Heap of yams set ablaze by the arsonists.

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has condemned in very strong terms, the outbreak of communal hostilities between communities in Langtang North and Mikang Local Government areas resulting in destruction of property and injury of residents.

The Governor called on security agencies to respond decisively, and to hold the perpetrators and their sponsors accountable to the full extent of the law and urged swift mobilisation to the affected areas to prevent any further escalation of the situation.

Recall that controversy over the ownership of farmland occurred at Ponglong, Lalin District of Mikang, and the nearby Funyallang community in Langtang North.

Stakeholders including security agencies, the Transition Committee Chairmen of Mikang and Langtang North LGAs, Daniel Kungmi and Nanmwa Kumzhi respectively visited the community, trying to avert further mayhem but the situation escalated leading to the killing of yet to be confirmed number of persons, burning of food barns and sacking of people in Ponglong, Baltai, Pal, Balkwa, Konggunk and Mugam, all of them villages in the Lalin District of Mikang.

Kungmi had said, “It started as a conflict between two persons over a parcel of land that is not capable of producing six bags of rice. They had a misunderstanding and the matter was taken to court while the matter was still pending, one of them went to clear the farm and get it ready for use and the other party was angry, instead of reporting the thing to the appropriate authority he took the laws into his hand and that degenerated to a conflict involving families of both parties and then it became an ethnic crisis leading to burning of houses.”

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However, a statement by the Governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere said, “In the wake of the violence that erupted on Saturday 23 and Sunday, March 24, 2024, Governor Mutfwang extended his sympathies to the victims, denouncing the clashes as unnecessary and unacceptable. He emphasized that such acts undermine the government’s intensive efforts to foster peace and unity among citizens of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, with the collective aim of advancing the state’s growth and prosperity.

“Governor Mutfwang underscored the importance of dialogue as the most civilized and effective means of conflict resolution. He questioned the rationale behind individuals resorting to violence, taking the law into their own hands, and targeting innocent communities with arson. Governor Mutfwang appealed to traditional, community, and religious leaders, as well as key stakeholders from the affected communities, to initiate dialogue and work towards an amicable resolution of the disputes in order to foster an atmosphere of harmonious co-existence.”

Meanwhile, relative calm has returned as residents who fled their respective communities are returning homes and some dead bodies recovered have been buried as stakeholders hold meetings to forestall further breakdown of law and order.



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