The Defence Headquarters, DHQ, has debunked an allegation reportedly levelled by some residents of Gwafan village in Jos North local Government Area of Plateau State. The residents allegedly claimed that soldiers attached to the Special Task (STF) Force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), killed 4 members of the community and dumped their bodies in surrounding dams in the area during an attempt to stop hoodlums from looting the residence of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
Debunking the claims in a statement, Major General John Enenche, coordinator, Defence Media Operations said Saturday, “For the records, on Sunday 25 October 2020, hoodlums and vandals invaded the private property of the former Speaker at Lamingo, with a view to looting it. Consequently, troops of the STF, OPSH, which is saddled with the responsibility of maintaining peace and tranquility in Plateau State and environs, were immediately deployed to bring the situation under control.
Enenche added, “Guided by extant Rules of Engagement and Standing Operating Procedures for such situations, the highly professional troops arrived at the residence and apprehended a total number of 30 looters.
“Additionally, a total of 114 hoodlums comprising 21 females and 93 males were apprehended for looting.
“Recall that Headquarters Operation Safe Haven paraded the suspects before the press, and this was widely reported in various main stream and online media.
He added, “It is worthy to mention that the timely intervention of our troops at the residence of the former Speaker ensured that the situation was nipped in the bud. Thus, the story is a malicious and mischievous publication against the Nigerian Military and Operation Safe Haven in particular, that has commendably fostered peace in Plateau State.
“It is also worthy of mention that on 26 October 2020, 41 suspected hoodlums comprising 6 females and 35 males were arrested and thereafter released after profiling. One therefore wonders where there was shooting for a situation that was managed professionally to bring the situation under control.
“Consequently, the Defence Headquarters wishes to commend the highly professional troops of Operation Safe Haven for their dedication to duty. Members of the general public are also assured of their safety and are encouraged to go about their lawful activities without any fear. Additionally, it is always advisable for Media organizations to verify their facts before rushing to publish untrue and unverified stories,” the statement said.
Newsdiaryonline reports that Jos was one of the theatres of looting of warehouse by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protest. The looting of Dogara’s residence also part of the unfortunate scenes across some states as the peaceful #EndSARS protest was hijacked.