*Warns state’s political actors against politicizing crisis
*As it passes vote of confidence on Lalong, military task force
A Plateau youth group has commended the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, for its proactive measures in dealing with the renewed crisis in Plateau State arising from recent killings of some people in parts of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state.
The group under the aegis of Association of Concerned Plateau Indigenous Youths Group, AOCOIYOG, however, called on the military high command to do more in the areas of manpower release ,more surveillance helicopters, operational vehicles and power bikes to the military task force, Operation Safe Haven.
Addressing the media yesterday, in Jos, the group said its appeal to the DHQ was necessitated by the difficult terrain in the Plateau State especially the crisis prone areas where it noted, troops of the military task force were finding difficult to penetrate.
A prepared text signed by the convener of the group, Prince Rotdunna Ibn Sekat and Secretary, Dr Pam Davou, and read to newsmen, the group also warned political actors in the state against politicizing the renewed crisis in the state, tasking them to come out of blame games and work together for a quick and peaceful resolution of the unfortunate development.
It read:”We are particularly worried with the attitude of political players in the state who are making desperate attempts to politicize our current misfortune.
“This unfortunate development has been demonstrated in the recent mixed crowds that stage protest at the government house, obviously to embarrass the government of plateau state thus threatening
our national security and mutual coexistence.
“We are saddened and worried that in times of trouble such as this, where political players are expected to rally around authorities to find a lasting solution, it is rather paradoxically nauseating for some people to seek negative political gains out of our common misfortune.
“We are determined to note that, politics is not practicable in the face of glaring insecurity, hence it behooves on political players to ensure that peace remains the foundation of our state.
“The state of Plateau belongs to all of us, as opposed to the notion that it belongs to a particular individual, government, political party, religion or group of persons. It is in appreciation of this fact that we are assembled here to encourage and chastise accordingly going forward.
“It is the considered view of the organization that, we would not live any stone unturned to expose the roots of every known source or agent of destabilization on the Plateau.
” It is our resolve to keep plateau state one and united both now and in future, and this, we will do with every instrument at our disposal until peace and stability returns to our villages.”
The group which particularly commended the efforts of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, in the deployment of Special Forces to contend the situation, said the Defence Chief “demonstrated leadership and commitment to the values of peace and security in line with President Buhari’s administration policy direction.”
“We can not successfully commend the major players in promoting security and peace in the state without due acknowledgement of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, who has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the values of peace and security in line with President Buhari administration policy direction.
“His deployment of a special squad to the crisis prone areas is a very commendable gesture that we have noted with gladness.
“However , we urge him to continue to do more in the areas of more manpower release ,more surveillance helicopters, operational vehicles, power bikes due to the difficult terrain in the state. This will no doubt enhance the revolution needed to combat the recent uprisings that have become a huge concern to all of us, “it said.
Noting that the officers of Operation Safe Haven Jos under the command of Major General Anthony Atolagbe,exhibited high sense of high professionalism in dealing with the situation which promptly brought the crisis to immediate end, the group said the task force Chief, “who has time and again demonstrated tact, professionalism and dedication to duty as well as the deepest sense of patriotism in the discharge of his duties must be given absolute moral support for optimal success to be achieved.”
” We are particularly impressed by the proactive ness of officers, who are always responsive to security challenges as they arise despite the difficult geographical terrain in the state.
“Our itinerary in the course of investigation in the hinterlands of the affected crisis prone areas have also identified that men of the Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) are always on ground to provide succour to the affected areas during times of trouble. Indeed, their presence has reduced to the barest minimum occasions of incessant attacks as was the norm in the past prior to the inception of this administration, “it added.
The Plateau youth group said it was” particularly delighted in the moral support by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, to the officers of Operation Safe Haven in curtailing this recurring crisis.”
” We urge him to continue to avail his wealth of experience for the Army y and conventional security establishment to tap from it until peace and stability is restored to our state, “it stressed.
Prince Rotdunna Ibn Sekat, who read the text before journalists, said:” During the course of our investigations and interactions with the people in the host communities, the Commander of Operation Safe Haven Jos, Major General Anthony Atolagbe, was also commended for his social corporate responsibility services to the people on the Plateau in areas of peace advocacy , health care provision of food support to the IDPs and a host of other social services.”
