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Jos crisis : Police beef up security

Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike (l) and the Inspector general of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo making contacts with their formations before departing for an on-the-spot assessment after a meeting on the Jos Crisis with with Vice President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

By Patience Ogbodo, EMEKA MAMAH, Kingsley Omonobi  and Aliyu Adekunle

Onovo in Jos to ascertain security

BAUCHI- FOLLOWING the religious crisis that engulfed Jos metropolises last Sunday, the security agents in the country have  been put on red alert.

Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo flew in a Police helicopter to the scene to ascertain how security agencies were containing the crises even as Vanguard gathered that two Mobile Police squadrons , MOPOL 44 and MOPOL 45 from the Force headquarters were deployed to Jos to contain the mayhem.

The Army and police and other security agents were put on red alert in Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi and other states surrounding Plateau state to avoid a spillover of the Nasarawa-Gwom Jos crises which has so far led to death of several people and the destruction of property worth billions of naira.

Also the Bauchi State Police Command says it has stepped up security measures to ensure that the crisis did not spill over to the state.

In a telephone interview with the State Police Commissioner, Atiku Yusuf Kafur said that other measures have been taken to ensure that there is no reprisal attack anywhere in the state.

According to him, already, a stop and check security measure has been put in place in strategic locations within the state particularly at all the entry points to the state.

The commissioner added that border patrols have been intensified at all the borders between Bauchi and Plateau to ensure that nobody comes into or goes out of the state with dangerous weapons as well as to check the movements of people who may want to cause the breach of peace in the state.

“We are not unmindful of reprisal attacks during such crisis, we are battle ready to deal with the situation here in Bauchi, or men are already spread around the state and anybody who tries to disrupt public peace will be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land.” Kafur said

He added that the patrol for now is done by armed Policemen alone saying, “the patrol is by joint uniformed and plain-clothed Policemen as the situation does not call for anything more than that now. Anyone caught will be treated as a criminal and will not be spared by the arms of the law.”

He  then urged people of Bauchi state to go about their normal and legitimate duties without any fear of attack from anywhere as according to him his Command is ready to deal with any situation in the state just as he called on the people of immediately report to the Command any suspecting movement around them.

He said, “People should cooperate with us by giving us information of any movement that is not straight so that we will act promptly and maintain the peace.

Mores o, sources said that the Federal Government has ordered both the Army and the Police to be at alert so that undesirable elements do not take advantage of the situation to carry out reprisal attacks in any of the states surrounding Plateau state as was the case in the past when such ethno-religious crises spread to several states in the north.

In Kaduna there were joint military and police teams (Operation Yaki) patrolling all the major streets and other nooks and crannies of the metropolis with armoured tanks and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs.

The patrol teams were blaring sirens to scare would be trouble makers from engaging in such nefarious activities.

Conflicting accounts about the latest Jos crises started from a disagreement by some youths playing football at the Dutse Uku area of the city and snowballed into full blown crises with the rival groups using all sorts of dangerous weapons before going into rampage, burning houses and killing people and animals.

Also, another account said that the crises began when some people who claimed that they were disallowed from rebuilding their houses which were destroyed during the November 28, 2008, started reconstructing the houses by force, thus triggering violent crises.

One Alhaji Umaru was one of those allegedly started the reconstruction of his house in the area, and in the process, provoked the Muslim youths to fight anybody in sight.

An eye witness said that he counted nine dead bodies in one hospital just as several others were wounded.

Some residents of Jos who left the area early yesterday to Kaduna said the renewed crises had led to the death of several more people as sophisticated guns were being freely used by both Christians and Muslims in an attempt to safeguard their respective areas.


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