The coalition of ECWA Plateau District Church Councils (DCC) comprising eight District Church Councils of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), has called on Governor Simon Lalong to refrain from giving impression to the outside world that there is peace in the state.
ECWA also called on government to stop addressing the “barbaric” attacks in the state as communal clashes “as there are no basis for that”.
The Church made its position known in a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting held in Jos over the recent killing of over 200 persons, displacement of over 38, 000, signed by its Chairman, Rev. David Jonah Laje and Secretary Rev. Sylvanus Mato Tozy.
It reads: “As much as we commend the Governor for his efforts at ensuring that peace returns, we want to say it loud and clear that he restrain from giving an impression that there is peace in the State, until such a time that peace is not only heard but is seen to have returned.
“That Government should stop addressing such barbaric attacks as communal clashes as there is no basis for that.
“That compensation of houses, churches, property, farmlands and crops be made by government.
“That government should immediately set in motion a proper mechanism to recover villages currently under forceful and illegal occupation by Fulani herdsmen in Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Bokkos, Bassa, Mangu, Jos South and any other part of the State and allow the displaced owners go back and resettle on their ancestral home and land with adequate security back up.”
ECWA added that while it is against the proliferation of firearms, it notes with concern the glaring display of sophisticated arms and weapons by Fulani herdsmen with nobody apprehending them.
“We are as much concern with the disarming and arrest of people in possession of arms, but a situation where the natives are harassed, dispossessed of their sticks and den guns meant to protect themselves and arrested, while the Fulani herdsmen who possess and carry such weapons openly are not disarmed or arrested is not acceptable.”
The Church maintained that the people killed in the attacks are their relations, hence the houses and churches burnt including farm crops belonging, by implication are also theirs.
“Therefore, ECWA as a Church in Plateau State cannot fold its arms and sit on the fence while this injustice is meted to its members and people.
“We, as leaders of ECWA Church on the Plateau are calling on our members and all the Christians on the Plateau to be on alert, prayerful and watchful to safeguard our lives, property, land and Churches”, he stressed.
“We encourage all Christians and citizens of Plateau who are 18 years and above to safeguard their voters card (PVC) and those yet to be registered should do so before the forthcoming elections in the Country.”
The Coalition, which comprises of Chairmen and Secretaries of the DCCs, sympathised and condoled families that lost their beloved ones and property to the attacks, as it prayed for healing of the injured.