Jan. 22 (THEWILL) – As part of efforts to maintain peace in the Plateau, parts of Kaduna and Bauchi states, the Special Task Force mandate, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), said it has formed 103 young people in armed combat and intelligence gathering.
This was revealed by the sector commander, Colonel Timothy Opurum, who suggested that the formation and training of civilians had been informed by the displacement of some communities by bandits in 2021.
The graduation ceremony for the trainees held at the OPSH Sector 7 Command in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area, Kaduna State was aimed at improving the security situation in these areas.
Speaking at the trainees’ graduation on Saturday, Sector Commander Colonel Timothy Opurum said the formation and training of civilians had been informed by the displacement of some communities by bandits in 2021.
“What prompted this formation was the displacement of people living in Jankasa and Kachechere villages in Ungwan Gaya district. When I took over, I discovered that there was no one in those areas because of an incident that happened there last year.
“Based on this, I attracted these young people among all the natives who had been displaced from this place and gave them basic training. This is to enable people to take back their lands, especially since we we are approaching a new agricultural season,” he said. added.
Opurum noted that the issue of security is a collective responsibility, hence the need for residents to get involved in the fight against crime.
“Security is everyone’s business and no single organization can have a monopoly on guaranteeing security.
“It is on this basis that we felt it was necessary to support the community in creating a safe environment for socio-economic development.
“We may not completely eliminate crime, but if we work together we can reduce crime to a bare minimum,” he said.
According to him, the civilian joint task force includes young people selected from different ethnic groups and religions.
Members of the civilian joint task force will work together under command control and supervision.
He said the joint civilian task force has been named the Coalition of Vigilantes Network and will work in synergy with other existing vigilante groups to achieve a common goal.
“Other existing vigilantes are doing their best, but it seems like something is missing and that thing that’s missing is synergy. I’m trying to synergize and bring all the vigilante groups together, including including all legions and hunters,” he said.
He thanked the commander of the OPSH, Major General. Ibrahim Ali, for his support for the success of the exercise.
In his address, Mr. Amos Gwamna, Member representing Jaba/Zango Kataf Federal Constituency, commended the military for its tireless efforts to ensure peaceful and sustainable coexistence in southern Kaduna.
Gwamna also commended the youths for their selfless service to their homeland in pursuit of peace.
The legislator, however, advised them against allowing themselves to be used as political thugs for selfish interests.