Senator Dantong’s Death, Sacrifice For Peace – Mark
Senator Gyang Dalyop Dantog was one of the few senators who bestrode the Senate chambers with so much gait and candour. Behind that facade is bullet. He was a strong-willed representative of his people who loved them so much and at his life’s end died in their midst.
Senator Dantong never shied away to speak frankly on matters that affected his constituency in the chamber, especially on health issues as a medical practitioner. Described as unassuming and gentle by his colleagues, Senator Dangtong’s last major outing as a federal lawmaker was the public hearing on advocacy to push polio out of the country, which was held last May. He represented Plateau North in the Senate and had since his first tenure, between 2007 and 2011 distinguished himself.
The late Senator Dantong, had on Tuesday, July 3, in what seemed like his last interview to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), declared that persistent attacks on Plateau State rural communities could only be halted if security agents raided settlements believed to have stockpiled arms.“The victims of the attacks have always claimed that they know the attackers and they believe that they are from some nearby villages.
“The victims also believe that the attackers have stockpiled arms which they use For the attacks. We feel that the security agencies should investigate such claims by the villages to ascertain the truth,” he posited.
His interview with NAN was in Jos shortly after the burial of chairman, a PDP in Sharubutu ward, Riyom local government, Mr. John Daring, killed alongside his wife and son, two weekends ago by unknown gunmen.
Senator Dantong and the majority leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani, were killed alongside over 50 people by people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen at about 2.30p.m on Sunday.
The incident followed the earlier gruesome discovery of 50 corpses in a church in the area. They were the corpses of members of a church said to have fled an onslaught by the same Fulani herdsmen.
A string of attacks on Saturday in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas led to the killing of over 20 people.
The interview underscored his passion For his people, and ironically he was to die while also attending a mass burial of scores of people killed in the simmering crisis in the state. That was to say that Senator Dantong died pursuing peaceful coexistence among his people of Jos North.
Brief Profile of Sen Dr Gyang Dantong
The late Senator was born on February 22, 1954; married and was blessed with three children. He started his educational pursuit at LEA Primary School, Bachit and had his secondary school education at Riyom Community Secondary School, Riyom, after which he attended University of Jos where he bagged Bachelor of Medicine. Later on he proceeded to University of Ghana, Legon, For his Masters in Public Health in 1988.
Consequently in honour of the late senator, the Senate stood down legislative activities For last week Tuesday and adjourned sittings. Before the adjournment, anger, sorrow and frustration pervaded the environment. The Senate president, David Mark, opened the floodgate For tributes. He said the death of Sen. Gyang Dantong should serve as the Sacrifice For Peace in Plateau State and Nigeria.
Mark, who described late Sen. Dantong as a sacrificial lamb, also decried the proliferation of weapons in the region. Speaking with journalists after plenary, the Senate. president warned that Sen. Dantong’s death should not be in vein as he urged those in illegal possession of arms to surrender them to security operatives in the interest of ensuring Peace in the country.
“We should never get tired of preaching that there has to be dialogue because that is the only solution; every other solution is not going to be a lasting solution. Once there is dialogue and people are able to speak out their minds and it is resolved and decisions are taken, then it will be a lasting solution.
“My prayer is that the late senator’s death brings Peace and unity to Plateau State and Nigeria in general,” he stated. The deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in his tribute called For a permanent and enduring Peace committee over the security situation in Plateau. He said, since imposition of state of emergency and the deployment of troops have failed to secure peace, there was a need to set up this permanent committee.
“The death of Dantong is very shocking. I’ve always believed that violent people die in conflict situations; but now we see a peacemaker die in a conflict situation. It is very sad and tragic. He has been promoting Peace and dialogue in Plateau State. But today, he has been consumed by the same conflict that he was trying to resolve,” he lamented.
The majority leader of the Senate, Sen. Victor Ndoma Egba, said Sen. Dantong had contributed immensely to the society, especially in the health sector. Also speaking, the minority leader in the Senate, Sen. George Akume, decried that there was no sanctity of human lives in the country anymore. He added that Nigerians were getting impatient with the deteriorating security condition.
He called on the security agencies to wake up to their responsibility. “Who is responsible For the killings in Plateau State? They never started with Gov. Jang; they started before thim. What is the responsibility of every person at every tier of government on security matters?” He questioned.
Senator Dantong’s Death, Sacrifice For Peace – Mark
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