The Special Military Task Force deployed to restore peace in the troubled areas of Plateau State, some parts of Bauchi and Southern Kaduna, has renewed resolute in its mandate in dealing with crisis with a reassurance to remain neutral.
The taskforce also known as Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), disclosed this on Saturday through its Commander, Maj-Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, during a routine familiarization visit to Kafanchan in Southern Kaduna.
According to him: “We will remain neutral in dealing with the crisis in Southern Kaduna so as to regain the trust of the public. We will continue to engage the crisis using kinetic and non-kinetic approach.
“I am aware of the multi-dimensional crisis of the region, but I am assuring the public that the killing of innocent citizens will stop because we are doubling our efforts to sustain the gains made by my predecessors”, he said.
The Operational visit to the five Local Government Areas in Southern Kaduna under Sector 7 of the OPSH, was to reassure them of the taskforce commitment in consolidating on the relative peace being experienced in the area, our correspondent reports.
The LGAs which are Kauru, Kaura, Jamaa’a, Sanga and Zango, ha been bedeviled by incessant crisis blamed on religious intolerance, a situation Gen. Okonkwo said he will approach head-on by doubling the troops efforts in dealing with the situation.
“I am better informed on the issues and we shall brace up to checkmate the criminality associated with the killing, kidnapping and banditry suffered by the people of this general area”, the OPSH boss said.
Responding, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, said hoodlums terrorising the area are hiding under the guise of religion and criminality to perpetrate their heinous crime, adding that the he guise will not be tolerated as government will not succumb to emotions.
Represented by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, El-Rufai, promised the Commander the support and total cooperation of the State government to enable him succeed in his assignment.
Our correspondent reports that while on the operational visit to Sector 7, the troop of the OPSH also paid homage to the Emir of Jamaa’a LGA and the Chief of Kagoro in Kaura LGA respectively.
It would be recalled that Okonkwo, on Tuesday assumed duty as the 12th Commander of the OPSH.
Okonkwo replaced Maj.-Gen. Augustine Agundu, who has been deployed to the Nigeria Army Resource Centre (NARC), Abuja.