From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Plateau State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Fr Polycarp Lubo, has called on the military to provide adequate support to local farmers ahead of the farming season.
Rev Lubo made the appeal on Thursday when the Commander of special military task force Operation Safe Haven paid him a courtesy call at CAN Secretariat in Bukuru, Jos.
‘The Commander is coming to Plateau during the farming season, a time that his expertise would be highly tested. This is the period that farmers need to go to their farms and if they don’t because of fear of insecurity, there will be no food next year,’ the Reverend said.
‘Farmers in Barkin-Ladi, Bassa, Riyom, Bokkos and other Local Government Areas in the state need the protection of security agencies for them to go to their farms and come back alive.’
The Commander, Operation Safe Haven, Major General Dominic Onyemelu, expressed delight at partnering with CAN in resolving security challenges in the state.
He said that since his taking office in February, cases of kidnapping and other crimes have been reduced.
‘A lot has been done about kidnapping, and over 30 kidnappers have been arrested and are in our custody. We will charge them to court… I don’t want to hand them over to the police, I will prosecute them myself,’ the commander said.
‘Any person who kidnaps anybody and makes a call to demand for ransom, we will certainly get him no matter where they hide themselves.’
He expressed the desire to work with every group that will promote peace and unity in the state, and vowed that his personnel will not take sides with any religion or ethnic group within their area of operation.
‘I have gone round to meet my personnel on ground to inform them of my mode of operation that they must be neutral, fair and just to all.’
He said that the personnel are being paid their salaries and allowances and have no reason to take sides with any group or individuals against national security.