By Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos
The outgoing Commander of the Military Task Force, code named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Major Gen. Augustine Agundu, has said the long protracted Plateau Crisis, has only produced orphans and widows.
Gen. Agundu disclosed this on Tuesday during the handing over ceremony of a new Commander, Major Gen. Chukwuemeka C. Okonkwo, held at the (OPSH) headquarters in Jos, Plateau State.
“Unfortunately, the crises in Plateau and Southern Kaduna have only been able to generate orphans, widows, pains, frustration, fear and anger. There are few individuals within the communities who indulge in acts of lawlessness as a way of life, unleashing mayhem in innocent law abiding citizens.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Agundu also said, criminality and the inability to resolve local issues across tribal divides and hatred was responsible for the 20 years of violence in Plateau.
“The inability to resolve even inconsequential and local issues between and across tribal divides due to age-long animosity and hatred has worsened the crises for almost 20 years.
“Worse still some grassroots Community and religious leaders are often culpable in promoting ill-tolerance that has further fuelled the many years of crises yet till date there is no winner.”
Gen. Agundu called on various strata of leaders in the State to reflect on greater benefits of promoting and preaching peace, forgiveness and reconciliation as against an unfortunate culture of instilling rancor and bitterness which has shaped the crises across the theatre.
“I implore all well meaning citizens to reflect on how beautiful Nigeria as a whole can be under a peaceful atmosphere; an atmosphere that would encouraged us to harness the abundance of potentials to nation building”.
He regretted that some leaders of thought have fallen into the trap laid by these criminals through their unguarded statements that epitomize divisive tendencies.
He said the peace currently being enjoying in Plateau and Southern Kaduna was as a result of the relentless efforts OPHS put in place particularly during the aftermath of bloody attack in Gashis District of Barkin-Ladu Local Government Area of the State.
Agundu expressed gratitude to Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong and his Kaduna State counterpart, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai for providing a level playing ground for the command to operate effectively.
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