency, set up a machinery in motion by considering the appointment of a delegation to visit the executive Governor of Borno State and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri to elicit a convincing plan of action by the government of the state and the school management, of guaranteeing the safety of Christian Plateau students studying in the state. Otherwise, I would strongly advocate that negotiations with JAMB, University of Jos and Plateau State University Bokkos as well as other institutions within the north central be held with the view to securing admission for them outside the northeast, where activities of the insurgents is most prevalent.

This is because, since the insurgents have made it categorically clear that they are looking out for Christian citizens of Plateau State to kill, the last could not have been heard of such gruesome murder of our dear Plateau brothers and sisters. Only the living go to school, we cannot afford to continue to loose our loved ones in their prime to the nefarious activities of those daredevils.

Early last month, one Jennifer, a native of Bokkos LGA and aide worker with an international organization was taken captive by the Boko Haram terrorists. It took the swift intervention of Governor Lalong and rapid response of the federal government to have the lady released after almost a month in their dungeon. It appears the terrorists are now focusing on Plateau citizens as target of a particular sinister agenda, which is to put the country in a religious disharmony.

As the chairman of the House committee on Nigerian Navy and member of most of the security related committees of the house, I am in a vintage position to speak on the commitment of the 9th National Assembly towards the security of lives and property of Nigerians, going by budgetary allocations to the various military, paramilitary and other security agencies in the country. The committees put in place by the Speaker, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila to look into the activities of non-governmental Organizations and other security related issues is a clear testimony to that.

But the festering spate of insurgency in the country leaves one bewildered.
We must as a people give our utmost respect to our fallen heroes who had laid down their lives in defense of the territorial integrity of our nation, the zeal and commitment of the military personnel in the fight against insurgency can better be appreciated by the number of our soldiers who are killed daily in confrontations with the terrorists.

While I do not want to believe that the insurgents are better equipped than military forces, I must admit that dearth of sophisticated technology and weaponry to prosecute the war against terrorism as well as international conspiracies has caused the insurgency to fester.

This brings to fore the begging question why the technologically advanced nations of the world are reluctant in allowing the Nigerian military have access to modern and suffisticated military hardwares and other technological platforms that will help quell the insurgency.

Even the recent transaction to acquire Super Tucano fighter jets, is yet to come to fruition as the jets are yet to be delivered to the federal government of Nigeria. I am privy to the terms of the transaction, and the nondelivery of those fighter jets has obviously hampered the success of the fight against insurgents. But why?

It is on record how the insurgents are ambushing our military forces due to lack of modern military hardwares. why?

These are the questions I want to assure you that I will work together with other National Assembly members from Plateau with our other colleagues to challenge the Federal Government to provide answers to.

Just like most of my colleagues from the National Assembly and particularly those from the Northeast, I am wary of the activities of some international nongovernmental organizations operating in the northeast. Federal government must widen its intelligence network to identify the source of funding of the activities of the insurgents, the source of their firearms, the source of their petroleum products to power their vehicles and sundry other supplies to the insurgents in their hideouts. The biggest problem is their source of intelligence and how they gather information regarding the movements and plans of the military forces.

Mr President, and by extension, the federal government of Nigeria must come out and make a definite diplomatic statement regarding the activities of international nongovernmental organizations operating in the northeast and Nigeria as a whole. Some of them have direct links with the insurgents and are secretly aiding their heinous activities through financial and logistics support.

I want to appeal to my fellow Plateau citizens that even in the face of this needless persecution and threat to our harmonious existence, let us not be divided by the antics of the insurgents. Their mission is to set the nation on fire by any diabolical means. They have not spared the Muslim citizens either, but making inflammatory comments in videos while executing Christian victims from Plateau state, is not only provocative but it is satanic.

Let us collectively mourn our loss, and refuse to be pitched against one another on the pretext of religious or ethnic differences. This is one sermon I will never get tired of preaching. We should be more concerned about what unites us, rather than what divides us. I would also caution politicians not to try to make political gains out of this tragedy, as such would be callous and inhuman. Let us guide our utterances and actions in this period of mourning.

Thank you for listening

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Plateau Legislator raises alarm over killings of Christians

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