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Plateau: Communities tell military taskforce to stop invading villages at midnight


By Andrew Beshi, Jos

The VWang Community in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State has called for a stop to the invasion of their villages by troops of the military taskforce responsible for the maintenance of peace in the state, code named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) at midnight.

The Community also demanded compensation for the victim of the military invasion and settlement of his medical bills.

The Chairman of Dakunji Concerned Citizens Forum in the community, Pam Lomang; the President/Convener Vom Patriotic Forum, Weng Logyang, and the Secretary Dakunji Concerned Citizens Forum, Taifas Tok, made the call at a press conference in Jos the State Capital.

The community leaders alleged that during the last invasion by troops of OPSH at Dakunji village of Turu VWang District, a former Secretary of Jos South Local Government Area, Mr Davou Nyango, lost his right eye due to the torture he allegedly suffered in the hands of the military taskforce.

According to them, the former Council Secretary was sleeping in his house at Dakunji village when the troops, said to be in search of criminals, broke into his residence around 2am.

The Community leaders said when the soldiers could not find anything incriminating at his house, Nyango was taken to the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven in Jos where he was tortured and detained for nine days.

Lowang said, “The soldiers shot sporadically during the invasion of our community, which led to heart attacks on many aged persons who were left battling between life and death after the incident.

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“Nyango’s whereabouts was not known and was only discovered around 12pm after a thorough search that ended at the Headquarters of Operation Safe Haven.

According to him, “He was detained under the custody of the military authorities for nine days without charge or his offence made known to him.”

The community leaders called on the Chief of Defence Staff to prevail on the Commander of the Operation Safe Haven to investigate the gross abuse of the rules of engagement by the troops.

Reacting to the allegations, Media Officer of OPSH, Major Ishaku Takwa, said, “His (Nyango’s) name was mentioned to our intelligence unit as a close associate of a crime suspect in our custody.

“And anybody whose name is mentioned in respect of a crime committed must answer to that irrespective of his status in society.
And that was why he was arrested and interrogated”, he explained.

According to him, “But when we discovered that what he was alleged to have done was not true, he was released hale and hearty and he even called back on phone to say that he had arrived in his house”.

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