Army Chief Orders Troops To Stamp Out Terrorists In Plateau


The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has ordered troops to adopt a more aggressive posture and decisively stamp out terrorists causing mayhem in Plateau and contiguous States.

Lt. Gen Lagbaja handed down the order specifically to troops of the 3 Division Nigerian Army and the Joint Task Force Operation Safe Haven on Saturday 27 January 2024, during an operational tour to Plateau, following a recent disruption of peace in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.

TheFact Daily recalls that the State Governor, Caleb Muftwang, had on Wednesday, 24 January imposed a 24-hour curfew in Mangu LGA, following the crisis that broke out the day before, in which several lives were lost and houses and shops were looted and burnt. The crisis was reportedly attributed to an altercation between a herder and a local indigene, which escalated into a free-for-all between militias supporting the two individuals, mobilising against each other.

The Army Chief, 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, said, “Go hard on those disturbing the peace of the Plateau and neutralize any terrorist annihilating people and burning or destroying property and other economic valuables”.

He 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 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.

The COAS further charged the troops to live up to the expectations of all peace-loving and law-abiding residents of the Plateau, harping that trust is earned and the troops must do all within their means to maintain the trust of the people they are tasked to protect. “Our Operations and activities must be in compliance with the rules of engagement and devoid of sentiments”, he emphasized.

He clarified that though one cannot completely rule out the possibility of one or two cases of misconduct during operations, he guaranteed that the Nigerian Army and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria have an internal regulatory mechanism that does not permit considerations for ethnic and religious affiliations when deploying troops. 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.

Gen Lagbaja also paid a courtesy call on the Plateau State governor Barr Caleb Mutfwang, where he expressed appreciation to the Government and people of Plateau State for their effort in ensuring that peace reigns on the Plateau. He intimated that a marching order has been handed down to troops to sternly enforce law and order and to be decisive in tackling the security situation on the Plateau, and concluded that peace must reign on the Plateau and other troubled parts of the country.

Responding, the Plateau State Governor, Barrister Caleb Mutfwang disclosed that he had never doubted the capability of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in delivering on their constitutional mandate. He clarified that the civil populace has a role to play in enhancing security on the Plateau.

“As a government, we know that we have a responsibility to motivate them. The recent breach was totally avoidable and people must work harmoniously to regain peace and harmony,” Mutfwang asserted.

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