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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Lessons from Plateau State

TWO months after his sudden disappearance, the remains of Major- General Idris Alkali has finally been laid to rest at the Military Cemetery in Gudu District of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

HIS burial followed weeks of intrigues which led to a massive search and rescue operation by the Nigerian Army.

ALKALI, who was a former Chief of Administration, Army Headquarters, Abuja retired on August 7, 2018, after 35 years of meritorious service.

HE disappeared while travelling from Abuja enroute  Bauchi State alone in his black Toyota Corolla car, with Kwara  plate number ‘MUN-670AA .

ACCORDING to the General Officer Commanding the Army’s 3rd Armoured Division Jos, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, Alkali  ran  into an irate mob protesting gunmen’s attack on a shopping complex in Lafande community in Dura-Du area of Jos, where  11 people were killed.

APPARENTLY, the mob killed him when he introduced himself as a military officer. They shared his belongings, disposed off his car in a disused mine filled with water and buried him in a grave.

THEY later retrieved the body from the grave and dumped it in a shallow well in Guchwet.

THE tracking of his phones, vehicle and laptop led detectives alongside the military to a pond in Dura-DU in Jos South Area of Plateau State.

THE team also made more shocking revelations. For example, more than 10 vehicles as well as tricycles and motorcycles were recovered in the pool where  his car was found . Among them included a Toyota Hiace, with number plate Plateau ‘RYM-307-XA. It was recovered from the pond three months after its disappearance along with the driver.

THE military had since handed over  19 suspects arrested in connection with this case to the Plateau State Police Command for investigations

THE State Police Command declared eight suspects wanted ,six out of the eight voluntarily reported while two are still at large.

WE commiserate with the family of Major General Alkali over  the  gruesome and  untimely death of this fine soldier. We hope that his death would  be a wakeup call to all security agencies in the state to take decisive actions to restore peace in Plateau State.

OUR position is that the security agencies in the state should be blamed for allowing such atrocities to fester under their noses for long without decisive actions taken to deal with the perpetrators.

NO doubt, the security agencies in the state should have been conscious that such acts were being perpetrated in the communities over the years but failed to act accordingly.

FOR example, among the discoveries from the Du pond is one of the vehicles that disappeared in 2013.  Investigation into the case was not conclusive and the case was closed.

THAT is to show that almost all the security agencies in the state were aware of happenings in that community and nobody, including successive governments, bothered to take a decisive action.

WE are inclined to believe that most of the security challenges in the country fester because of the lackadaisical attitude of security agencies at nipping  them in the bud at the appropriate time.

WE commend the Nigerian Army for the painstaking job it did in the best possible professional tradition. This is obviously a great triumph of intelligence which rarely fails. The army should be lauded for the dexterity in which this case was handled but we  must ask however, if ordinary Nigerian lives matter except that of prominent people in the society. Reason being that many of such atrocities have been committed even in the community without any arrest made.

THERE is no doubt about the poor value we place on human life, a falling  standard of a situation where a group of persons will take to heinous crimes against innocent Nigerians. It is time we, as a people, started conferring on human life the sanctity it deserves.  We feel the time is now for us to put an end to indiscriminate taking of lives which no man can create.

WE recommend a complete re-evaluation of security architecture within that environment and other flash points in the country. This is with a view to forestalling  any such re-occurrence in the future.

OUR position is that crime and criminality must be condemned in totality in order to have a peaceful society. Unfortunately, many crimes in Nigeria take religious or ethnic colourations and the security agencies who enjoy strong ties with these factors are often compromised.

CRIMES and criminality must be totally condemned no matter who perpetrates it as silence by security agencies connotes approval.

CRIMINALITY must be openly condemned because sometimes our silence signifies consent to the actions of the perpetrators.

IT is high time the security agencies rose to the occasion above ethnic or religious sympathy and ensure the safety of lives. Human life is sacred and should be valued for no one has the power to give life and so should not take one.

The Hope Owena Press
The Hope Owena Presshttp://www.thehopenewspaper.com
Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure

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