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Military task force denies accusations of shooting innocent civilians in Plateau State attacks

Operation Safe Haven Dismisses Allegations, Emphasizes Professionalism Amidst Ethno-Religious Tensions

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Amidst simmering tensions following recent attacks in the Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), a special military task force entrusted with maintaining peace in the region, has vehemently refuted allegations of its soldiers shooting innocent civilians. The rebuttal came from Maj. Samson Zhakom, the Media Officer of the operation, who dismissed the accusations as unfounded and aimed at tarnishing the image of the military and other security agencies operating in the state.

The allegations, initially leveled by the Coalition of Bokkos Ethnic Youth Nationalities, alleged that soldiers had indiscriminately shot civilians during the recent unrest, exacerbating the vulnerability of residents in the affected communities. The group further called for the removal of the Commander of OPSH Step-Up Headquarters 2 in Bokkos, citing perceived failures in quelling the violence.

In response, Zhakom asserted the professionalism of security personnel deployed in the area, emphasizing their dedication to restoring normalcy and protecting law-abiding citizens amidst ethno-religious tensions. He dispelled claims of a confrontation between security forces and vigilantes, characterizing such assertions as mischievous and aimed at undermining the efforts of security agencies.

Furthermore, Zhakom provided insight into the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, highlighting the challenges faced by troops in maintaining order amidst heightened tensions. He cited the use of sophisticated weapons by militia groups involved in the violence and refuted claims that soldiers had targeted civilians indiscriminately.

Addressing the call for the removal of the military commander, Zhakom denounced it as malicious and intended to undermine the morale of troops engaged in lawful duties. He attributed the increased tempo of operations to the commander’s decisive leadership, which had curtailed the activities of criminal elements and contributed to maintaining stability in the region.

Despite the challenges and risks associated with maintaining peace in the volatile region, Zhakom reaffirmed the commitment of security agencies to proactive measures aimed at preventing further escalation of violence. He cautioned against attempts to manipulate public opinion and incite unrest, emphasizing the imperative of fostering trust and cooperation between communities and security forces.

As Plateau State grapples with the aftermath of recent unrest, the assertions and counter-assertions underscore the delicate balance between security imperatives and the protection of civil liberties. Operation Safe Haven’s response seeks to assuage concerns while reaffirming its commitment to upholding professionalism and integrity in the discharge of its duties.

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