Supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari at the North Central zone have appealed to him to stop alleged planned redeployment of the Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Major General Anthony Atolagbe, from the state.
They claimed that if the redeployment was carried out now,it would further fuel the beliefs in some quarters that the killings especially the latest ones in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state, were orchestrated by people loyal to the presidency and the Apc.
The group’s appeal to the president was in reaction to social media reports which quoted some indigenes of Plateau State alleging that the commander of the military task force has been penciled down for imminent transfer from the state for daring to arrest some herdsmen who participated in recent killings in the state.
Some indigenes of the state, according to the reports, had claimed that President Buhari was peeved by the arrest of the herdsmen by the Major Atolagbe-led Operation Safe Haven in the state and had directed the Defence Headquarters to immediately transfer him out of Plateau State.
But reacting to the alleged planned transfer, the Buhari supporters under the aegis of Buhari Tazarce Vanguard BTV 2019, in a statement yesterday,said the allegation was a figment of imagination of enemies of the president even as they asked the president not to contemplate any such decision.
In the statement signed by the National Chairman of the Buhari Tazarce Vanguard, Alhaji Garba Mohammed Bida ,the group said having appraise the security situation in Plateau State, the transfer of Atolagbe if carried out, “would turn out to be the worst decision of government and outrightly counter productive in the peace efforts being put in place by the government of Nigeria and people of Plateau State.”
“For the past two days, some online media have been awash with the rumor of plots to transfer the Commander of the special military task force in Jos (OPSH) and our inquiry into some high privileged source confirmed that they maybe such intention. hence we are constrain to make this emergency press statement, “it said.
The group which recalled that Operation Safe Haven was set up by the federal government to curtail the activities of the herdsmen, cow rustling, insurgents and other uprisings in Plateau State, said so far, the task force has lived up to expectations in spite of some setbacks in the peace efforts being championed by the military outfit.
The statement said:”Major General Anthony Atolagbe from what we gathered from state coordinator , has demonstrated tremendous tact and professionalism as well as commitment to duty.
“His efforts in reducing to the barest minimum incidences of security breaches on the Plateau are glaring and commendable.
” This, the much has been reflected in the various recognitions and testimonials from various quarters as well as the attestation of the state government and her people .
” In recent times, just after the unfortunate incident of loss of lives and property that occurred in certain areas of the state, the commander, in his usual decisive manner, moved his operational base into the most heated flash point of the crisis prone areas, Barkin Ladi local government Council which we all commended.
“Of course, this act alone in our mind restored confidence in the community and hearts of the people.
“His love for peace has overwhelmed the privileges of the pleasures of a comfortable office. Indeed, his decision to take the battle to the doorsteps of the country’s enemies has yielded fruits, this is manifested in the arrests so far made in connection with the killings that have so much destabilize the emotions of Nigerians.”
Going further, the Buhari support group said:”Of course, we learnt a lot of useful confessions have been made and high profile past and present public office holders from the state and outside have been indicted.
“This vindicated our stands that President Mohammed Buhari is a peaceful and laws abiding man who can never have hand in the killing of Nigeria’s under any guise. How can a president who want the vote of his people now encourage his alleged kinsmen to kill Nigerians?.
“Going forward, and consequently on the above, it is expected that the powerful politicians who are former and present office holders who are most likely to be affected by further investigation would want to stage a protest by frustrating the efforts of the commander operation safe Haven jos (OPSH).
“Clearly, the attempt to transfer Major General Anthony Atolagbe at this auspicious time as reported by some online blogs will not be only be misplaced but may be misinterpreted that the Federal Government has a hand in the misfortune of the people as erroneously peddled by mischief makers and the opposition party.
“We are mindful and determined as patriotic citizens and core supporters of President Buhari and we call on the president, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari to distance himself from any such plans if any.
“As his core supporters, we appeal to him to direct the Chief of Defence and Army Staff to rather give full support to OPSH so as to vindicate our stand that this so called herdsmen are only criminals who are out to tarnish the President and our party APC hard earned reputation.
“It is very important to note that, should the commander be transferred at this very critical time, when he made this unusual feat, it will give credence to the unfounded blackmail against the Government of APC that they are truly behind the herdsmen.
“The commander should be allowed to continue to unravel the criminals and their sponsors.
” The sponsors of this dastard act against humanity should not be allowed to have their way through the process of ensuring that the Commander of Operation Safe Haven Jos (OPSH) is transferred in order to cover the tracks of their sins. This is their greatest desire now.
“The president is urged to be resolute and focused to ensure that their evil plan does not find a place. This will enable the perpetrators to be prosecuted according to the law.”
It noted that “President Buhari has in the last three years, shown tremendous commitment to providing security to lives and property, and this milestone development should not be sacrificed.”
It added:”The plot by some politicians to rubbish the president and his government and accused them of insecurity in the country should not be allowed to materialise through this evil plan to transfer the commander out of Jos at this critical period that this criminals are being exposed and they have no link to our party.”
“We strongly commend the doggedness of the commander of OPSH and we encourage other security chiefs in the crisis to clamp down on these criminals killing Nigerians in the name of herdsmen, “the group further said.
It stressed:” We are very mindful of the fact that the sponsors of these killings only found herdsmen as a means to cover up their evil political machinations and hence the arrest of the suspects would expose them, it is expected that they will fight back.
” The lobby for the transfer of Major General Anthony Atolagbe is therefore clearly a plot by some politicians to destroy the security legacy of the president and bring to ridicule his government.
“Our appeal to the president therefore is for him to keep his eyes peeled and open against vampires who wouldn’t rest until their evil plans are executed.
These politicians because of the high positions they have occupied in the past have contacts everywhere even among the President kinsmen, we learnt will stop at nothing to get the commander out of Plateau State to pave way for the cover up.”
The group claimed that “though most of the suspected criminals arrested are allegedly Fulani but we wish to make it clear that they are common criminals working for their paymasters, who are not happy with the peace efforts of the Plateau State Governor, Barrister Simon Lalong in the last three years.”
It hailed both the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.General Tukur Buratai, for what it referred to as “their commitment to the values of peace and security in line with President Buhari’s administration’s policy direction.”
“We urge the Commander of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) to also continue to focus more on his mandate, even as detractors continue to plot evil against Nigerians.
“We have absolute confidence in the president and his Service Chiefs, and we are very hopeful that their decisions would continue to reflect the views of Nigerians in the best interest of the country.
“We are determined as always to be supportive of the federal government and the administration of Mr President and we are more inclined to offer advice on areas that would further promote peace and conflict resolution as well as guarantee protection of lives and property of Nigerians, it further said.