By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA
A civil society organization, Centre for Peace and Justice Initiative,CPJI, has charged the Nigerian military particularly the Nigerian Air Force and other security outfits in the country to be decisive in dealing with security threats around the country.
The CSO while reacting to reports of a blast in Doma Community, a border between Benue and Nasarawa States that led to the killing of about 30 persons, also urged Nigerians to refrain from accusing the military of complacency anytime there is a breach in security operations.
According to the group,” available intelligence shows that there are clandestine plots to cause crises around the country with the aim of thwarting the 2023 general elections.”
It said “it is expected that security agencies must be decisive in quelling such threats.”
Recall that there have been allegations and counter-allegations of what transpired. But, addressing a press conference in Abuja, the CSO Executive Director, Bilikisu Hassan explained that while it was regrettable that innocent persons allegedly lost their lives in the incident ,care must be taking in throwing tantrums.
He said:“We are compelled to make an intervention on this issue because of the complexities that it presents. Over time, many Nigerians have made it a point of responsibility to attack security agencies anytime there is a report of security infringement. Some have trivialised security issues to a point of playing politics anytime an opportunity presents itself.
“As stakeholders in the sector, we feel obliged to correct the negative impression being peddled by enemies of our dear nation. Those who peddle such falsehoods against security agencies or twist facts to cause chaos for ulterior motives must not be allowed to succeed.
“Intelligence available clearly points that suspected armed herdsmen were seriously mobilizing their members from Awe, Doma and Keana LGAs of Nasarawa State and reportedly moving en mass down to places like Ungwan Yaara, Railway and Antsa Village all of Kwara District Area, Keana LGA allegedly planning to launch coordinated attacks on settlements in Benue State.
“The available information has it that the said attack is aimed at distorting electoral activities in Benue, hence a reprisal on Benue communities and security personnel ostensibly because of the 31st December 2022 bombing of their (armed herdsmen’s) camp at the border between Guma (Benue) and Doma (Nasarawa) LGAs by the Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS). This planned attack portends a great security threat to both the Tiv communities in Nasarawa state and indeed the entire Benue State.”
The group stated that, as a result of protracted criminality by bandits in the north-central zone and particularly along the Nassarawa and Benue borders, President Buhari had earlier approved a military operation code-named, Operation Cat race.
The Nigerian Army also launched another operation named, Operation Whirlstroke which is still in full force in the zone to flush out criminal elements, banditry, farmers’ herder’s attacks, cattle rustling and criminal gangs responsible for killings and insecurity in the zone. It insisted that the military has been tracking criminal activities in the zone for a long.
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