Chief Of Staff to Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Brigadier General A.M. Ibrahim, shaking hands with Leader of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) advocacy visit to Plateau State, Amir Mohammed Jameel Mohammed, during their advocacy visit to the operational command of OPSH in Jos, yesterday. Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the visit, Rev Zaka Ahuche Peter looks with keen interest PHOTO: IDFP
The incessant crisis in Plateau State has been described as the handiwork of criminals who have resorted to the use of religion to whip up sentiments as a means of veiling their criminal motives, according to the Commander of the Operations Safe Heaven (OPSH), Major General Augustine Chris Agundu.
Speaking when he received members of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) visited the OPSA operational headquarters in Jos on an advocacy visit, the Commander, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Brigadier A. M. Bello lamented that ahead of the 2019 polls, women are now hoodwinked into staging protest in order to attract sympathy.
According to the commander, “Most of the crises bedeviling Plateau state is hinged on pure criminality. Those that rustled cows include Fulani, Berom and other tribes. Those who buy these rustled cows are Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, among other ethnic groups.
“When there is crisis, people simply resort to whipping up religious sentiments to explain a complex issue. Operation Safe Heaven is a multi-operational agency aimed at deploying police approach in restoring law and order”.
Contrary to the initial intention of making OPSA as an ad-hoc measure meant to restore law and order within a short span of time, the OPSA boss said there was a review which made the security outfit permanent in order to ensure the enforcement of law and order.
In achieving the objective of lasting peace on the Plateau, the military outfit commander called on monarchs and religious leaders to be involved in driving the process of peace in the state.
“We urgently need a civilian component in fighting against the current violence plaguing the state. Traditional rulers, religion leaders must encourage their subjects and followers to embrace dialogue in resolving conflicts,” the OPSA boss said.
Speaking earlier, Leader of the IDFP advocacy team to Plateau State, Amir Mohammed Jameel Mohammed said they were in Jos on a fact-finding mission on why the crisis on the state has persisted.
IDFP, according to Mohammed, was formed as a result of deliberations by the Vienna-based KAICIID Dialogue Centre. The main goal of the IDFP, Mohammed added, is to ensure that both Christian and Muslim leaders are engaged in finding resolutions on issues that are capable of creating moments of tensions among adherents of the two religions.
Rev Zakka Ahuche Peter, who is the chairman of the Local Organising Committee, thanked the OPSH Commander for finding time to be identified with them. He said IDFP was not like any other and called on Nigerians to embrace peace across religious divide.