The former SSG also disclosed that the Patriots would mobilize themselves against any ethnic group or tribe which resorts to violence while reacting to attacks on Plateau communities.
But the UMLA in a press statement signed by two of its trustees, Philemon Dafi and R.A. Danbaba and made available to the newsmen in Jos expressed worry and dismay at the “provocative and highly emotional nature” of Lot’s statements.
“We are also disturbed about the factual inaccuracies contained therein and what purpose these statements were intended to serve ab initio.
“We as critical stakeholders of the Mwaghavul nation wish to disassociate ourselves from both the letter and spirit of the said press conference and wish to tell the world that the long standing crises on the Plateau, even though more predominant in certain areas at different times is no longer selective but targeted at the entire peoples of Plateau State to make us subservient in our land, ’’ the association said.
The layers warned that any attempt to pitch any Plateau ethnic nationality against the other “is a trap the enemy of our common heritage would like us to buy into to our collective detriment.’’
They stated that the generality of the Mwaghavul nation share the pains and anguish of their brethren of other nationalities and therefore “the statement by our elder is not representative of thinking of the Mwaghavul nation.’’
The association noted that spontaneous reactions and mob reactions to issues of violence were not new to Nigeria “because few years back, people were killed in some parts of Nigeria because of a painting in far away Denmark and same took place in Kaduna and Kano when there was a report on Beauty pageant in Lagos State.’’
“These are but a few spontaneous reactions to situations in and outside Nigeria. Therefore to assert that the reactions by youths to the June 24, 2018 carnage in which over 200 innocent persons were murdered by terrorist herdsmen as being politically -motivated is tantamount to sacrificing truth on the altar of political correctness.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we do not in any way support of any form of violence or killing even in the name of reprisals, ’’ they asserted.
The association then appealed to elders particularly in those communities residing along major highways to prevail on provoked youths not to turn their anger on innocent passers-by.
They called on all patriotic elders in the state to sincerely take a deep look at the root cause of such incessant attacks on and proffer solutions rather than casting aspersions and creating unnessary tension and hatred for one another.
The lawyers said, “we expect our elders to show leadership by initiating immediate measures that will assist the immediate return of the IDPs to to their respective homes considering their horrendous plights in the 31 IDPs camps spread across Mangu, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, Riyom and Jos South Local Governments.’’
“There is no gainsaying that anyone conversant with the happenings on the Plateau cannot in all good conscience attempt to limit the crisis to one particular ethnic nationality when the reality is that virtually all the ethnic nationalities have been hit by attackers or attacks.
“For the record, these dastardly attacks have gone from the Irigwe in Bassa to the Ganawuri in Riyom to the Ron/Kulere/in Bokkos, who even lost their Paramount ruler or First Class Chief, to the Mwaghavul in Mangu, to the Tarok in Langtang, to the Ngas in Pankshin/Kanke and to the Goemai in Shendam.
“We must resist every provocation and inducement to turn against ourselves and dissipate energy on name calling. We must remain our brothers keepers, ’’ they advised.
The association however, called on all genuine patriots and lovers of Plateau who have the interest of the State at heart to “do all in our power to foster the unity of all our people as we stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with one another in defense of our people and heritage.’’
While expressing deep concern over the wanton killings that took place in the state, the association commiserated with all those who lost their loved ones as well as appreciate all people of good will who have assisted the IDPs in one way or the other.