By Marie-Therese Nanlong
A taxi driver identified as Abdullahi Karafa has died following alleged beating given to him by security operatives.
The deceased was said to be returning home on Friday night during the curfew hours when he was stopped at the Farin Gada area of Jos North local government area of Plateau State by the security agents.
The Commander, Operation SAFE HAVEN, OpSH, Major General Ibrahim Ali has visited the deceased family to condole with them and promised to unravel and punish those behind the act.
It would be recalled that Jos North, Jos South and Bassa local government areas of the State are to observe curfew from 10pm to 6am until further notice.
The Military Information Officer, Major Ishaku Takwa who confirmed the incident in a statement in Jos said, “Operation SAFE HAVEN, OpSH received with shock a report that security personnel of OPSH deployed at Farin Gada beat and murdered a commercial taxi driver, Mr. Abdullahi Karafa.
“Immediately the report was received, the commander Operation SAFE HAVEN, Major General Ibrahim Ali visited the deceased family and condoled them over the unfortunate incident. The commander has since constituted a board of inquiry to unravel those behind the heinous act. He assured that those who would be found culpable will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“Operation SAFE HAVEN wish to reiterates that troops deployed on the Plateau were always warned to conduct themselves in the most professional manner inline with global best practices and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry and strict adherence to rules of engagement. Therefore, any act short of this is condemnable and unacceptable by OpSH.”
Meanwhile, the Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN, OpSH, Maj Gen Ibrahim Ali in another development, inaugurated a 36 member Joint Peace Committee at the Operation’s Headquarters in Jos with a two week period to submit its report to “recommend measures to be taken to find lasting solution to the incessant clashes and killings among various ethnic groups in the State.”
Speaking on Saturday during the inauguration, the Commander urged members of the committee to “demonstrate impartiality, neutrality, honesty, uprightness and avoid sentiment and compromise,” and disclosed that the members who were drawn from communities in Bassa, Jos North and South Local Government Areas have the background knowledge of the conflict and hopes their experience in communal conflict resolution would assist in fasts tracking the restoration of peace on the Plateau.
The Commander noted that “the Committee was created as part of the non-kinetic approach of Operation SAFE HAVEN to peace building in the state,” and added that the committee would “assist in making recommendations that will help OpSH and Plateau State Government in finding lasting solution to the incessant conflict among various ethnic groups of Irigwe, Fulani, Hausa, Bache, Dong, Gyel and Anaguta.”
He hoped that “the outcome of this committee will contribute immensely to the peace building efforts in the targeted communities with a view to returning Plateau state to the path of peace and sustainable development.”
Among the terms on their work are for the Committee to identify the root causes of the crises in Bassa, Jos North and Jos South local government areas and recommend implementable strategies that would lead to sustainable peace on the Plateau.
The Chairman of the committee, Prince Robert Ashi gave the assurance that the committee would discharge its duties diligently devoid of sentiment and solicited for the support of community leaders to achieve their mandate.
Also speaking on behalf of Traditional Rulers, the District Head of Dong, Adagwom Kaze Inyam appreciated the Commander for the initiative and urged the leaders of the concerned communities to support the Committee to succeed in its assignment.