HARBINGERS OF HATE: FURTHER REMARKS BY REP.I.D. GYANG ON THE MOTION.
Mr. Speaker, Hon Colleagues, let me as a co-mover of this motion join Hon Pwajok to condemn the abduction and disappearance of Rtd Maj. Gen. Idris Alkali and to call for thorough investigation so as to unveil the facts of the matter and apprehend the abductors.
Tribute to serving officers and men on internal security operatives across the nation.
I equally call for compliance to due process of law in the investigation which ordinarily ought to be handled by the Police in consonance with sec 217(2(2) CFRN 1999 (as amended) sec 1Armed Force Act and sec 4 of the Police Act as against the current indiscriminate mass arrest and detention of civilian citizens by the Military. Occasioning severe infringement on the rights of those affected.
Mr. Speaker, as we strive to build a nation where all citizens belong and matter, we must resist any attempt to single out any particular ethnic group or people for negative branding.
The events surrounding the disappearance of Rtd Gen Alkali has given rise to the propagation of a narrative of prejudice and hate against the some ethnic nationalities on the Plateau.
Mr. Speaker, the danger of this negative narrative ought to be arrested and corrected as it seeks to hold the entire community culpable for a criminal act that is still being investigated. We are all aware that our legal jurisprudence operates on the doctrine of presumption of innocence not presumption of guilt.
This negative branding propaganda seeks to serve as a justification for what appears to be a collective punishment of the community through military action.
Never before has a people suffer massive loss of lives, ancestral lands and habitat and yet subjected to an aggressive hate campaign through negative labeling, profiling criminalizing and demonization than is being witnessed against the Plateau people.
Mr. Speaker, we are bleeding, sorrowing, grieving and burying on dead on a daily basis. There was a time we buried 500 at Dogo Nahawa massacre on March7, 2010 in a mass grave, in July 7 & 8 2012, 101 lives including a senator and state Assembly member were massacred. Last June we buried over 230 in Barikin Ladi.
Hardly any day passes without merchants of dead visiting including the Jos metropolis unrest of last week including students of the University of Jos.
One critical constitutional mandate of the military is to protect and preserve the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
This House is aware through previous motions that a large territory of some LGs in Plateau State-Barikin Ladi, Riyom, Bokkos and Miango in Bassa have been and are under forceful occupation by bandits whose identity is alien to this country.
The Military and the nation should know that our territorial integrity has been and is being violated and must be recovered!!
Unfortunately, some persons want to turn the anguish and pain of the people into political capital by sponsoring touts on public protest to malign Plateau people including our traditional rulers.
We advise the propagandist of anti-Plateau prejudice to instead of inflaming hate and reinforcing animosity, turn a new leave and help us heal our wounds thereby promoting harmonious communal coexistence on the Plateau. All we need is peace on the Plateau.
May this House of the Nigerian People be part of architects of peace on the Plateau by supporting this motion.
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