The Chief of Army Staff. Lt Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has ordered troops to adopt a more aggressive posture against terrorists causing mayhem in Plateau and contiguous states.
The Army Chief’s order is coming three days after terrorists killed no fewer than 33 persons in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The attack came within a month over 100 residents were killed on Christmas Eve in the Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi LGs.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Maj. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Saturday, said the Army Chief was in the state and urged the troops to go hard on the terrorists.
The statement read, “The COAS ordered troops of the 3 Division Nigerian Army and the Joint Task Force Operation Safe Haven to adopt a more aggressive posture and decisively stamp out terrorists causing mayhem in Plateau and contiguous states.
“Gen Lagbaja was on an operational tour to Plateau, following a recent disruption of peace in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.
“The Army Chief also ordered troops to 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.”
Onyema also said the COAS, at the 3 Division, was briefed that the attacks were recurring because they had a political background with cultural sentiment.
He said, “The COAS, who had earlier been briefed on the security situation by the General Officer Commanding 3 Division and Commander Operation Safe Haven, Major General Abdusalam Abubakar, acknowledged that the security dynamics on the Plateau are complex due to its political background, interwoven with cultural and economic sentiments.
“These he added, account for the prolonged duration of the conflicts and the escalation in its lethality. Gen Lagbaja inspected the arms and ammunition recovered by the troops and commended them for not allowing the crisis to escalate to other parts of the state.
“He assured residents that he is confident that the troops will be more resilient and leave no stone unturned in ensuring that peace and tranquility are restored on the Plateau and other troubled parts of the country. ”
He noted that Lagbaja, notwithstanding, charged the troops to live up to the expectations of all peace-loving and law-abiding residents of the Plateau.
Lagbaja also noted that he was aware of the difficulty and challenges confronted by the troops, as they legitimately carry out their duties, particularly, some of the weighty allegations being touted against them.
He urged the troops to remain disciplined, dutiful, responsive, and responsible, adding, however, that the full weight of the law would be brought down on any personnel found compromising.
Lagbaja also paid a courtesy call to the Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang.
He thanked the government and people of Plateau State for their effort in ensuring peace reigns on the Plateau.
He intimated that a marching order had been handed down to troops to enforce law and order sternly and to be decisive in tackling the security situation on the Plateau. He concluded that peace must reign on the Plateau and other troubled parts of the country.
Responding, the Plateau State Governor, Mutfwang, disclosed that he had never doubted the capability of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in delivering on their constitutional mandate.