Organised crime in Nigeria’s northcentral part of Plateau is viewed as cattle rustling. This is wrong because it is what the perpetrators want us to believe, says the Special Task Force (STF), Commander in Plateau State, Major General Augustine Agundu.
He said group of syndicates who varied from different tribes across the State are involved in the business which has been on for many years.
The STF boss who spoke to Journalists recently in Jos at a briefing to enumerate the activities of the Command, code named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), also said that the act has given rise to the many killings that has hitherto bedeviled the State spanning into years of incessant violence.
He said, “There is nothing like cattle rustling in Plateau State, what we have is organised crime. I call it organised crime because it does not relate to any particular tribe. Some criminals within a tribe could easily steal cattle from their own locality and hand it over to their own proxy of another tribe because tribe A’ could not go into the community of tribe B’ because of the restriction measures put in place and at the end of it all, there is a sharing formula.
“Funny enough, most of the elders are also complicit in it because they are aware of this level of organisation and coordination of criminals within their tribes and yet not ready to give up those who have been committing this crime, and that is why I have tagged it organise crime”, Gen. Agundu said.
However, the Defence Headquarters has laud the effort of the OPSH in restoring relative peace in the State, saying that the military peace efforts being implemented in the state through the OPSH is yielding positive results.
Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. John Agim, told Journalists that the security strategies put in place has greatly reduced the crisis situation on ground.
He said, “The Operation Safe Haven has relatively restored normalcy within Jos-Bukuru metropolis and stabilised other areas, especially in the hinterland through the Defence Headquarters’ Operation 777 initiative. Because of the restoration of law and order that would provide an environment of peaceful coexistence as contained in the Chief of Defence Staff Operational Directives, OPSH is concluding its plan for the voluntary return of the internally displaced persons back to their ancestral homes.”