Plateau crisis: Coalition berates killings, pleads for deployment of more troops - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Plateau crisis: Coalition berates killings, pleads for deployment of more troops

By Our Correspondent

A coalition of peace advocacy groups in Plateau State, Coalition of Plateau Peace Advocates (COPPA), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order deployment of more troops to the state, following renewed attacks and attendant reprisals by people it described as crises merchants
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Rev Elisha Gyang and National Secretary, Arch. Stephen Gya, the group, which described the actions of the bandits as  barbaric and reprehensible, appealed to security agencies to fish out those responsible and make them face the full wrath of the law.

The statement reads: “We write to condemn the unwarranted killings, counter killings and destruction of property in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State. We urge the security agencies to immediately bring the perpetrators to book. 
“We, however, wish to state with a heavy heart and deep sense of patriotism that we condemn the unwarranted, wicked, barbaric and senseless attacks on the person of the new GOC 3 Division Jos and Commander,Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) and the military by some unscrupulous and faceless elements on social media, which is aimed at misleading the good people of Plateau State on the true situation of happenings in the state.

"These  actions are not only callous and wicked, but also strange to the good people of Plateau State, who are adjudged to be the most hospitable and caring people in the country.”

The group added, “Having reviewed and thoroughly investigated all the allegations of bias and incompetence contained in the several messages against the person of the GOC 3,Division Jos and Commander, Operation Safe Haven and the military outfits, we discovered that all the allegations are false in its entirety and are only intended to demoralize the Commander and his troops to allow their criminal activities thrive in the state.

“Given this, we in COPPA reject this act of deliberate and calculated blackmail and urge the good people of Plateau State and the general public to ignore this smear campaign.  
“We wish to state here without mincing word that the GOC who is only about three weeks old in the state, was only caught in the web of some criminals and crisis merchants from both parties in the area who are bent on truncating the existing peace. As an indigenous peace advocacy group, we wish to strongly advise that we blame ourselves for our inability to take certain actions towards arresting the ugly situation rather than heaping blame on someone else.

"Further investigation revealed that if not for the prompt kinetic and non-kinetic action of the G.O.C/ Commander, the crises would have consumed the whole Bassa Local Government and snowballed to other parts of the state in an unassuming proportion. It is therefore wicked for some unscrupulous crisis entrepreneurs to accuse the G.O.C Commander of bias.”

“While not holding brief for Operation Safe Haven, as an indigenous peace building group in the state,we will not sit and watch innocent persons to be roped into the unfortunate situation in the state. We know that most terrains in the state have  poor communication network, bad roads and high ground which make it impossible for even any any soldier in the world to do magic when there is need for emergency response to attack.

With available information at our disposal, we wish to say that due  to lack of manpower in the country, troops cannot be stationed in every village. It is not practical.  Most of the roads are unaccessible to vehicles, this practically makes it impossible for troops to respond with the speed expected of them.
“We wish to state here that this smear campaign against the Commander and OPSH is calculated to tarnish the hard earned reputation of the person of the GOC 3 Division and Commander Operation Safe Haven, Major General IS Ali, who is a fine officer and a tested professional, well known to have bravely and gallantly fought  in defence of our country, both locally and internationally without blemish.

“We are aware that the GOC, 3 Division Jos, since his resumption of duty in our dear state, has taken some far-reaching steps to stabilize Plateau State to the expectation of all. 

We must, therefore, give him the necessary cooperation and support for him to succeed and not resort to cheap campaign of calumny. The desperation of these blackmailers show that they have some sponsors somewhere. 

We therefore urge them to stop this madness forthwith or we shall  investigate and expose them.

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