Gyang Bere, Jos
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, has said that no nation in the world can enforce peace on its people except the warring factions themselves agree to embrace peace in the first instance.
Gen. Olonishakin noted that the Army or the military do not go to war but that it is the nation that goes to war and uses its military, adding that the “kind of problem that Nigeria has now is asymmetric warfare because it is something that we are dealing with our own people, our own brothers, our own sisters.”
The CDS spoke, on Tuesday, at Plateau Youth Summit organised by the Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH), in collaboration with Civil-Military Relief Initiative with the theme, ‘Re-energising the Potentials of Plateau Youth for Positive Development’ held at Hill Station Hotel Conference Hall, in Jos.
The CDS was represented by the Director, Defence Information (DDI), Brig.-Gen. John Agim.
Gen. Olonishakin commended the OPSH Commander, Maj.-Gen. Augustine Agundu for the bold initiative in carrying out the responsibility of the command to details, explaining that that was the only way that warring people would come together on their own after seeing what would happen if they continued with the fight and came to a mutual agreement to stop fighting.
“To start with if you see some of the reports we are receiving from some of the NGOs where they discredit even the military, they discredit everybody.
“So, if they don’t bring people on board to begin to initiate this thing by themselves, very soon the military will not be trusted and the fight will continue to go on.
“So, I think what we have witnessed today is very noble and this is the only way that people can initiate peace among themselves,” he stressed.
Commander of the Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH), Gen. Agustine Agundu, said that during their operation in Plateau State, they traversed all the nooks and crannies of the state with interactions with a wide range of youth groups, coming to the conclusion that there was a disconnect between the antics of the aspirations of the youth and whatever the cause of the crisis.
Gen. Agundu concluded that there was actually no crisis but a misunderstanding and lack of purpose in all that they did because they did not understand why they were fighting.
“I will continue to say it loud and clear that all the indices there are that have generated this fight are actually non-existent here in Plateau.
“We can live as one people here on the Plateau just as it used to be.
“But the youths have been misused and misguided and I am very happy with the out pour of goodwill messages as regards this particular interaction and that is why we are trying to collapse these misgivings and these misunderstandings and misuse of the youths into a productive venture just as you see in the theme of this summit I convened.
“Now, most essentially just like political space has also opened up, the probability of still keeping them under that misguided concept is also there.
“So, we want to admonish them and advise them to be the path of peaceful coexistence.
“No one should be allowed to be used to perpetuate crimes or to foster violence within the community.
“If we go along this path, I believe very sincerely that sooner than later, the crisis on the Plateau will be a thing of the past”, Agundu stressed”
He said people living outside the state are the ones spreading fake news because the people of Plateau are energetic, focused and hardworking but people would just stay outside and be fomenting trouble.