Killings: Community, religious leaders shield criminals — Lalong

Killings: Community, religious leaders shield criminals — Lalong
November 06 20:04 2018

…By Ahmed Idris

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state said on Tuesday that community and religious leaders shield criminals that ordinarily should be reported to law enforcement agencies in order to address crisis in the state.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), the governor said it was disheartening that the same people craving for peace aid and abet crime by hiding those behind it.

He said the state government would henceforth hold community and religious leaders responsible for criminal activities in their domain if they fail to produce the culprits.

He said: “The people of Plateau are making their complains, everybody has a right to make complains but as far as the government is concern in Plateau, we have done a lot, we have gone far with some of the issues that were raised.

“The only one that put us back was the killing of the General. And I have also charged community leaders just like Mr. President said, I said if you want to ensure peace in your place, community leaders must also come out and expose criminals in their domain.

“But when you commit crime and community leaders or religious leaders fight to protect them that is why we have problems. If they had exposed the killers of Alkali earlier, everything would have been solved. But there you have community and religious leaders who claimed to be religious, who claimed to be religious leaders hiding criminals.

“They might not like me but that is what I am doing, I have said that yes you want government to work, but if I catch you or get any criminal activities in your domain, we will hold the community leader, religious responsible. We cannot claim to live in a community and we don’t know the criminals or those who are the good people in such environment.

“So we are doing our best. Even when they were doing investigation people were shouting but I insisted that this investigation must be done to the latter, they must investigate and find out those who killed the General and other people that were slaughtered on that road.

“By this they are beginning to expose the reason for some of the crisis. And I always appeal that in a society like Plateau, we must learn to live together. It is not by chance that people were born in or outside Plateau, God brought us together and so if we want peace we must embrace each other and we must also give opportunity for people to come and live in our state.”