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“Killings in Plateau not farmer-herder clash, but genocide” – Gov Mutfwang

Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang has stated that the latest violence in the state is not a farmers-herders clash but a genocide.

The governor expressed regret that the state ended the year 2023 with sadness, as more than 400 citizens were killed between April and December.

In a New Year broadcast to the people, Mutfwang said that it’s unbelievable that “From small eruptions of conflict sometime in 2001, no one could have imagined that our dear state would witness such unquantifiable bloodshed of innocent lives, some known and others unknown.”

He also expressed sadness that Plateau State has become the cynosure of the whole nation and the world for the wrong reasons.

His words: “While it is true that we ended the year 2023 on a sad note because of the many precious lives we lost, including but not limited to over 400 between April and June 2023, as well as the over 160 in the recent Christmas genocide.

“These unprovoked and simultaneous attacks in different villages were clearly premeditated and coordinated.

“These series of attacks on our people are a clear case of criminality, insurgency and terrorism and must be seen and handled in that manner if we must succeed in halting this wanton destruction of lives and property.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it is a misrepresentation of facts to describe these needless and unprovoked attacks on our people as a Farmer-Herder clash, as has always been the traditional narrative. Let us call a spade a spade; this is simple genocide!

“Let me use this medium again to commiserate with my dear Plateau People on these monumental killings, especially the affected communities and the families of the deceased.

“My heart goes out to you, and be assured that my family, the entire government and I deeply share in your grief. We will not rest on our oars but will tirelessly collaborate with the Federal Government to end these tragedies and bring succour to affected persons and communities.

“As a mark of honour for the memory of the deceased, I wish to declare a week of mourning from 1st January to 8th January 2024. During this period of mourning, flags will fly at half-mast.

“I urge all citizens to use these days for intense prayers to seek the intervention of the Almighty God in defending our territories and against wicked men that have risen against us.

I wish to plead with our Muslim clerics to dedicate Friday, 5th January 2024, and our Christian Clergy to use Sunday, 7th January 2024, as a special prayer day for lasting peace to return to the Plateau. Monday, 8th January 2024, will be our official state day of mourning.

“It is gratifying that despite these onslaughts, our spirits are not broken. Our resolve to defend our land and prosper therein has remained unshakeable. I am, therefore, confident that 2024 will reveal our inner strength and resilience in the face of these tribulations.”

The governor said that despite the gloomy end of 2023, the state has recorded some tangible gains starting from 29th May 2023, when he was sworn into office.

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