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Vice President Shettima assures justice for Plateau attack victims as death toll rises

Government Faces Criticism Over Delayed Response and Calls for Accountability

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In the aftermath of the gruesome attacks that unfolded in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State, Vice President Kashim Shettima has pledged that President Bola Tinubu’s administration will tirelessly pursue justice for the victims. The attacks spanned 48 hours, resulting in the tragic loss of over 150 lives and the displacement of over 10,000 people.

During a condolence visit to the affected communities, Vice President Shettima, accompanied by National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, expressed the deep concern of President Tinubu. Shettima stated, “President Tinubu is deeply shaken by this tragedy and shares in this unspeakable sorrow that has shattered the joy of Christmas across the country.”

He assured the affected communities that the administration would not rest until justice is served, emphasizing the shared grief that transcends ethnic, religious, and political boundaries. The Vice President added, “Our hearts bleed alongside yours, our dear brothers and sisters in Bokkos, Barkin-Ladi, and all over Plateau State.”

While visiting, the Chairman of Bokkos Local Government Area provided harrowing details of the attack, revealing the death toll, the number of homes destroyed, and the overall impact on the affected communities.

In response to the Christmas Eve massacre, Inspector-General of Police Olukayode Egbetokun has ordered the deployment of additional officers and resources to Plateau State. The IG also initiated an immediate investigation into the incident.

However, criticisms have arisen regarding the delayed response to distress calls during the attacks. The Defence Headquarters acknowledged receiving over 30 distress calls but attributed the delayed response to challenging terrain. Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang acknowledged the need for improved response times, citing the difficult terrain as a contributing factor.

Amnesty International called for an investigation into the security agencies’ inability to curb the attacks, emphasizing the need for accountability. The Peoples Democratic Party condemned the killings, suggesting that what is happening in Plateau State may be tantamount to genocide.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa expressed anger over the incident, stating that the recent killings affirm the failure of governance in Nigeria. Adegboruwa called for an impartial investigation and accountability for identified culprits.

Various religious and social groups, including the Christian Association of Nigeria, Arewa Consultative Forum, Sultan of Sokoto, Evangelical Church Winning All, and Nigerian Baptist Convention, have condemned the attacks. They called on the government to be more proactive in addressing security challenges, intensifying conflict resolution efforts, and ensuring justice for the victims.

The Northern Christian Youth Professionals renewed their call for the recruitment of forest guards as a strategic measure to combat random attacks on villages, urging President Tinubu to fulfill the campaign promise of rehabilitating forest rangers.

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