The lawmaker representing Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency of Plateau State in the House Representatives, Dachung Musa Bagos, has asked his constituents to embrace constitutional means of defending themselves.
Bagos stated this in a statement on Monday, while reacting to the renewed killings in Mangu and Jos South Local Government Areas of the state.
Over 20 persons were reportedly killed by bandits in both local governments over the weekend.
Bagos, who expressed sadness over the incessant attacks, asked citizens to protect themselves in line with the Nigerian constitution which guarantees right to self-defence.
“Sadly, innocent citizens are being attacked and killed on a daily basis in Plateau State, particularly in Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Mangu; hundreds have lost their lives since May 2023, villagers can’t go to the farm. Several displaced persons camps, land taken over, farmlands destroyed, what a wicked world!
“Just on Saturday, 12 persons were killed in Mangu and also yesterday night, seven of my constituents who are miners were targeted and gunned down; this barbaric act is condemned,” he said.
Among those killed in the attack, according to the lawmaker are Ishaya David from Tana; Paul Adamu Dangyuruk; Bitrus Mancha Dantou; Davou Boyi from Dawurum; Joseph John from Dawurum; Timothy Peter from Dawurum, all in Turu, Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
He lamented that most of his constituents now live in fear.
“In the face of this kind of breakdown in the will and capacity of the government to protect the people and their communities, law-abiding citizens must organise to protect themselves.
“The point here is when the government failed in its constitutional role to protect its people, citizens have a legitimate duty in law and morality to ensure the continuity of human life.
“Self-defence is indeed a constitutional right. Under section 14(2)(b) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.’
“Accordingly, Section 17(2)(b) of the same constitution requires that ‘the sanctity of the human person shall be recognised’ and to reinforce this, section 33(2)(a) makes self-defence lawful when undertaken in ‘defence of any person from unlawful violence or for the defence of property.’
“I want to call on all Plateau citizens to be alert and defend themselves against attackers, and all Plateau State citizens must unite to defend the land. We are peaceful people, but our inheritance which is our land will never be taken by force,” he added.