A civil society organization, the Center for Peace and Justice Initiative (CPJI) has tasked the Nigerian armed forces, particularly the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), with being critical in addressing security threats across the country.
Reacting to reports of an explosion in the Doma community on the border between Benue and Nasarawa states that killed around 30 people, the group urged Nigerians to refrain from accusing the military of complacency whenever they there is a breach in security operations.
According to the group, available intelligence shows that there are clandestine plots to provoke crises across the country with the aim of thwarting the 2023 general elections. Consequently, security agencies are expected to be instrumental in quelling such threats.
Let us remember that there have been allegations and counter-accusations of what happened. But, at a press conference in Abuja, CSO executive director Bilikisu Hassan explained that while it was unfortunate that innocent people allegedly lost their lives in the incident, care should be taken when throwing tantrums.
“We are forced to intervene on this issue due to the complexities it presents. Over time, many Nigerians have taken it upon themselves to attack security agencies whenever there is a report of a security breach. Some have trivialized security issues to the point of playing politics whenever the opportunity presents itself.
“As players in the sector, we feel obliged to correct the negative impression that the enemies of our beloved nation have given. Those who propagate such falsehoods against security agencies or misrepresent facts to cause chaos for ulterior motives must not be allowed to succeed.
“Available intelligence clearly indicates that suspected armed herders were seriously mobilizing their members from the Awe, Doma and Keana LGA from Nasarawa state and reportedly moving en masse to places like Ungwan Yaara, Railway and Antsa Village, the entire area. from Kwara district, Keana LGA reportedly planning to launch coordinated attacks on settlements in Benue state.
“Available information says that said attack is aimed at distorting electoral activities in Benue, hence a retaliation against Benue communities and security personnel apparently due to the December 31, 2022 bombing of their camp (of herders armed) on the border between Guma (Benue) and Doma (Nasarawa) LGA by Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS). This planned attack portends a great threat to the security of both the Tiv communities in Nasarawa State and the entire Benue State,” Hassan alleged.
The group stated that as a result of the protracted criminality of bandits in the north central area and particularly along the Nasarawa and Benue borders, President Buhari had previously approved a military operation codenamed Operation Cat Race. . The Nigerian Army also launched another operation called Operation Whirl Stroke which is still in full force in the area to drive out criminal elements, banditry, herder raids, cattle rustling and criminal gangs responsible for the killings and insecurity in the area. He insisted that the military has been tracking criminal activities in the area for a long time.