Plateau sets up committee on return of IDPs to their homes

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Plateau State government yesterday set up a committee to work out modalities for the return of Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their original homes.

Besides, it warned that the government would not tolerate indiscriminate occupation of lands by any group in the guise of land grabbing.

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Secretary to the State Government, Rufus Bature, who inaugurated the committee at the New Government House in Jos, said the government would not condone such atrocity and that the administration would deal decisively with any group of people engaging in such acts.

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He, therefore, tasked members of the committee on workable recommendations that would enhance the return of the IDPs to their homes.

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Bature observed with dismay the indiscriminate occupation of lands as a result of the attacks in Barkin-Ladi, Riyom, Mangu, Jos South, Jos North and Bokkos local councils of the state, adding that there were also reported cases of farmlands being destroyed and in some cases crops harvested.

“With the inauguration of this committee, government wishes to assure all citizens that it is alert to its responsibilities. We want to re-affirm the determination of this administration in sustaining peace and security in the state, as without peace, meaning development cannot take place,” he said.

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According to him, the committee’s terms of reference include identifying the areas affected, those displaced and areas where they were displaced, ascertain the number of people affected and those who have annexed the destroyed villages.

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The committee has Air Vice Marshal Bala Danbaba (rtd) as Chairman and Commissioner of Police Patrick Garba (rtd), Alhaji Saleh Bayari, Christopher Gwom, Acting Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Rev. Yakubu Pam and Habu Ibrahim Izang as members.

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Danbaba said the assignment of the committee was not what anyone would want to do considering the circumstances surrounding it, but assured that they would carry out the assignment with all sense of responsibility to ensure that those displaced return to their original homes within a short period of time.

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