By Taye Obateru
Jos – The PlateauÂ State Government and the Civil Societies Coalition in the state have welcomed the decision of the Federal Government to investigate the allegation by Governor Jonah Jang that he called the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Armoured Division, Jos, Major-General Saleh Maina and other military commanders to share with them information about an impending attack, and that no action was taken.
This came as fresh tension gripped the state capital yesterday following the arrest of about 41 youths in a truck heading for the state capital.
The truck which also carried three women, who said they were conveying palm oil from Port Harcourt to Kano, was initially rumoured to be carrying arms but it turned out to be loaded with bags of cement and kegs of palm oil.
However, two axes, four hack saws and 12 long knives were found in the truck. The vehicle with number plate Bauchi XA724 MSA was said to have been stopped and searched by soldiers at Riyom some 45 kilometres to the state capital and upon seeing such a large number of young boys some of whom looked unkempt, became suspicious.
The truck was subsequently escorted to the Police Headquarters where its contents were offloaded and frisked by detectives.
The occupants of the truck were still being questioned at press time and the police said it could only brief journalists after the investigations. The state acting Police Commissioner, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba was seen supervising the search.
Hundreds of curious residents thronged the police headquarters on hearing the rumour and had to be dispersed with tear gas by the police when they were getting uncontrollable.
Reacting to the decision of the Federal Government to investigate the allegation of bias against the army, Special Adviser to Governor Jonah Jang of Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Dan Manjang described it as a proactive and progressive step.
â€œAs far as we re concerned, that is a good development and that is what we expect should have happened in the first place instead of trading blames or exchanging words. We ll continue to work together with the joint task force to restore peace to the state.
â€œWe ll also cooperate with any committee set up by the Federal Government in this regard towards getting to the root of the matterâ€, he told Sunday Vanguard yesterday.
He stressed the need for the investigators to be of impeccable character so that it would not be like the recent committee set up by the Federal Government to advise it on how to resolve the crisis which he said had among them those who had been indicted over past crises or those in whom the people have lost confidence.
Also commenting, Chairman of the Civil Societies Coalition in the state, Mr. Joseph Sangosanya and Director of the League for Human Rights, Mr. Peter Shamaki described the move as a welcome development.
Sangosanya urged the Federal Government to go a step further by redeploying the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Three ArmouredÂ Division and all top commanders at the Rukuba Barracks, Jos adding that the GOC could not be a judge in his own case on the allegations of complicity in the recent massacre.
Shamaki also stressed the need for the removal of the GOC for proper investigations adding for the first time, the Federal Government is being proactive on the Jos issue.
We would monitor the investigation but it is important that the GOC should be removed for proper investigations to take place , he added.