By Martha Agas
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has condemned the destruction of farmlands in some communities in the state by criminals, describing it as callous, criminal, inhuman and wicked.
The governor criticised act in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, on Wednesday in Jos.
He said the incidences in the state was an ugly development, expressing concern that it is unimaginable for crops almost ready for harvest to be destroyed by criminals for whatever reasons, saying the premeditated act must be addressed.
“The recent case of such intentional decimation of farm crops in Kpachudu, Jebbu Miango in Bassa Local Government Area is totally condemnable and unacceptable.
“From the reports, this is a carefully planned and executed act that is not only meant to provoke crisis, suspicion and instability in the area, but also render the victims poor and hungry.
“What these criminals fail to understand is that such actions will eventually leave the entire state and the country with food shortages where even the perpetrators will not escape,” he said.
Lalong assured residents that the government is working with the security agencies to do everything within its power to unravel those behind the barbaric act and deal with them accordingly.
He instructed security agencies to immediately conduct a thorough investigation of the act, arrest perpetrators and prosecute them.
He also mandated the Plateau Peace Building Agency to visit the affected areas and ascertain the level of damage, as well as foster dialogue within the communities with a view to ensuring that such incidents are avoided.
The governor appealed to communities, traditional rulers, youth groups and vigilante groups across the state to be proactive by providing security agencies with requisite intelligence.
He said the gesture would pre-empt and foil such plans, as well as assist in arresting the perpetrators, who clearly are on a mission to return Plateau to the era of pain and agony.
He sympathised with the affected farmers and promised to ensure they get justice.