Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), has officially initiated operations aimed at quelling restoring peace in the recurring herders/farmers clashes in the Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau state.
The launch of this operation marks a crucial milestone in mitigating the crisis and has already made notable progress in restoring relative calm.
During the flag-off ceremony, Major General Lagbaja addressed the troops, charging them to eliminate any form of security threat in the locality and the broader Plateau state. He emphasized the importance of a swift and timely response to distress calls, urging the troops to maintain open communication with the affected communities. This, he emphasized, will instill confidence in the ongoing operations.
The COAS reassured the troops that his leadership philosophy prioritizes sound administration and the welfare of personnel.
Furthermore, Major General Lagbaja engaged in a town hall meeting with critical stakeholders in Mangu. He emphasized the collective responsibility of all stakeholders in achieving the “Mangu Peace project.” He stressed that peace and security can only be guaranteed when the people, the government, and security agencies work harmoniously and cooperatively. Additionally, he urged the stakeholders to take control of their children and wards who engage in acts of violence and possess illegal firearms, reminding them that the troops are authorized to neutralize anyone bearing such weapons.
The COAS expressed his condolences to families who lost loved ones and property during the crisis, emphasizing that no amount of money can replace a human life. He directed the General Officer Commanding 3 Division, who also serves as the Commander Operation Safe Haven, to collaborate closely with stakeholders to ensure lasting peace and facilitate the return of Internally Displaced Persons to their respective communities.
In response to the COAS’s efforts, the Chairman of Mangu Local Government Council, Mr. Markus Artu, expressed gratitude for the swift intervention of the army in addressing the upheaval. He expressed hope that with collective efforts, enduring peace and stability will be achieved not only in Mangu but also throughout Plateau state.
Notable attendees at the town hall meeting included Major General Robert Sinjen, the Chief of Operations (Army); Brigadier General A. Garba, the Acting Provost Marshal (Army); and Brigadier General Bobby Ughiagbe, the Acting Chief of Military Intelligence (Army). The meeting was also graced by traditional and religious leaders, including Miskagham Mwaghavul Mangu, His Royal Highness Da John Hirse; Brigadier General Gakji Shipi (rtd), the Special Adviser on Security to the Plateau state Governor; and representatives of various bodies, including the physically challenged, Mangu Development Association, and Miyetti Allah Mangu branch.