Governor Solomon Lalong

By M. Peter – Jos

Plateau State citizens have expressed anger over the execution of another indigene of the State, Ropvil Dalep by the Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP, with a call on the State Governor, Simon Lalong to resign his position as the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum.

The latest victim, Ropvil is a student of University of Maiduguri who was abducted on the 9th of January, 2020 near Maiduguri, the Borno State capital along with Lilian Gyang, another Plateau State indigene and a student of the same institution.

He is the third Plateau indigene to be executed in like-manner since October, 2019. Recalled that two Plateau indigenes, Lawrence Dacighir and Godfrey Shikagham, both from Mangu Local Government Area of the State were executed; Ropvil is Mupun from Pankshin local government area; Lilian still in captivity is from Foron in Barkin Ladi local government area and Abdulhamid Bashir also in captivity is from Kanam local government area.

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Dalep’s tribal group, Mupun Cultural Development Association, MUCDA, in a message by its National Publicity Secretary, Kenzy Ngupar reacting to the execution said, “We have just seen the devastating video of the devilish killing of one of
our sons, Ropvil Daciya by the blood thirsty Boko Haram sect.

“We are of information that he was abducted on his way to school in Maiduguri and which led to the unfortunate video going round of his killing. As MUCDA we are deeply pained that this has also come to our door steps directly as our own brothers from other cultures on the Plateau have also had a share at one point in time of this devilish and inhumane act of taking people’s lives.

“At this point we condemn in its entirety the senseless abduction and killing of Nigerians in any part of the country and will call on Government to step up practical efforts to address this growing menace in our country. MUCDA and indeed the entire Mupun Nation is pained by this.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the immediate family, Plateau State and Mupun Nation in general while praying for the repose of the soul of Ropvil Daciya and other innocent citizens of Nigeria that have suffered same for reasons they do not know.”

Tension in Plateau over killing of resident by ISWAP Chief of Army Staff

A federal lawmaker, Solomon Maren also condemned the execution as well as the killing of the CAN Chairman from Adamawa State saying, “While we were still celebrating the release of our Jennifer Ukambong and George Danbaba from Bokkos local government area and Kanke local government area respectively, we received another shocking video from this hideous group.

“I call on the federal Government and security agencies to brace up to their obligation to prevent further loss of lives which cannot be tolerated. This hideous group called Boko Haram is still not decimated as claimed by the FG but active in carrying out their evil agenda against the Nigerian people.

“On this note, I strongly demand the unconditional quick release of Miss Lilian Gyang and Abdulhamid Bashir from Kanam, who were abducted in November 2019. I commiserate with the family of the late, Ropvil, the Mupun Nation, Pankshin local government and all those who lost their loved ones to such dastardly act including our CAN Chairman Rev. Lawan Andimi.”

• Lalong condemns murder

However, Governor, Simon Lalong who is also the Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum has condemned what he called “the alleged gruesome murder of Reverend Lawan Andimi, who was the Local Council Chapter Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and also a pastor with the Church of the Brethren (EYN) at the District Church Council of Michika Adamawa State by terrorist group.

In a statement, by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, he described the act as “yet another sad tale of the inhuman activities of the terrorist group which is bent on unleashing sorrow in the hearts of Nigerians.”

While commiserating with the family of the late clergyman, the Church and people of Adamawa State, Lalong urged them not to allow the ugly incident affect their faith in God and love for humanity as the death of the late Clergyman cannot be a catalyst for hatred among Nigerians who are disgusted by the cruelty of the terrorist organisation.

He added that, “The Northern Governors’ Forum remains united in their support for security agencies to continue to rise up to not only terrorists groups, but all forms of criminality that seek to divide the country along ethnic, religious or political lines.”

• Middle Belt Youth Council seeks Governor Lalong’s resignation as Chairman NGF

But the leadership of the Middle Belt Youth Council has asked Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong to resign his position as the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and “join the struggle of Middle Belt,” seeing how citizens of his State are being treated by Boko Haram

Emma Zopmal, the National Youth Leader, Middle Belt Forum said, “Recently, Plateau indigenes have suffered gruesome deaths and abduction by Boko Haram in Borno State. With all these ugly developments, the Governor of Plateau State, an illustrious son of the Middle Belt, has been serving as the Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum.

“Borno State is one of the States he chairs and this evil is being perpetrated against his own people. The footages of the killings by the terrorist group communicate messages showing sheer hate against Plateau people.

“We kindly urge Governor Lalong to resign that position of Chairman of Northern Governors Forum and join his people in the struggle of Middle Belt. Many of our people have followed that path in past but were later disgraced by the same northern elements.

“It’s good for him to borrow a leaf from our father, and leader, Paul Unongu, who out of patriotism to Benue people and Middle Belt identity, resigned his position as Chairman of Northern Elders Forum. It won’t cost Governor Lalong anything to stand with his people at this dicey moment in our national life. Middle Belt people will be ready to receive him anytime he repents.”

Tension in Plateau over the killing of resident by ISWAP Inspector General of Police

Chikas Kumle, a youth activist maintained, “Majority of Nigerians especially on the Plateau are either living in denial, afraid or lack the courage to say things as they are to address what is conspicuously an agenda towards erasing them, not because they have declared war on anyone but on the basis of their Faith.

“Religion is a personal thing and how our Leaders address issues about religion is unimpressive as justice does not seem blind anymore. Our political elites are also playing bloody politics with innocent lives. The case of Leah Sharibu, execution of the CAN Chairman, two young men from Mangu and the recent one being Ropvil from Pankshin; the statements in the video also showed that Plateau is on the map and its reason is clear enough.

“We must find our voice, unite and work with leaders both Muslims and Christians who believe in the sanctity of the human life and understand that God our creator made us all to live in harmony. We must relentlessly always speak truth to Power.”