The task force also disclosed that a total of three soldiers and one officer were killed by bandits between January this year to date in the course of maintaining peace in their areas of operation.
A coalition of Plateau ethnic youths organizations including Afizere, Amo, Anaguta, Atten, Bache, Irigwe, Berom, Buji, Chokobo, Jere, Kurama, Lemoro, Tarya as well as youth and women wings of the State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, had on Wednesday protestested to the Government House in Jos over the unabated killings in the state.
The youths organisations, in a statement which they issued after the protest, accused troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN of aiding insecurity in the affected communities, adding that they should be held responsible for the attacks and killings in the state
But the task force, in a statement on Wednesday night, denied any involvement in the killings while describing the allegation as false.
In a statement signed by its Military Information Officer, Major Ishaku Takwa, the task force insisted that troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN had made concerted efforts in stemming the tide of communal clashes, reprisal attacks and other forms of criminalities in Plateau.
Takwa said “At the moment, the leadership of Operation SAFE HAVEN is concerned with stabilizing the security situation in communities that experienced attacks recently in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau state as well as Zangon Kataf and Jema’a Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.
“The rapid response and intervention of our troops during these attacks curtailed the attackers who could have continued their barbaric acts unchallenged. It is unfortunate that lives were lost during the attacks. We share in the pains of all that lost their loved ones in the attacks.
“From January 2022 to date alone, Operation SAFE HAVEN lost an officer and 3 soldiers to banditry attacks and criminalities. It is therefore worrisome to note that the group claims that Operation SAFE HAVEN is abetting criminal attacks on communities and should be held responsible for lives lost. Our record also indicates that, since August 2021, there were no cases of attacks on communities in Jos North and South, Barikin Ladi, Riyom, and Bokkos Local Government Areas. The mischief-makers are only trying to draw us back after numerous achievements recorded in the mentioned areas.”
The statement assured the government and the entire citizenry of the troops’ unwavering commitment to the protection of lives and property of every law-abiding citizen without fear or favour.
“In doing this, we appeal for the volunteering of credible information from the citizens that could assist in the arrest of criminals and prevent attacks on our communities. We will also continue with our stakeholders meeting, youth summit, consultations, and discussions to halt attacks and reprisal attacks permanently in our land,” the statement added.