The troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), an internal military task force in Plateau State, has denied the report linking it to the death of two youths in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State.
, signed by its
The Media Officer OPSH,
Major Ibrahim Shittu, in a statement titled: “Re: Condemnations Trail Killing of Two Youths in Riyom By Gunmen,” said that, “these concocted lies were intended by the authors to set the public, especially citizens of the state against OPSH which has worked assiduously with other stakeholders to ensure peace and security in the state especially during the Yuletide season despite several threats of attacks.
The youths identified as Jerry Bitrus, 28, and Joseph Davou, 32, respectively, were reportedly killed last Sunday, by gunmen in the area.
A media report had quoted locals accusing personnel of OPSH of complicity in the act which has drawn condemnations from citizens and politicians alike in the state.
Meanwhile, the hierarchy of OPSH said that it has nothing to do with the death of the youths, explaining that rather, its personnel on patrol were drafted to the area on receipt of a distress call about the incident.
It, however, advised the general public to disregard the allegation which it described as baseless in its entirety.
The OPSH, accused some mischievous persons from the area of trying to discredit the military outfit.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) has been drawn to a report on news medium, alleging the killing of two youths by gunmen in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State.
“The report which claimed that more facts have emerged on how the gunmen killed the two young men on Sunday around 7.09 pm, quoted some locals accusing men of Operation Safe Haven of been responsible for the attack and killing of the victims, identified as Jerry Bitrus, 28, and Joseph Davou, 32, respectively.
“Having gone through this report and allegations made, we wish to dissociate our men from this act in its entirety. This allegation is not only false, mischievous, and baseless but also aimed at discrediting the operation.
“To set the records straight, we wish to state that on Sunday, January 10, 2021, the Commander Sector 6 of Riyom General Area was called by the youth leader of Ghoss to inform him that two (2) persons were shot by unknown gunmen. Following the information, he swiftly mobilized his troops in conjunction with the Police Riyom Division to the scene. On their arrival, they met the two victims who were incapacitated and bleeding profusely. A close examination by the team showed that one was already dead while the other one was evacuated to K Vom Christian Hospital in the company of some youths; unfortunately, he later gave up the ghost.
“It is pertinent to state that the Riyom Police Division in the area were duly informed of the development and they recovered the corpses of the victims.
“The Member of the Plateau State House of Assembly representing Riyom Constituency, Hon Timothy Datong, having heard of the development, called the Commander Sector 6 where the incident happened and he was briefed accordingly.
“It is however sad that some mischievous persons are accusing personnel of OPSH of the killings”.
The statement recalled that based on the threats to that general area during the Yuletide season, OPSH increased its deployment which served as deterrence to those planning to attack the area.
The military disclosed that troops have also continued to maintain security even after the New Year celebrations.
“This was appreciated by community leaders and stakeholders. One wonders why some troops will kill anyone who is not a threat to the security of law abiding citizens.
“We wish to say that these baseless allegations will not deter the troops from carrying out their duties. They will continue to be diligent and professional while carrying out their assignments.
“OPSH will continue to operate professionally within its mandate in Plateau State and across its Joint Operational Area”.
The statement enjoined the public to discountenance the false and baseless allegations in their entirety.
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