Caleb Mutfwang, Plateau State governor says the abuse of illicit drugs plays a role in the heightened insecurity in the state.
There have been several attacks in the state in the last few weeks, resulting in the deaths of no less than 200 residents.
A few days ago, communities in Mangu LGA were attacked by gunmen despite a curfew, with over 27 residents burnt to death in Kwahaslalek.
Speaking during a visit to the LGA on Friday, Mutfwang said the killings are a reflection of drug abuse, adding that illicit drug peddling must come to an end.
“Of course, there was the involvement of drugs; this is something we must tackle to be able to address the issues of the drug menace in our society,” he said.
“This is why we want to use this medium to tell those in drug business to know that their time on the Plateau is up; we will not tolerate it any longer.
“We will go after them, and if they have anywhere they want to do their business, Plateau is certainly not the place.”
While at the palace of the paramount ruler of Mwaghavul in Mangu, Mutfwang expressed sadness and pain over the attacks.
“I can’t imagine the loss of humanity; I can’t believe human beings could be this callous. I imagine the pain of the 27 persons burnt to death by the wicked ones,” he said.
“I sympathise with the families of those who lost their loved ones; the way the merchants of conflicts have tried to package the carnage as a quarrel between brothers is unfortunate.
“These people are deliberately bent on destroying the economy of Mangu; today is Mangu market day and it is an international market, so one can only imagine the losses with the looting and burning of foodstuffs.
“So, I appeal to you all not to allow people who are bent on dividing us to succeed; our youths should desist from taking the law into their hands.
”If anyone is giving room to criminals to operate, it is time to love your brother more than a friend that is a criminal.”
Meanwhile, the governor has relaxed the 24-hour curfew earlier imposed on Mangu, saying the curfew would now be observed between 4pm and 8am till further notice.