Plateau killings: CAN demands removal of Army Commander

Most Rev. Moses Ebuga and other CAN leaders during their press conference

Richard Elesho

As the search for solution to the age-long insecurity problem in Plateau intensifies, the state chapter of TEKAN/ ECWA bloc of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN has demanded immediate removal of Major General Ibrahim Ali, General Officer Commanding 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army, who doubles as Commander Operation Safe Havens.

The demand was made in Jos, at a Press Briefing on Monday by The TEKAN/ECWA Bloc Leader, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN Plateau State, Very Rev Moses Ebuga. He accused General Ali of looking the other way whenever gunmen kill his members and destroy their means of livelihood.

Ebuga claimed that 85 members of ECWA were killed in a recent attack in Jiambu Miango communities in Bassa Local Government Area, LGA of the state. He accused the Army Commander of taking side with the attackers. Hear him:

“Christians killed in Irigwe land is touching. Recently, the Irigwe land in Bassa LGA of Plateau State has been in the news, over killings and destructions by Fulani herdsmen in the land.

“We would like to use this medium to give a report of what has happened as observed and recorded by the Church. From July 30th to August 17, 2021, over 85 persons were killed, 55 hospitalised, 3141 houses burnt and about 2901 farms destroyed.

“Also, 5901 families displaced, more than 26 villages destroyed Ann in 26 communities. Christians, especially our bloc on the Plateau, cannot remain silent while its members and properties are destroyed by the killer Fulani herders and militias, with no or less efforts by the government to stop these evil acts,” he said.

Daily Sun reports that Ebuga noted with dismay how some prominent Islamic scholars threatened to attack Christians on the Plateau following the unfortunate incidence of Rukuba road in Jos North Local Government Area where some commuters were killed by hoodlums.’

He added that “The GOC of the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army who doubles as the Commander Operation Safe Haven in the person of Major General Ibrahim Ali has not lived to expectation. The military barracks being and situate in the self same Bassa LGA and within a few kilometres radius lie under attacks for long hours and days without any response and protection from the Army. This leaves much to be desired from any reasonable and security presence by their proximity and neighbourliness.

“As a result of this spate of insecurity, we have lost confidence in his ability to handle the security situation in Plateau State and therefore call on the Nigerian Army headquarters to relieve him of these responsibilities forthwith and, strongly advice that no one officer should again be made to hold these dual responsibilities.

“The Fellowship of Churches also calls on the Federal Government and all security agencies as matter of urgency to be responsible to their duties as the security and protection of lives and properties are the primary responsibility of every government.

“We are calling on the security agents in the state to be sincere and non-partisan in the pursuit of their responsibilities, as it seems to favor a selective few or particular group, we decry selective justice and imposition of grave injustice on the peace-loving community dwellers in Plateau State and such still remains highly unacceptable,” he concluded.