From Gyang Bere Jos
The Commander Operation Safe Haven and General Officer Commanding 3rd Division, Major General Ibrahim Ali, the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba have relocated displaced persons in Jong community in Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State to their ancestral home.
The community was displaced during an attack orchestrated by suspected herdsmen on 19 May, 2015, leaving behind several persons death and the entire houses razed down.
Since then, the inhabitants have being wallowing from one community to another seeking for refuge until the assumption of Major General Ali as the Commander Operation Safe Haven, who worked in collaboration with Commander Sector 4, Col. Murtala Abdulsalam, Senator representing Plateau North and the Berom Youth Moulders-Association (BYM) and other illustrious sons in Berom land and relocated the community back to their ancestral land.
General Ali, while returning the IDPs on Thursday expressed delight over the cooperation of the aggrieved persons that led to the resettlement of the displaced community and said this was a major event that culminated to the return of IDPs in Plateau 20 years after the Jos crisis.
The Commander, who commissioned a motorized borehole, provide solar light and stationed security personnel to protect the people noted that the unfortunate incident that led to the displacement of the Jong community in 2015 has been addressed with the involvement of critical stakeholders in the land.
“This occasion is quite unique as it will give us the opportunity to examine the important roles Operation SAFE HAVEN played in assisting displaced communities resettle back to their ancestral lands and further inform everyone what must be done to prevent
such occurrence from happening again.
“The unfortunate incident
that led to the displacement of Jong community which dates back
to 2015 had long been addressed through different means championed by relevant authorities in the corridor of peace. Operation SAFE HAVEN was instrumental in bringing succour to this displaced community through its clearance operations organized to neutralize the perpetrators and bring their collaborators to book.
“I am happy to inform you all that these
actions yielded positive results as some of the perpetrators were neutralized while others are on security agencies watch-list. We have put in place strong security measures to ensure that
no community is attacked or displaced again within our Joint Operations Area.
“This we shall sustain through aggressive patrols, regular clearance operations and intelligence gathering. We have also encouraged communities to form vigilante groups that would
assist the operations of security agencies in local communities
where criminals are inhabitants of same communities.”
Commander Sector 4 Col. Murtala Abdulsalam, who provided security for the rebuilding of the destroyed community, expressed joy on the return of Jong people to their ancestral land who left desolate during the 2015 and 2018 crises that left the people scattered in several IDPs camps with some squatting with family members and friends under harsh condition.
“It is on record that several communities, villages and settlements were displaced during the period of crises within OPSH Joint Operation Areas (JOA). Consequently, the Commander Operation Safe Haven Maj Gen IS Ali was moved with compassion and made sincere efforts to return various displaced persons to their ancestral land.
“By first setting up the Rtd Hon Justice Daniel Longji 36 Man committee to recommend modalities to achieve peace and reconciliation between various tribes. Commander further constituted a board chaired by my humble self to work out modalities for the safe returns of displaced persons to their ravished home.
“It is in light of the above and in an attempt to actualize the commander OPSH innermost sincere desire of returning the IDPs to their ancestral land that sector 4 made concerted and selfless efforts by putting in place modalities for the safe return of Jong people to their ancestral land to serve as a model for other displaced communities to return as well.” He stated.
Deputy Chairman Senate Committee on Defence and Senator representing Plateau North, Istifanus Gyang, who provided roofing material, doors, windows and grain for the self return of the displaced persons admonished that violence is not an option of settling any grievances.
Sen. Gyang appreciated God for making peace possible in Barkin-Ladi LGA and said the Operation Safe Haven has played a commendable in facilitating peace in Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area.
“We are going to commission Clinic in Lobiring a neighboring community to Jong in Ropp District and would be handed over to the Local Government to ensure that issues of health of our people is taking care of.
“This peace that has become is priceless, let us not resort to violence as a way of resolving our dispute. Violence should never be an opinion to resolving disputes, anytime you have an issue, dialogue is a platform to which you can always resolve your issues peacefully.”
The Ward head of Jong, Da. Alexander Pam said the community which was attacked on 19 May, 2015 had about 122 household with a population of over 689 persons was displaced by unknown gunmen.
He said the community had made several effort to rebuild the community without head way until the miraculous posting of Col. M.D Abdulsalam as Commander Sector 4 who gave us hope and provided security for the rebuilding and safe returned of the community members.
“So far, 38 households have rebuild their houses and more are still making efforts to rebuild their ravished homes.”
The community presented honour Col. Abdulsalam as “Da Chomo Jong” the Warrior of Jong, the Commander, Gen. Ali was honoured as Da San Ntyang Chong (Man of Peace) and Senator Gyang as man who build Chong community.