By Augustine Ehikioya
The Nigerian Army on Friday dismissed as a distraction the call for the removal of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Ibrahim Ali, over insecurity in Jos, Plateau State.
A Coalition of Plateau Ethnic Youth Nationalities under the leadership of Comrade Lohnan Samson had insisted on the GOC’s removal.
But a press statement issued by the Acting Deputy Director Army Public Relations 3 Division, Major Eli Lazarus, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA), faulted the call, especially coming barely 24 hours after the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor visited Jos and interacted with critical stakeholders over the matter.
The statement reads: “Barely 24 hours after the visit of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor to Jos where he interacted with critical stakeholders, had fruitful discussions and reiterated the need for the peace-loving people of the State to support security agencies to restore lasting peace in the State, it is surprising that a group which identifies itself as Coalition of Plateau Ethnic Youth Nationalities under the leadership of Comrade Lohnan Samson is insisting on taking us backward by reiterating the needless call for the removal of the GOC 3 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj. -Gen. Ibrahim Ali.
“This attack on the person of the GOC is an unnecessary distraction in the effort to restore sustainable peace on the Plateau”.
Appealing to the group and other groups to stop dissipating energy attacking the person of the GOC, the Army urged them to “concentrate on building peace in the State”.
The statement added: “All organised groups in Plateau State should understand that they have a responsibility to contribute positively to the peace building effort in the State in particular and the nation as a whole.
“In this regard, if the group has any suggestion, credible information or specific issue to be addressed to fast track the restoration of lasting peace on the Plateau, it should feel free to make such suggestions to security agencies”, it said.
The Nigerian Army also invited all law abiding groups, religious leaders, men and women of goodwill to join forces with security agencies to overcome the security challenges on the Plateau.
It went on “The GOC remains committed to discharging his mandate professionally for the restoration of sustainable peace on the Plateau and the benefit of mankind”.