Plateau Crisis: We’ve suffered casualties – Nigerian Army general

Plateau State on Map

The Commander of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Augustine Agundu, has revealed that the security operation has suffered great casualties in its effort to restore peace in Plateau State.

OPSH, a joint team of army and other security agencies saddled with ensuring peace in Plateau, was formed when crises rocked the state in 2008.

Mr Agundu, an army major-general, said he has lost a good number of officers in the course of bringing peace to the state.

The commander spoke on Friday at a meeting of traditional rulers on the recent violence in parts of the state, held at the Dialogue Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) centre, in Jos South Local Government Area of the state.

This year, scores of people have been killed and properties worth billions of naira destroyed in various incidents in the state.

“In recent time, the mere presence of soldiers served as a deterrent to warring parties to toe the path of law and order. But unfortunately, serving personnel today are becoming increasingly victims of internal strife and often their stories are not celebrated.

“I came with a list of casualties I have incurred since assumption of office. Some of our police officers attached to the OPSH have been captured and disappeared since June and there is no story about where their bodies are.

“Like the young girl that was kidnapped and rescued two days ago, I lost one of my soldiers. A police officer under my command was out in an evening to visit his family. On his way to buy suya (roasted meat) , he was captured and disappeared. His body is nowhere to be found.

“I lost three well trained soldiers. We have just buried them. These soldiers are as young as 25,” the general narrated.

He added that there are incidents of personnel being abducted in other parts of the state. “I can go on and on,” he said.

Mr Agundu, however, assured that OPSH is ready to end the crisis bedeviling the state.

“I want to assure you that OPSH is ready to contribute its quota and is desirous to ending the cycle of violence perpetrated by misguided youth in the state.

“I therefore am soliciting the support of traditional rulers and all well meaning citizens to proffer counter directives against violence,” he added.

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