The Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, David Young, made the condemnation yesterday at a three-day peace and security conference with the theme ‘A Resurgence of Violence in Plateau State: Forging a Multi-Stakeholder Partnership for Peace and Security’ in Jos, the state capital.
Young also denounced the violence in the Middle Belt, adding that the destruction of innocent souls was not acceptable anywhere.
“We, the people of faith, are saying we submit ourselves to God, but some people don't submit themselves to God.
They submit themselves to hate; they don't live by the word of God.
We must condemn those behind these terrible acts; they must be caught and prosecuted. We must break the cycle of impunity that breeds violence and leads to attacks and reprisal attacks.
“Those arrested must be arraigned because bringing the criminal actors to justice is the first step to end violence.
The crisis in Nigeria needs a quick response,” he said.
Identifying land as a reason for the violence, the Charge d'Affaires said competition for land in parts of the country would get more intense in years to come because of the growing population.
He said: “Your population as a country is about the fastest growing in the world.
In 30 years to come, population of Nigeria will go from 190 million to 400 million and most of this population will be in the Middle Belt and North.
“So the challenges over land and resources will not get easier, and for children and grandchildren, the potential for crisis will even be greater.
Therefore, we must focus on this for long term good of Plateau State and entire Nigeria.”
He called on Nigerian leaders to seek peace and help prevent reprisals.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his desire to honour the Imam who saved Christians during one of the attacks by herdsmen last month.
Chief Imam of Akwatti Mosque in Barkin Ladi council, Abdullahi Abubakar, had saved the lives of about 262 Christians fleeing from suspected herdsmen, who had invaded Nghar Yelwa village in Barkin Ladi.
He lied to the killers that all the people in his mosque were Muslims.
Buhari directed the Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong to bring the cleric for a handshake and a national award.
Mr. President urged other Muslims and the locals to emulate the Imam’s kind gesture because saving the lives of 300 Christians by a Fulani Muslim is a rare feat.