Military denies killing nomads, cows in Nasarawa
The police have arrested 11 suspects in connection with the recent killings in Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Jos South council areas of Plateau State.In a statement yesterday, the force said the suspects were assisting the investigating team with useful information.It said five AK47 rifles and two live cartridges were recovered from the arrested persons.
The release reads in part: “It would be recalled that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, visited Plateau State on June 26, 2018. “While in the state, he assessed the security situation and police deployment. Since his visit, the security situation has improved. Peace and normalcy have been restored in the affected areas.
“The Police Special Investigation Team, comprising the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Special Tactical Squad (STS), and Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU), led by Commissioner of Police, IGP Monitoring Unit deployed to Plateau State, has commenced investigation and recorded significant progress in getting to the root of the killings of innocent people.
“The Nigeria Police Force is assuring the people of Plateau State of adequate security of lives and property.” In a related development, the force said it had also arrested eight bandits, including the Councillor for Fidi Ward, Makurdi, Benjamin Bagugba Tivfa, for allegedly admitting to have supplied arms to the criminals.It added said two AK47 rifles and 436 rounds of ammunition were also recovered from the suspects.
The police said: “The bandits confessed that the councillor is a member of their gang and is responsible for supply of arms and ammunition, including money to finance their operations. “The councillor admitted to have bought 15 rounds of AK 47 ammunition from the last suspect, Sunday Cheche, 34, and native of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. He also confessed to have provided money to finance the operations of the gang.
“The bandits also admitted to have carried out several killings and armed robbery attacks in different locations in the state.”Meanwhile, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) have denied involvement in the killing of six herdsmen and l50 cows as alleged by the Nasarawa State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Mohammed Hussein.The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. John Ajim, who made the clarification yesterday in a statement, maintained that the claim was unfounded.
According to him, “the OPWS was established on May 8, 2018 by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, in consultation with the service chiefs and commanders of other security agencies with the mandate to completely restore law, order and peace in four affected states, Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara.”
He added: “It is therefore the duty of OPWS to ensure that all the people in these states go about their lawful duties without fear or molestation. These we have done at great cost to the military, which include some paying the supreme price.”“I wish to make it abundantly clear that the Special Forces troops of OPWS did not kill herdsmen or cows as claimed by the MACBAN chairman in Lafia.”