By: Alfred Saiki,
Bache Cultural Development Association (BCDA) has made a passionate appeal to the Special Task Force (STF) operating in Plateau State, to release one Akusu Michael, who was arrested alongside five others on the 14th of March, 2018 in the wake of the Irigwe-Fulani.
Addressing a Press Conference today, 29th March, 2018, at the Catholic Bishop’s Court in Jos the Plateau state capital, the President of BCDA, Engr. Simon Asukuchili Agoh, expressed pains and sadness over the indiscriminate arrest of some Bache (Rukuba) youths and their subsequent non-release by members of the STF of one of them.
“As peace loving community, we view the recent clash between Irigwe and Fulani as unfortunate and regrettable. But, it is also unacceptable the indiscriminate arrest and continued detention of our innocent youth, who had nothing to do with the clash. Consequently, we are calling on the military authority to immediately release Akusu Michael and tender unreserved apology for his unlawful detention and calm the tension in Kiche community”, Engr. Simon Agoh stated.
Recounting the event that led to the arrest of six youths of the community, Engr. Simon said, “On that fateful morning, at about 6.30am, members of this community were woken by sporadic gunshots, naturally, prompting them out of their abodes for inquiry. Unfortunately, within their vicinity, the six youths, namely; Akusu Michael, Monday Awulibi, EnockAkpaiAdik, AmilAjiyah, AdiwuUgyili and AchigakAyhu were immediately rounded up by armed soldiers, who herded them into a van that delivered them to a cell at the STF office in Jos where they were held incommunicado for over one week until, Friday, 23rd March, 2018 when five of them were released except Akusu Michael. It is obvious that Kiche (Rukuba) community remains one of the most peaceful communities in Plateau State. This can be attested by all including members of the 3rd Armoured Division, one of the most strategic military formation the community hosts”.
“It is therefore unfortunate that a peaceful community hosting such a vital military formation would be made to bear the brunt and subjected to all sorts of harassment and intimidation over a clash they have nothing to do with”.
He went further to dispel rumours making the rounds that Kiche community is harbouring Fulani militia and called on the government to live up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property.
“Rumours have also been going on that Kiche community harbours Fulani militia, who have been driven out from other climes. On this, we say it’s not true”.
“Of utmost importance is the fact that government must wake up to its constitutional obligation to protect the lives and property of its citizens to avoid the collapse of this country. In the light of this, we are urging the government to equip and create the enabling environment for security agents to perform their constitutional duties of protecting lives and property”.
Engr. Simon Agoh, flanked by other members of the community, commended the efforts of the Chairperson of Bassa Local Government Council, Mrs. Sarah Bali for the measures taken so far towards the restoration of peace in the Local Government and used the occasion to call on all the ethnic nationalities in Bassa Local Government to be steadfast and remain committed to the path of peace.
He affirmed that, there is no alternative to peace and that no one has monopoly of violence but, “ towing the path of peace and tranquility is vital and non-negotiable.”