By John Clement
Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, has commended the internal military task force in Plateau State, Operation Safe Haven, OPSH, for promptly restoring peace back to the state after the recent invasion of some villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, by herdsmen resulting to the death of over 80 people.
The civil society group particularly expressed happiness with the task force under its Commander, Major General Anthony Atolagbe, for its feat, which it noted, has fully restored full confidence of the citizens that their safety was fully guaranteed in the state.
The group, in a communique it released after a one-day emergency colloquium, tagged:”Reappraisal of Security Agencies Operations in Plateau State”, held in Jos,noted with satisfaction that the mutual suspicions among citizens of the state following the dastardly acts by the marauders, had disappeared due largely to the unbiased and professional handling of the crisis by the OPSH Commander.
The communique signed by the Executive Director of GOPRI, Ambassador Melvin Ejeh, said the organization was elated that despite what seemed not only to Plateau citizens but also Nigerians in general that the shattered peace following the killings in Barkin Ladi would degenerate to worse situation; the task force was able to reverse the situation within two weeks.
According to GOPRI, the painstaking efforts of Major General Anthony Atolagbe in being at the forefront leading the onslaught against the invading herdsmen, instead of sitting in a comfort office in Jos and give order was the reason for prompt dislodgement of the assailants.
The immediate relocation of operational headquarters of Operation Safe Haven to Barkin Ladi Local Government Area by the commandant and his full involvement in the forefront of the onslaught against the killers, according to GOPRI, were the major reasons the assailants retreated for peace to reign.
The organization, according to the communique, expressed dissatisfaction with the efforts of conventional security outfits in seeing to the end of the Plateau crises, saying they had not done enough to complement the military task force, tasking them to redouble efforts to this effect
. The organization said: “GOPRI notes with satisfaction the tremendous level of commitment by Operation Safe Haven task force under the command of Major General Anthony Atolagbe. We have observed that the OPSH has indeed lived up to expectations in line with their mandate. Our organization notes the relocation of operational base of the Operation Safe Haven to Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, which is the epicenter of the renewed crisis, to enhance a direct combat results
“For the first time, it is a challenging and fearless move by the Commander of OPSH, Major General Anthony Atolagbe. It is a clarion call for other security agencies to emulate and consolidate on the legendary bravery shown by officers of the OPSH. We also commend the commander for not only directing the relocation but also practically moving in personally into the theatre of battle with his men. As expected, the results are glaring under a few days of response
. “We observe and further commend the arrest of suspects directly connected to the recent killings in plateau state by OPSH officers.These arrests are made possible by virtue of the proactive response and meticulous intelligence gathering by the security agencies as championed by the officers of the OPSH.We are constrained to observe that, this is actually the first time such direct arrests are effected within a short period of time. We further notes with dismay the operations of conventional security agencies hitherto in the state. They have not been doing much since the establishment of OPSH. This is not professional and must be reviewed”.