As part of the efforts to promote peace in Plateau State, Executive Chairman of Langtang North Local Government Council of Plateau State, Hon. Laven Joshua Ubandoma has facilitated the recovery of over 1000 small arms and light weapons from ethnic militias within the Tarok ethnic nationality of Plateau State.
Presenting the recovered weapons on Thursday to the Governor Simon Lalong for onward delivery to the Nigerian Army said peace has returned to Langtang after 20 years of upheavals.
He described Lalong as a true democrat and a peace lover who has set in motion a reconciliatory mechanism for the return of enduring peace in Plateau.
“The people of Tarok nation in Langtang North, Langtang South, and Kadarko in Wase Local Government Areas of Plateau State have suffered untold violence which culminated in the death of many of our people since 2000.
“That time, I was still doing my National Diploma, we didn’t understand what was really happening and the violence continued for a very long time. We later understood those who were killing our people and the issues were resolved.
“When I was sworn into office, the military came to mop up arms in Langtang and I said they should leave that task to me, we will deploy Military-Civil approach. We set up a committee saddled with that responsibility and we were able to recover these weapons that were voluntarily relinquished by the youths.”
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Ubandoma noted the voluntary submission of these arms is a resolve of Tarok people to embrace lasting peace, nothing that there is no more killing in Tarok nation.
Governor Simon Lalong said the exercise will go along way in consolidating on the peace already gain by his administration in the state.
“Today’s event which is the pilot phase of the Community-Driven Arms Recovery and Rehabilitation Programme is very important to the efforts at removing unauthorized arms from non-state actors within the State.
“This event driven by the Community, Local Government, and Security Agencies are meant to address the proliferation of small arms and light weapons that have become a source of concern and increased the incidences of violent crimes and loss of lives and properties.
” It is, therefore, relevant to underscore the fact that this programme is not only aimed at retrieving unlicensed arms from non-state actors but also initiate a rehabilitation phase where those who voluntarily surrender their arms will be assisted and reintegrated back to society.”
Chairman, Committee on recovery of Small Arms and light weapons within the Tarok nationality, HRH. Daniel Bongtur, the Madaki Langtang said the effort of the committee was earlier resisted my uninformed elites and youths but they were educated on the imperative of the exercise which has yielded results.
He said: “The small arms and light weapons recovered from the populace includes anti-tank gun, rocket-propelled grenades, heavy and light multipurpose machine guns, automatic rifles, fabricated long-range revolvers, pump-action guns, double and single barrel guns, automatic revolvers, Dane guns, local shells, local pistols and revolvers, various sizes of live ammunition and various explosives device.
“Initial resistance emanated from uninformed elites, youths, and party loyalists who tended to view the approach as a cheap way of disarming the natives to be slaughtered by their enemies who had killed them in the past.
” Most of the weapons we’re seized from those who attacked Tarok nation and we’re subsequently used in the defense of the people. Holding into illegal arms is a contravention of the law and breeds trouble. We are happy to inform you that the list of those who voluntarily surrendered their weapons to the committee is ready.”