By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has ordered troops of the 3 Division, Nigerian Army, and the Joint Task Force Operation Safe Haven, to adopt more aggressive posture against terrorists.
Lagbaja gave the directive on Saturday while addressing troops during his operational tour to Plateau, following the recent disruption of peace in Mangu Local Government Area of the state.
According to a statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, on Saturday in Abuja, Lagbaja ordered troops to decisively stamp out the terrorists causing mayhem in Plateau and contiguous states.
“Go hard on those disturbing the peace of the Plateau and neutralise any terrorist annihilating people and burning or destroying property and other economic valuables,” he said.
The COAS was briefed on the security situation by the General Officer Commanding, 3 Division, and Commander Operation Safe Haven, Maj.-Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar.
He said the complex security dynamics on the Plateau accounted for the prolonged escalation of the conflicts.
Lagbaja commended the troops for not allowing the crisis to spread to other parts of the state.
He expressed confidence in their ability to be more resilient and leave no stone unturned in restoring peace and tranquility in Plateau and other troubled parts of the country.
He also charged them to live up to the expectations of all peace-loving and law-abiding residents of the Plateau, and do all within their means to maintain the trust of the people they are tasked to protect.
“Our Operations and activities must be in compliance with the rules of engagement and devoid of sentiments,” he added.
Lagbaja promised to ensure that cases of misconduct during operations were nipped in the bud, adding the Nigerian army and indeed the armed forces had internal regulatory mechanism that does not permit considerations for ethnic and religious affiliations when deploying troops.
He urged the troops to remain disciplined, dutiful, responsive and responsible, adding, however, that the full weight of the law will be brought down on any personnel found compromising.
During a courtesy call on Gov. Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau, the COAS expressed appreciation to the government and people of the state for their effort in ensuring that peace reigns on the Plateau.
He informed the governor that marching order had been handed down to troops to sternly enforce law and order and to be decisive in tackling the security situation in the state.
He gave the assurance that peace must reign on the Plateau and other troubled parts of the country.
Responding, Gov. Mutfwang said he had never doubted the capability of the army and other security agencies in delivering on their constitutional mandate, clarifying that the civil populace had a role to play in enhancing security on the Plateau.
“As a government, we know that we have a responsibility to motivate them.
“The recent breach was totally avoidable and people must work harmoniously to regain peace and harmony,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vincent Obi