Elites manipulate, misguide youth into violence in Plateau – STF Commander

Maj. Gen. Augustine Agundu, Commander, Special Task Force (STF), maintaining peace in Plateau, has accused Plateau elites of manipulating and misguiding youths into violence.
Agundu made the accusation on Tuesday in Jos, at a youth summit organised by STF and Civil Military Relief Initiative, to foster unity and peaceful coexistence.
“Within my five months as STF commander, I was able to interact with different groups. I met with the ordinary people and the elite, and understood the true situation of things.
“My conclusion is that youths in Plateau are being manipulated and misguided into violence.
“Some mischief makers are exploiting the vulnerability of the youth population to unleash mayhem on law abiding citizens,” he stated.
Quoting UNICEF figures, Agundu said that 45.8 per cent of Plateau population are youths under the age of 30.
The commander said that with almost half of the population being youth, that category should be getting ready to take leadership positions instead of indulging in acts of violence.
“Some elites claim to be representing the youth, but, in truth, they prosper in the current atmosphere of chaos and bloodletting.
“My call to the youths is that they should never allow anyone to use them as agents of disintegration.
“This crises on the Plateau has lasted for too long and must stop now; we must allow peace to reign in our individual and collective interests,” he said.
Agundu described the average Plateau youth as energetic, vibrant, hardworking, focus and result oriented.
He appealed to the youths to avoid drugs, noting that violence was always perpetrated after consumption of such hard substances.
Dr. Fabong Jemchang, Chairman, Youth Council of Nigeria, Plateau chapter, thanked the STF boss for initiating the meeting, saying that the initiative would contribute significantly in entrenching the peace that Plateau residents were yearning for.
Mr Joseph Lengmang, Director General, Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA), said that peace was not an event but process.
“We must keep building on the successes so far made. There is absolutely no alternative to peace,” he declared.

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