Plateau State Governor,Simon Lalong, has ordered that anyone who “rushes to bail suspects” linked to attacks in the state should be arrested.
The governor stated this on Tuesday at an emergency meeting on peace and security with stakeholders in Jos, the state capital.
The meeting focused on the August 14 incident and other attacks in Bassa, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas.
On August 14, a total of 22 people were killed, while several others sustained injuries when suspected hoodlums attacked Muslim worshippers travelling along Rukuba road, in Jos North Local Government Area.
While expressing concern over the recent attack, Lalong said serious action would be taken against persons found culpable, while victims will receive compensation.
“The rush to bail suspects of unrest when arrested for investigation frustrates efforts to find lasting solution to insecurity in Plateau. Henceforth, people rushing to bail suspects will also be arrested.
“If you find them, please arrest them. If people rush to bail them, arrest them,” the governor said.
He said that such action would deter people fond of bailing suspects of unrest, alleging that some persons could be sponsors or accomplices to such crimes.
Lalong noted that the meeting with critical stakeholders comprising former governors, political leaders, traditional and community leaders, was to seek their views on measures to end the cycle of violence in Plateau.
According to the governor, insecurity, particularly in some local government areas, requires concerted efforts toward lasting peace.
“We cannot afford to fail the upcoming generation by refusing to do the needful,” he said.
The governor also expressed concern over the misuse of social media platforms to cause tension through the spread of fake videos and messages.
“Such fake messages only ignite further attacks. I have directed the security agencies to go after such persons and ensure they face the law for incitement and hate speech,” he said.
Addressing religious leaders and other stakeholders, the governor urged them not to incite their followers with sermons or comments on insecurity, noting that they (clerics) are also guided by the constitution.
“In future, defaulters will be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law,” Lalong added.
The governor also warned against protests, noting that such actions could trigger violence.