Governor Jona Jang
By Seriki Adinoyi
Residents of four of the five communities in Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas of Plateau State that were evacuated by the Special Task Force on Jos crisis to facilitate military operations have returned to their homes. STF spokesman, Captain Salisu Mustapha, who confirmed the return, said the taskforce had finished its operation at Kakuruk, Maseh, Kuzen and Shong. He said the operation was yet to be completed at Mahanga.]
Mustapha disclosed that the four communities were now safe for the villagers to go back to.
Asked whether the operation was successful, and if weapons were recovered, Mustapha said the media will be briefed after the whole operation.
But the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Yiljap Abraham, said he could not confirm if all the people who were given notices to stay away from the communities had returned. He also said that the information he got from the returnees was that their houses had been broken into, and their crops damaged by grazing cattle.
“The information reaching me is that their homes have been broken into, and their farms grazed on by the cattle,” Abraham said.
He added, “However, I have heard that the STF has concluded operations in four communities of Kakuruk, Maseh, Kuzen and Shong, and that the people could return to their homes.”
The commissioner as well could not confirm the success of the operation. He said, “I am certain that the Defence Headquarters will give an elaborate press briefing for the benefit of the nation on the success of the operation.”
The military taskforce had given residents of the five communities 48 hours to move away from the area to enable security operatives conduct operations, which began at midnight on Tuesday, to root out terrorists who had killed nearly 200 villagers in the last one month. Among the latest casualties of the attacks that have been blamed on Fulani herdsmen were the senator for Plateau North district, Gyang Dantong, and Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani.
The evacuated residents had been quartered at camps provided by the state government.