Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, has said that the North will soon launch a security outfit to combat the security challenges in the region.
Lalong, who spoke in Abuja shortly after meeting with the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, also added that the outfit would complement the work of the police and other security agencies.
He had visited Buhari to brief him on the renewed killings in Mangu Local Government Area of his state, where at least 13 persons were officially confirmed dead.
The governor was reacting to a question on the decision of the South-West governors to launch a security outfit, Operation Amotekun, to confront insecurity in the zone said that the North already had the idea of a security operation ahead of the South-West, but had not yet implemented it.
The South-West states officially launched the outfit in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday, by inaugurating operational vehicles for the vigilance group.
Lalong said, “I am the Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum. We took a decision sometime last year. You will recall that at one time we met the President and we told him what we were doing. We set up committees and the committees have worked very hard.
You will recall that we started our meeting from the north-west in Katsina State; we are going back to have another meeting in north-central.
“The situation in the South may not be the same with the North, but in the north we are also looking at some ways that will also address these issues.
So, we have gone ahead to set up committees, those committees have done their work and we are going to meet to address these issues once and for all.
“Two, we have also agreed to key into the community policing idea and at the level of the committee we have already gone far. Each state is already neck-deep in community policing.”
The governor also spoke on the latest killings in Plateau, disclosing that the problem was caused by cattle rustlers.
The rustlers, he said, invaded the affected communities in the early hours of Thursday and rustled over 100 cows.
He added that they were chased by youths and about 100 cows were recovered.
“So, after the rescue, they were only able to arrest about three or four of the rustlers and took them to the police station.
The youths then returned to their various villages. That early morning, some of those rustlers who had escaped, came back and started attacking and killing people in the villages. So, it was quite unfortunate”, the governor said.
He also stated that in the process, there was reprisals, leading to more lives being lost, but that calm had been restored following the intervention of the state government and security agencies.
“So, a total of 13 people were killed. We were able to address the people and the people understood and are very calm now. Life has gone back to normal but investigations are still ongoing”, the governor stated.