” This has greatly enhanced partnership and cooperation and above all enhanced confidence building between security agencies and the citizens.
“It is the considered view of the people of Plateau for such great gestures to be entrenched via moral commendation and not condemnation by all well meaning citizens, “he further said.
According to him,” The challenges of the times are enormous , burdensome, evidently glaring and worrisome to all and sundry who mean well for our dear state. ”
The group also hailed Governor Simon Lalong for what it described as” his focus on peace which has always enabled him to be calm even in the face of provocation.”
” We highly appreciate that, should it not be for his tolerance, more instability would have been experienced . We urge him to maintain the tempo.
“We, however, further urge you to consolidate on the existing relationship with the security agencies particularly Operation Safe Haven to offer logistics support , particularly in the provision of special power bikes for specialize operations in the peculiar terrains in the state.
” This will facilitate quick response as already championed by the OPSH team, “it said.
In a similar circumstance, the Plateau youths group, lauded the efforts of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris,” for deploying the Deputy inspectort General of Police, Habila Joshak, immediately to help in curtailing the situation in the state. ”
” Indeed, his professionalism, tact and competence has reaffirmed the standard ethics inherent in the Nigerian Police Force as led by IGP Idris Kpotum, “it said.
The group said it” condemned in absolute totality the killings and destruction of lives and property and urge the security agencies to arrest and bring to book the perpetrators of this dastardly act.”
“We are mindful of the mindless attacks in some parts of the state. We are particularly worried about this incidences perhaps, because of course, a situation where innocent citizens wake up to the mindless and wanton loss of lives and property at the behest of invaders is totally unacceptable, and must be condemned.
“As law abiding citizens that we are, we deserve to live and live peacefully without the horrors of hostility such as is visited on us by our traducers, “it said.
Speaking more on the efforts of the internal security task force in dealing with the ugly situation, the group noted that” with the presence and collaboration of the Operation Safe Haven officers under the command of Major General Anthony Atolagbe, the question of collective commitment to protect security of lives and property of citizens is in no doubt . ”
” Special commendation must be given to Major General Anthony Atolagbe who personally led the officers of Operation Safe Haven for three days in the hinterlands of the crisis prone areas.
“His presence and direct involvement at scenes, we must note is totally different from the known norms of elitist command style where combat directives are passed down to subordinates from the comfort of cosy offices.
“Indeed, there can be no demonstration of clarity of thought and commitment to ending this crisis more than this. We urge you sir to continue to command the OPSH in the manner which you have adopted so as to inspire them to achieve more, “it further added.
According to the group,” milestone successes and notable progress have been made by the security agencies as championed by the officers of Operation Safe Haven.
“This includes the arrest of three suspects with firearms who are allegedly directly connected to the current crisis in Plateau State.
“Of course, they are giving useful information to the security agencies and we hope that they will be prosecuted in the fullness of time to serve as a deterrent to others who might have intentions to be used to inflict pain on the citizens and destabilize our state, “it said.
The group said it passed a vote of confidence on both the internal security task force and the Plateau State government, saying both had done enough to deserve its accolade.
” Consequent on the above salient facts deposing to the credibility and commitment of the Government of Plateau State to peace and security, particularly the concerted efforts of Operation Safe Haven, (OPSH) under the command of Major General Anthony Atolagbe, we the indigenous people of Plateau State, under the aegis of AOCOIYOG by this press conference, pass a vote of confidence on the duo of the Governor of Plateau State , His Excellency Simon Lalong and the Commander Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Major General Anthony Atolagbe to affirm to Nigerians and the international community the confidence we have in the efforts of the security agencies as championed by OPSH with the highest cooperation and support from the Executive Governor of Plateau State.
“As patriots that we are, our commitment to providing moral support to the security agencies is unflinching and assured, once more, than ever before.
“We hold this truth to be self evident that we owe our state and country a solemn duty to preserve our homes, our roads, our farm lands, our churches, our mosques, our industries, and above all, our lives.
” It is in doing this, that the needed peace which has always been the creed of our fore and founding fathers shall find faith and life amongst us, “it declared.