Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has urged Muslims to regard the Eid-el-Maulud period as an opportunity for sober reflection and a time to demonstrate love.

The Plateau State Government has resettled Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) resident at the Hall of Geosciences in Anguldi, Jos, back to their home communities. They had been until given December 31 to vacate to their respective communities in Barkin-Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of the state.

Secretary to the Government of Plateau State, Prof Danladi Atu, who is the head of a high-powered government committee on the resettlement of the IDPs in the state, disclosed this in Jos, adding that the resettlement and rehabilitation would be carried out in three phases.

He said the state government will ensure that all IDPs who have indicated interest to go back to their various home communities in the state will be relocated.

“We have out in place machinery to resettle IDPs on the state,” he said. “The first phase would be security provisioning, which would be done by a combined team of the Nigerian Police, Operation Safe Have (OPSH), Operation Rainbow, Neighborhood Watch, Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) and other security outfits to create the enabling environment for the second phase: the reconstruction of burnt down houses and economic empowerment.”

Prof Atu explained that the third phase was the provision of basic social amenities such as feeder roads, pipe borne water, reconstruction of schools and healthcare facilities, as well as the reintegration of communities affected by the crises of the recent past.

“I am calling on all stakeholders, particularly Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), corporate individuals and other [public] spirited individuals to join hands with the state government in ensuring that the IDPs are resettled within a short period of time.

“We commend the Plateau State Governor, Rt Hon Simon Lalong for his forthrightness at peace building and employing inclusive governance, which has paved the way for the return of peace in the state, especially to troubled spots.”

Prof Atu performed the symbolic presentation of assorted food items, building materials such as cement, bundles of corrugated zinc, wood, nails and other agricultural implements like water pumping machine, etc, to the returnees, stressing that government took the decision to provide them with the items in order to allow them reconstruct their homes to suit their needs.

The chairmen of Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas, Hon Ezekiel Mandyau and Hon Mafeng Gwalson both expressed delight over the development, describing it as timely.

According to them, the people had stayed away from their homes and sources of livelihood for a period between one and seven years.

They urged both the state and federal governments to do more to assuage the plight of the IDPs, whom they lamented had lost love ones, especially bread winners and even sources of livelihood, to get back on their feet

Hon Dachollom Jambol, speaking on behalf of the returnees at Riyom LGA, called on the state government to ensure that adequate security was provided for them, stressing that most of the returnees have no homes to go back.

Mrs Abigail Chung and Mr Moses Rwang, both returnees, said they were returning back to their communities to rebuild their lives, having been displaced for more than three and four years, respectively.

The Da Gwom Rwei of Riyom District, Da Sam Jok, on his part, expressed satisfaction with the relocation, saying that the people who were once productive and industrious can now go back to their vocations and trades.

Da Jok promised to continue to work closely with their Fulani counterparts in the locality to curb crime and criminality, while ensuring that the factors which led to the violence of the past are addressed collectively.

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