The Plateau State Government in collaboration with the military taskforce code named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), which is responsible for the maintenance of peace in the state, has facilitated the return of 204 families from three communities which had been displaced as a result of the crisis that bedeviled the state.
It would be recalled that 18 communities were displaced as a result of attacks by suspected herdsmen on the 23rd and 24th June, 2018, which claimed the life of scores, destroyed properties, farmlands and displaced thousands of people from their ancestral homes.
Addressing the displaced families at the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camp at Anguldi, in Jos South LGA, as they enter trucks that would return them back to their communities, Governor Simon Lalong said, “We are so glad that at last these displaced families are returning back to their communities, you can see the enthusiasm in them, they are eager to move.”
The Governor, who was represented by that Acting Secretary to the Government of the State, Richard Tokma, maintained that, “As a government we also know that, after the submission of the report of the resettlement committee, the Governor has been very anxious to see that these IDPs are moved to their place of abode.
“As a matter of fact, I know very well that, the Governor had to ensure that security operatives have been deployed to the communities, because the safety of the people.
“The security is their to ensure that when these people move back home, they are comfortable and not harassed, and that their security is guaranteed.”
He said the communities being resettled are Kakur, Kura-falls and Kuzen, all in Gashish District of Barkin Ladi LGA of the State.
According to him, those who are returning to their communities, were persons who left because they were afraid of being attacked.
On the remaining 15 communities, he assured efforts are being made to ensure that their communities are rebuilt, so that they can equally return.
“You know these things are gradual, step by step. What government is going to do now is to make sure that those communities that were destroyed, materials are provided to ensure that within a month, the place is rebuild and these people get back to their place of abode.
“Even farm implements would be given to them, so that as the rains commence, they also would begin to tilt their land.”
Also speaking, the Commander of OPSH, Major General Augustine Agundu assured the returnees that their security is guaranteed.
Agundu said, “As you return, the security of your villages/homes is guaranteed, not like before.
“Anybody who tries to disturb the peace in your communities would be seriously dealt with.
“Go to your homes and sleep with your two eyes close, farmers should go and farm, anybody that would disturb your peace would also be disturb.
“My soldiers are already there, and those that would cook for you today are already there, so once you arrive you would eat”, he assured.
The Commander maintained that, “Just as we came here and gave free medical treatment to all of you in this camp, similar medical treatment would be done to all of you in the three communities tomorrow, all those handling that are already in your villages.
“With that gradually, I believe we will now be settling down in our homes.
“But those whose homes have been destroyed, you have heard from the Governor’s representative, we will make sure that those people also are returned to their ancestral homes after it has been rebuilt”, he stressed.
In his remarks, the Camp Coordinator, Francis Chong, thanked both the State Government and the Military for ensuring that the aforementioned three communities returned to their ancestral homes.