Ambassador David Young

David Young, Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge de Affaires, US Embassy in Nigeria, has attributed the incessant killings in Nigeria to the absence of justice.

The US diplomat said this in an interview with journalists on Sunday, during a fellowship with church leaders in Jos, Plateau State.

He said: “On behalf of the United States Government and American people, I want to express again our condolences on the tragic loss of lives across Plateau, North-Central and North-West states. Quite a lot of people have died; it has been very terrible tragedies. We want to affirm the sanctity of human lives and anytime a person dies, it is a tragic loss, be that person a Christian, Muslim, Berom, farmer or herder.

“I think it is clear; we know and government knows that as well. A lot of people are doing good things and working hard. But it needs to be even more because it is clear that there is a climate of impunity. When people are committing serious crimes, they get away with it, without being brought to justice.

“It is so important that there should be very strong efforts to make sure that people are brought to justice for these terrible crimes. It is also important to address the drivers of conflicts, address opportunity, fight poverty and provide jobs and hope for young people, because definitely, young people are getting into terrible groups. They really need to be part of the future and as such need mentoring and parenting.”

He advised the Nigerian government to strengthen its laws to deal with killers, and urged the present administration to ensure the conduct of free, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible electoral process in 2019.

He said: “We want partners in ways to ensure that the kind of violence we have seen over the past months don’t flare up in any election.”

He also paid tribute to Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi, the 83-year-old Imam of Nghar village, Gashish District, who saved 300 persons, including Christians when suspected herdsmen struck on June 24.

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