By Jude Dangwam, Jos
The Special Task Force saddled with the responsibility of maintaining peace in Plateau State, Southern Kaduna and some parts of Bauchi State code named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) has a new Commander, he is Major Gen.
Maj. Gen. CC Okonkwo was the Special Adviser Nigerian Army University Biu redeployed to the Operation SAFE HAVEN in Jos as Commander, while Maj Gen Augustine Agundu from the Special Task Force, Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) Jos, has been transferred to the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Abuja as Senior Research Fellow.
Colonel Sagir Musa 31st March, 2020.
The development is coming on the hills of the recent Nigerian Army posting and appointment of it’s officers across the country in rekindling the spirit of professionalism in the nation’s Army as released by the Acting Director Army Public Relations.
General Agundu took over the helm of affairs at the Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) Headquarters Jos in July 2018 and has spent 20 months in pursuance of peace in his area of assignment.
The Army General described the over 20 years crisis promoted by some religious leaders and few traditional rulers within the area of operation especially Plateau and Southern Kaduna State as unfortunate adding that it has only created “more orphans, widows as well as pains, anger and hate that often led to the destruction of innocent lives and properties.”
Agundu sated this in his farewell message during the handing over of the Command to the incoming Commander Maj. Gen.Okechukwo Okonkwo at the Headquarters of Operation Safe Haven(OPSH) located beside Hill Station Hotel in Jos the Plateau State capital.
“I assumed Command of Operation Safe Haven at a period of myriad of security uncertainties especially in the aftermath of the gruesome killings that took place Gashish District of Barkin Ladi that led to the death of almost 200 vulnerable people. With a semblance of uneasy stability in Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State just as Southern Kaduna has its own fair share of intense security challenges.
“The inability to resolved 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.”
He added, “unfortunately, the crises on the Plateau and Southern Kaduna have only been able to generate orphans, widows, pain, frustration, fear and anger. There are fee individuals within the communities who indulge in acts of lawlessness as a way of life by unleashing mayhem on innocent law abiding citizens with the theater.”
The outgoing Commander thanked the Governor of Plateau State, Kaduna and Bauchi for their relentless support stressing that the successes recorded could have not been possible without their shared support as well as some stakeholders who ensure that criminal elements in their domain were identified and isolated.
Considering the fact that, “internal security operations are quite challenging primarily because troops are confronting small groups of miscreants who are also living within law abiding citizens which often required public cooperation and supply of vital security information.”
While addressing troops as he exit the Command, General Agundu charged them to be professional and operate within the line of engagements, urging them to give the incoming Commander the needed cooperation in ending the protracted conflict within the areas of operation to enable them reunite themselves back home with their families.
The ceremony witnessed the commissioning of the Divine Mercy Chapel built at the STF Headquarters followed by the display of some recovered small and light arms and ammunitions at the STF Headquarters among others respectively.