Director of Defence Information (DDI), Col. Mohammed Yerima
By Senator Iroegbu
The Defence Headquarters has ordered inhabitants of over five villages in Plateau state, including Mahanga, Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh and Shong II, suspected to be used as a major hide out by the terrorist groups perpetrating havoc in the state to temporarily relocate so as to avoid collateral damages in a planned offensive in these areas.
This is coming against the backdrop of the recent massacre of over 150 people in Barkin Ladi and Ryom villages in the state by suspected terrorists using military type uniforms and camouflages
According to the statement signed Sunday by the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Col. Mohammed Yerima on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, the directive is necessary for successful operations in the planned onslaught by the Special military Task Force (STF) in Jos to root out the terrorist groups in the state.
Yerima assured the safety of the relocating villagers and that temporary shelters have been provided for their stay till the end of the military operations.
He said: “having failed in their attempts to continue to instigate communal strife in Plateau State, criminal elements who are enemies of the people decided to wear military type uniforms and attack directly innocent citizens of some part of the state. This direct attack was obviously decided upon when these criminals realised that their previous tactics of inciting one section of the populace against another is no longer working, because the people of Plateau State have seen through the divisive technique of these ungodly people”.
“The Special Task Force in Jos has found out that some of the criminals who carried out last week’s attack on innocent people are still hiding around some villages in order to continue to perpetrate crimes against the good people of Plateau State. The Task Force is determined to rid the state of these murderers”.
“The Defence Headquarters wishes to inform the villages where these criminal elements use as hideouts to vacate to a safer place where an arrangement is being made for them by the State Government to avoid collateral damage. This temporary relocation is for a while and the villagers will relocate when the operation is completed. The villages affected are: Mahanga, Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh and Shong 2”, he stated.
Meanwhile, the Defence Spokesperson has also urged the residents of Kura-falls, Kuzukand Sharuk, Rim of Gashish and Bachit districts respectively not to panic and to be careful of their movement within the area and avoid places of military oOperations until further notice.
“People are also advised to report any suspicious movement/activities in their areas to security agencies”, he advised.
“These are temporary measures put in place by the Defence Headquarters for the safety of the inhabitants of the affected areas. The residents should be rest assured that as soon as the operations are over, they will be called back to their residences. Inconveniences caused are highly regretted”, he noted.