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Army Chief Issues Stern Warning to Troops: ‘Maintain Neutrality in Plateau Skirmishes, Bring Lawbreakers to Justice’



Army Chief Issues Stern Warning to Troops: 'Maintain Neutrality in Plateau Skirmishes, Bring Lawbreakers to Justice'

Army Chief Issues Stern Warning to Troops: ‘Maintain Neutrality in Plateau Skirmishes, Bring Lawbreakers to Justice’

In a critical address to troops deployed in the Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, emphasizes the importance of maintaining neutrality in the face of escalating violence. Lagbaja urges soldiers to go after lawbreakers, highlighting the need for professionalism and commitment to restoring lasting peace in the troubled region.

On Saturday, Lt.-Gen. Lagbaja expressed his deep concern over the recent attack in Kwahaslalek village, where assailants killed at least 30 people. Addressing the troops, he underlined the gravity of the situation and charged them to take decisive action against those threatening the peace of the area.

“Your duty is to go after criminals. Do not spare anyone who constitutes a threat to the peace of this area. Your rules of engagement are clear, and you must work within them. Do not take sides because if such is reported, anyone found wanting after investigation will not be spared,” Lagbaja sternly asserted.

The Chief of Army Staff, who had launched a special operation six months ago in response to security challenges, returned to Plateau on December 31, 2023. Observing the deteriorating security situation in the last week, he called upon the troops to end the escalating violence.

Addressing allegations that soldiers were involved in the recent killings, Lagbaja dismissed the claims and cautioned the troops against being influenced by such accusations. He emphasized the importance of residents cooperating with the military and other security agencies to address the security challenges confronting the state.

The Plateau State government, in response to the allegations of bias against troops in Mangu, called on military authorities to conduct a thorough investigation. Commissioner for Information, Musa Ashoms, urged residents to embrace peace and encouraged security agencies to examine the allegations to ensure transparency and fairness.

The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Mangu, Rev Timothy Daluk, had accused the military of aiding attackers during the violence and questioned the troops’ failure to prevent the killings. The Plateau Commissioner for Information echoed these concerns, emphasizing the need to address the allegations to prevent a sense of injustice among the people.

The recent attack in Kwahaslalek adds to the ongoing security challenges in Plateau, following the brutal massacre of 195 persons on Christmas Eve in Barkin Ladi, Mangu, and Bokkos Local Government Areas. With the army chief’s warning ringing in their ears, the troops face the critical task of restoring peace while navigating the complexities of the region’s troubled landscape.

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