A Jos-based peace advocacy group, operating as Conference of Plateau State Peace Builders Network (COPPEBN), has hailed the internal military outfit, in Plateau State, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) for its recent prompt action in quelling what could have been an escalated crisis in the state by neutralizing three notorious bandits.
Recall that the internal security outfit had during routine operations in Mangu, Riyom, Bokkos, and other parts of the state, eliminated three notorious bandits and recovered sophisticated weapons from them
Reacting to the latest security breakthrough in the state, the Conference of Plateau State Peace Builders Network (COPPEBN), said the development besides other milestones recorded by the military in the state had led to relative peace and calm in the once-troubled area.
The group, in a statement,,by its National President, Dr Dung Bot, and Secretary General, Barr. Mrs. Lucy Wuyep appealed to Operation Safe Haven not just to sustain the tempo but also to extend the operation to all the local governments areas of Plateau State.
The group which particularly commended the General Officer Commanding, GOC 3rd Jos for leading his men in the frontline, described the development as a game changer that we must all commend.
It, however, expressed shock at what it described as “a reckless, sentimental, and callous statement made by one of our state lawmakers, Hon. Kundagbenia Dewan Gabriel of Plateau State House of Assembly, condemning the gunning down of the three bandits in Mangu and further described the criminals as people supporting the military in fighting crime in the area.”
“This statement is not only callous and unfortunate but it’s also unbecoming of a lawmaker who should have put patriotism and honesty at the forefront instead of political sentiment,” the group said.
“We passionately appeal to the military authorities to sustain the tempo and extend the operation to all the local governments of Plateau State. The action of the GOC by leading his men from the front at the battleground and moving the operational headquarter of OPSH to Mangu Local Government Area is a game changer that we must all commend,” it said.
The statement read in parts: “We write to express our profound satisfaction with the robust, and massive ongoing military operations led by the General Officer Commanding, GOC and Commander of Operations Safe Haven, Jos, Major General AE Abubaker, in Mangu, Riyom, Bokkos and other parts of Plateau State which have led to the killing of three notorious bandits with sophisticated weapons recovered from them and other milestone recorded leading to the relative calm in the once troubled area.
“We passionately appeal to the military authorities to sustain the tempo and extend the operation to all the local government areas of Plateau State.
“The action of the GOC in leading his men in the frontline at the battleground and moving the operational headquarter to Mangu Local Government is a game changer that we must all commend.
“The killings of the three bandits in Mangu no matter who they are, have sent a clear message to troublemakers that the military means business and will go to any extent to comply with the presidential directives that anyone found with prohibited firearms should be gunned down. We’re so happy and proud of Operation Safe Haven so far,” it said.
The group said it was, “however shocked by a reckless, sentimental, and callous statement made by one our state lawmaker, Hon. Kundagbenia Dewan Gabriel of Plateau State House of Assembly, where he condemned the gunning down of the three bandits in Mangu and further described the criminals as people supporting the military in fighting crime in the area.”
“This statement is not only callous and unfortunate but is also unbecoming of a lawmaker who should have put patriotism and honesty at the forefront instead of relying on political sentiment
“Playing politics with peace and security will only keep us in Plateau in the same circle of crisis and endless violence.
“As leaders that he’s , what we expected from the young lawmaker was not to misinform the public but rather, stand for the truth by calling a spade a spade no matter who is involved.
“We must rise above ethnic, political and tribal sentiments when dealing with security issues.
“We must condemn criminality even if our siblings are involved. This is the only way we can get it right and return our communities to peace and prosperity and not to take sides with people carrying Ak47 rifles just to get a nod from his constituents,” the group said.
The organization said while people must join hands to fight the attackers in our communities” we must be bold to tell some of our criminal youths the truth.”
“How can the bandits killed be described as locals helping the military to defend the land? Who authorized them to carry Ak 47 to defend the land? Was it the military or who? Is it possible to be defending the land with the military and the military does not know or assigned you? The group asked.
It charged the public, particularly the citizens of the state to ignore what it described as “attention-seeking young legislator who is only out to seek relevance and weep cheap sentiment for political points.”