The immediate past Secretary to Government of Plateau State (SSG) and the All Progressives Party Congress (APC) candidate for Plateau-North Senatorial District in 2019 elections, Rufus Bature, has blamed previous administrations in the state for failing in their responsibilities to tackle head-long the past internal crises that disrupted the peace of the state before Simon Lalong came on board as the governor.
Bature, a two-time member of the state House of Assembly, said the previous administrations played politics with the crises without proffering solutions to them before the end of their tenures on the Plateau, adding that Governor Lalong inherited the crises and tackled them. He said that as a result, there was peace on the Plateau for three years before the recent outbreak of hostilities in the affected communities of the state.”
These crises started in 2001 and issues of land grabbing and displacement of communities were not taken serious by the previous governments until recently, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the Inspector General of Police should station a Squadron of armed policemen in Gashish District of Barkinladi Local Government Area to take care of the crises-prone villages’’.
According to him, ‘’We were able to put in place policy framework to end crises in the state to return the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their original homes from the camps before I left office as Secretary to Plateau State Government’’
Bature said he came out for the Plateau-North senatorial election this time around because he wanted to use the political experience he garnered over the years to make quality laws that would better the lots of his constituents of Plateau North Senatorial District.
“Our people have been visited with crises in the six local government area, particularly Riyom, Barkin-Ladi and Bassa local government areas. These areas have been devastated by crises and as a person, I have looked at them in different dimensions.
“When I was the Secretary to the Government, we engaged in consultations, confidence-building and for three years, we had it good. But suddenly, we have found ourselves were we are. We have also doused tension and we are getting back the relative peace we had in the last three years.
“Before now, people committed crimes and left unpunished but I can assure you with what government is doing now, people have been arrested. The crises snowballed into criminality, people were benefiting from what was happening. I am sure when people are arraigned within the laws that have been passed and prosecuted, that will serve as deterrent to others.
“For a long time now, things have been allowed to go the way they went, there was no confidence building, there was no dialoguing and criminals were left unpunished and that was why the crises continue unabated since 2001 to date.”
According to Bature, he had put in place sound political machinery to address the plight of devastated communities and rehabilitate the people for economic prosperity.