Mothers in Plateau State have condemned the looting of private and public warehouses in the state by some people they described as misguided youths, charging parents,especially mothers to caution their children against engaging in actions that are against constituted authorities.
They commended Operation Safe Haven, the special military task force in the state for acting swiftly in successfully arresting many of the looters without recording casualties, tasking the Government to appropriately prosecute the perpetrators to serve as deterrent to others.
The mothers under the aegis of Forum of Plateau Mothers,in a statement, Monday,expressed disappointment over the attitudes of the youths in the state,regretting that their actions were against their good moral upbringing.
In the statement signed by Barr. Mrs Rebecca Pam, Executive Director of the Forum, the Plateau mothers said while they were pleased with the engagement the governor was currently having with the people of the state to restore lasting peace to Plateau,they “urge him to convene an emergency community peace advocacy program targeted at youths.”
” This is the best way genuine and lasting peace can return,”the statement said.
The mothers said in the statement that while,”We supported the #EndSARS protest which was aimed at addressing police brutality and bad governance across the country, we must state clearly that what is happening now is no longer protest but outright stealing and arson and must be condemned by all.”
“We wish to strongly condemn in the strongest term the wanton stealing and destruction of government and private properties in Plateau State by some misguided youths looking for palliatives. This development is sad as it has taken us over ten years back,” the statement said,adding that:” We are not known for this kind of criminality on the Plateau and we should not start such now.”
“Our children are brought up decently,so we wonder where this is coming from. There is no denying the fact that there is hunger in the land but this does not justify the high level of coordinated and sponsored stealing and looting of private warehouses where people worked hard to build from the scratch.
This is totally unacceptable to us a mothers,” it stressed.
Expressing regret over the action of the looters, the group noted that,”Most times, business owners in Plateau borrow money from banks and cooperatives societies.”
“How does one expect them to pay back? How can we be worst than the government we claimed to be fighting? As mothers,our hearts bleed over these sad developments in the state,” adding that:” We call on all Plateau indigenes and residents alike to rise up and defend our land against these daylight criminality, before it’s too late. “
According to them,”Those looting and stealing are doing so for their personal gains but the consequence will befall all of us if we don’t act now.”
In the statement, the mothers said,”We believe that by the time these deviant youths are done with government and private properties, they will now face our individual homes”,adding:” This is why we must come together to resist these their ugly actions now.”
“As a good mother, you ought to caution your child if he brings item that does not belong to him or her home. We should not condone it.
“If we shield them from the law after committing crimes just because they are our children, they will definitely turn against us tomorrow,” the statement stressed.
The group commended OPSH for the massive arrest of those involved in the ugly act.
” We want to sincerely and passionately commend the security agencies especially the Operation Safe Haven,a special military task force in the state for the massive arrest of some suspected criminals and exhibits.
“Their action would go along way to deter others from destruction and stealing of public and private properties. This is one of the best steps taken by security forces.
“We certainly can’t allow criminals to destroy our country and economy when we are still battling with the effect of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“We appeal to the military outfit to ensure that the suspects are prosecuted according to the law of the land.
“The exhibits displayed by the task force is scary. If you said you are hungry,why stealing vehicles tyres, batteries, office computers, television, irrigation machines, Keke Napep and agro chemicals meant for farmers? Are these palliatives too? Obviously, this is purely an act of criminality and must be condemned.
“Operation Safe Haven must be commended for these arrests and their show of professionalism. They have displayed professionalism in the discharge of their duties so far, we are so happy that for the past six months, human rights abuses, and indiscipline by soldiers have drastically declined. The soldiers are now very professional and discharging their duties effectively,” the statement read.
According to the statement,” Worthy of commendation also is the way the men of Operation Safe Haven are deployed strategically to almost every nook and cranny of the state.”
” This has largely helped in restoration of law and order in the state,”it said.
It added:”Their timely response to distress calls is second to non and we think it is appropriate to commend the security outfit and other security agencies. We don’t have to wait until they make mistakes for us to blame them.”
It read further:”We also wish to commend the vigilante group, Neighborhood watch and community police in the state for their commitment to service despite working on voluntary basis.
“We are appealing to Governor Simon Lalong to rationalize and place them on monthly stipends. This will go along way in taking youths out of the streets thus, reducing criminality.
” Finally, we are calling on the youths to key into Governor Simon Lalong’s peace road map that is already yielding positive results before this evil came in.
“We must remember that leadership comes from God and He alone gives it to whoever He chooses. All we need do is pray and support our leaders to succeed.
“We are also pleased with the engagement the governor is currently having to restore lasting peace to Plateau and urge him to convene an emergency community peace advocacy program targeted at youths. This is the best way genuine and lasting peace can return.
“While we call on the security agencies to intensify their operation against the looters, we call on all mothers on the Plateau to preach peace and good conduct to their children at home.”