It is with deep concern that I address the nation on the recent resurgence of mindless killings of innocent citizens in Mangu and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State, Nigeria.
The killings which started in Mangu villages on Monday, 15th May 2023, by so-called unknown gunmen have claimed many lives and properties with many persons still missing. The villages affected include Fungzai, Hale, Kubwat, Bwoi and many other communities of Kombun District of Mangu Local Government Area and some communities in Riyom Local Government Area. According to reports, about 130 people were killed, about 1000 buildings were burnt, and about 22 villages were affected.
We condemn these barbaric acts in the strongest terms possible. It is disheartening to see innocent citizens being killed and their properties destroyed in such a gruesome manner.
While we appreciate the efforts of the security forces to maintain peace, we call on the government and law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice and to ensure the protection of lives and properties of all citizens.
As a religious leader, I implore all parties involved to embrace peace and dialogue as a means of resolving their differences. Violence only begets more violence and we must break this cycle if we are to build a peaceful and prosperous society.
It is important to emphasize that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) unequivocally opposes any form of violence or reprisal as we strive to advance the well-being of all individuals, regardless of their religious or ethnic background.
Finally, let me appeal to all Nigerians in Mangu and Riyom Local Government Areas and indeed, all over the country, to remain calm and law-abiding in the face of these challenges. We must not allow ourselves to be provoked into taking actions that will further escalate the situation.
Let us all work together towards building a peaceful and prosperous society where all citizens can live in dignity and security.
May God bless Nigeria.
Signed: Archbishop Daniel C. Okoh – President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)