- State govt relaxes curfew imposed on the state
Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The black Toyota Corolla car driven by Major General Idris Alkali on the day he was declared missing has been found in a mining pond at Du in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Though his body was not found in the car, there were shoes and cloths possibly belonging to him found in the car.
Addressing journalists on Saturday night at the pound site after bringing out out the car, the Commander of the Special Task Force (STF) in Jos, Major General Augustine Agundu said they acted on an intelligence report to locate the car, adding that the soldiers would drain the pond until it is completely empty.
Reassuring the community around the pond, the STF Commander said they have nothing to fear as long as they cooperate with the military.
General Alkali (N/8353) retired from service on 7th of August, 2018. Two weeks after, he disappeared while on transit from Abuja to Bauchi through Jos.
The army had said that the General though was entitled to a driver and an orderly, decided to travel alone by driving himself.
Spokesman of the Army, Brig. General Texas Chukwu said however that as a retired officer the General had the freedom to travel anywhere without asking for permission from the Nigerian Army. “He is also likely to travel with or without his driver and/or his orderly.”
Chukwu revealed that “the wife of the senior officer, Mrs. Salamatu Alkali drew the attention of the Nigerian Army authorities to a suspected case of the missing senior officer on the 5th of September 2018. According to the wife, the General left his home in Abuja for Bauchi on 3rd of September 2018.
“The senior officer travelled without his driver and orderly but drove himself in a black Toyota Corolla. The wife said that when she last spoke to him on his GSM number 09056890335 he claimed to have passed Jos and was on his way to Bauchi.”
He said, “The Army contacted the MTN and Glo networks to furnish her with the missing senior officer call records. Appropriate technical intelligence facilities were also put into use and the senior officer’s phone was tracked to somewhere in Du District, near Jos, Plateau State.
Incidentally, some unknown gunmen had killed people in the area the previous day, which led to protest in the community on the day the General travelled through Jos.
Also speaking, the Search and Rescue officer in charge of the operation, Brig. General Ibrahim Mohammed said last week that they had it on credible intelligence that General Alkali got missing around Du area of Jos South Local Government Area, and that the Army Headquarters had mandated them to carry out the operation.
Mohammed added that, “In an effort to search for the missing General, a lot of things were done; all the hospitals in Jos were toured and checked. Besides, we have checked all the accident vehicles and scenes. And on credible intelligence, we now had to come to this community in the past one week. We are trying to find three things; one, is the whereabouts of General Alkali who is now missing, we are also looking for his vehicle, which is a black Toyota Corolla vehicle, and we want to find out if he is still alive or not.“
According to him, “We have on credible information that some vehicles were actually pushed into this pond. We’ve been here trying to see if we can salvage anything from the pond. The pond is a mining site, and it’s very deep. We have a crane, and we have used all kinds of methods and as the last resort, we have decided that we are going to evacuate the water.”
Meanwhile, Plateau State government has relaxed the dusk-to-dawn curfew it imposed on the state following the violence that broke out in Jos on Friday.