The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has called for justice for the 22 victims killed at Rukuba in Jos, Plateau State capital last week.
According to the association, the entrenched culture of impunity has been identified as the cause of the endless cycle of attacks and reprisal attacks in Plateau State.
The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje, in a statement titled, “Carnage at Rukuba – Another Saga of Impunity,” explained that the failure of government to ensure justice for victims of previous attacks has been the cause of endless cycle of lethal violence in the state.
“At the heart of the orgy of attacks and reprisal attacks in Plateau is an entrenched culture of impunity. For so long, killings have gone largely unpunished. Criminal elements with links to power brokers, acting under the motivation of ethnic and religious biases, have continually unleashed death and wanton destruction without any regard for either morality or the laws of the land. The apparent inability of the government to invoke the full wrath of the law on these merchants of violence and agents of death has further emboldened the cycles of lethal retaliatory violence,” Owoaje said.
According to him, though Governor Simon Lalong has worked to build peace in the state, the recent killing in Jos if not handled with dispassionate dispatch can ignite another round of tension and trigger retributive attacks in the state.
He said the state government and other relevant authorities must take urgent steps to ensure the victims of Rukuba attack get justice.
The statement reads in part: “Governor Lalong must, as a matter of urgency, ensure that those arrested in connection with the murders are brought to justice regardless of their identities or social status. The Police should conduct its investigations and prosecution of those found culpable with diligence, a sense of exigency, and without prejudice. A situation where individuals indicted for heinous crimes such as the Rubuka massacre are allowed to walk free will certainly derail any efforts at achieving lasting peace.
“We also urge the security agencies to bolster their operations especially in the area of intelligence gathering. Before the Rubuka bloodbath, intelligence reports had already indicated that there would be heightened security concerns, and a likelihood of reprisal killings in the area. Regretfully, relevant security authorities failed to act on this vital piece of intelligence.
“We call on the people of Plateau State to embrace peace, unite, and evoke the pleasant memories of a now-distant past when their state was one of the most peaceful places in Nigeria. All the stakeholders, including religious and community leaders, must drop their bellicose attitudes and start to build enduring peace in the state.”