Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. David Young, has tasked the Nigerian Government at all levels to address the problem of arms proliferation as a way of addressing incessant killings across the country.
According to him, the government must also look into the underlying problems that may lead to violence, such as population growth which leads to a greater pressure on the land.
Young, who was on a two-day visit to Plateau State, where he also visited the camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA) in the state, commended the heroic actions of the two Imams that saved the lives of over 200 people in their homes during the recent attacks in the state.
Extending deep condolences and concerns of the United States to the people of the state over the killings, Young said: “The death of anyone, irrespective of who and where that person belongs; whether herdsmen or farmers, Christian or Muslim, is always a tragedy.”
“Every group of people have good and bad persons in their midst, therefore, people should stop the hate speech and prejudice utterances.”
Young also urged the government, both at the state and federal levels, to show concerns and address the issue of violence adequately by putting more efforts towards ending the menace in the country, adding that more security personnel should be well trained, deployed, and paid well to respond to emergencies.
According to Young, government should create a future for the herdsmen and the farmers to avoid long-term issues of conflicts among the people.
He also stressed the need for the promotion of inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogues to address the causes of violence as dialogue is very key in addressing any crisis.
“We need to work to stop reprisal violence that leads to horrific killings,” he added.
Young also challenged and encouraged the people to reach out to their various communities to ensure and affirm the need for peaceful co-existence among them and to also look at the importance of peace-building and peace-making, which should be recognised at all levels of the society.