The Nigerian Army has warned perpetrators of the killings and destruction of property in Adamawa, Benue and Taraba states to desist forthwith, saying the Rules Of Engagement (ROE) against arson and murder were to apply henceforth.
In a statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Texas Chukwu yesterday, the military said it was working with other security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to the continued disturbing, senseless killings and wanton destruction of properties in Adamawa, Benue and Taraba states.
“In view of this, we strongly warn the perpetrators of these crimes to desist forthwith. The Nigerian Army, in conjunction with sister services and other security agencies, is working assiduously to identify and arrest all those involved regardless of their disposition in the society, including government functionaries.
“We would like to unequivocally reiterate that the Army Headquarters warns the arsonists and killers to stop or face decisive action by troops.
“Our Rules of Engagement (ROE) is clear on arson and murder, therefore, no such criminal acts would be allowed in any of the aforementioned states.”
In a related development, Governor Simon Lalong has directed security agents to fish out and prosecute those behind the recent attacks on some communities in Plateau State.
Suspected herdsmen had invaded some settlements in Bassa and Bikkos council areas of the state, killing no fewer than 24 persons and injuring scores.
He said: “The state will not condone the activities of hoodlums who take advantage of conflicts among citizens to perpetrate killings and destruction of property in the name of ethnic crisis. Any attempt to frustrate peace initiatives in any form will be resisted.”
The governor noted that differences were better resolved through dialogue, warning that “the state will not fold its arms and watch the enemies of Plateau take it back to the dark old days when citizens distrust one another.”