By Ifeanyi Nwoko.
The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Wednesday visited Plateau state to commensurate with the government and people of the state over the wanton massacre of over 86 people in some communities on Saturday.
Saraki who had just concluded a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, proceeded to Plateau along with some members of the National Assembly leadership.
A visibly sad Saraki who had totally condemned the unwarranted killing in the state, reiterated that words could not express the magnitude of pain the killing had brought, stressing that it was a loss to the entire nation.
Saraki who was accompanied by some members of the National Assembly leadership and was received by Governor Simon Lalong, conveyed the sympathy of the National Assembly to the government and people of Plateau state and to all Nigerians.
Here are five key things Saraki told the people of Plateau as well as all Nigerians:
1. WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE THIS PAIN — THIS IS A LOSS TO THE ENTIRE NATION
“On behalf of the entire National Assembly, let me convey my deepest sympathy for the unfortunate and sad incident that occurred in Plateau State this weekend that claimed many innocent lives. This is not only a loss to Plateau State, but to the entire nation. Although the National Assembly is currently not in session, when we resume next week, this is one of the prime issues that will be up for discussion. However, we thought it necessary to come here personally to meet with the people of Plateau State to commiserate with the families — because words cannot really describe this kind of pain.”
2. THE ENTIRE NATION STANDS WITH PLATEAU STATE
“Our prayer to Almighty God is to grant the affected families the fortitude to bare these losses. At this time as well, I also pray to God to give His Excellency, the Governor, the courage to be able to manage this challenge and bring solace to a lot of people. This is a very difficult time for Plateau State. However, I want to reassure you that the entire country is with you and the entire National Assembly stands with you.”
WE MET WITH THE PRESIDENT – WE WILL COLLABORATE WITH THE EXECUTIVE TO FORESTALL FUTURE OCCURRENCES LIKE THIS
“We were late in coming here because both myself and the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives sought an appointment with Mr. President on the killings that occurred here — to see how we would come together to see what could be done to forestall and prevent future occurrences like this and provide relief and support for all those that have been affected. This is our paramount responsibility. Whatever that needs to be done, must be done.”
3. PERPETRATORS MUST BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE
“We must also ensure that all those who are responsible for these killings must account for it. It is part of providing succour and ensuring the peace. You cannot bring back the lives, but finding and prosecuting the perpetrators will go a long way in helping to calm people and ease the pain that they are going through.Therefore, yet again, we call on our Security Agents to ensure that they find the perpetrators that have done this and make them accountable.
4. NOBODY WINS — THESE KILLINGS SET US BACK AS A NATION
“Let me use this opportunity to appeal to everyone, to the entire people of Plateau State: Nobody wins from this. Nobody. These killings from today sets the clock back many years, therefore, I want to appeal to the entire people of Plateau State, the elderly, the young, the men and the women, to ensure that we work towards peace.”
5. WE MUST ALL WORK TOWARDS PEACE
“Working towards peace is not only the responsibility of the Governor or the traditional rulers in the state. It is incumbent on everyone. Working towards peace is not Simon Lalong’s problem alone. Let me also commend the State Governor on the measures that he has taken thus far. It has not been easy — we all know the history — however, I urge you to stay strong and stay committed and be just. When you are fair and just, the Almighty God will guide you right. Let us all continue to do our best to ensure that this does not become a religious or a political issue.