The Plateau State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), on Thursday, called on the military taskforce responsible for the maintenance of peace in the state, code named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) to give adequate support to farmers ahead of the upcoming farming season to avert famine in the country.
The Christian body also said, Plateau being an agricultural society, farmers especially in Barkin-Ladi, Bassa, Riyom, Bokkos and other councils in the state require the protection of security operatives to go to their farms and return alive.
The call was made by Chairman of CAN in the State, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Lubo, when the new Commander of OPSH paid him a courtesy call at the CAN Secretariat in Bukuru, Jos South LGA of the State.
Lubo said, “Commander you are coming to Plateau during the farming season, a time that your 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”, he explained.
According to him, “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 CAN chairman further stated that, Christians in the state have been pushed to an extreme end of their life since the massive destruction they suffered during the 2001 Jos crisis that left many people death and sources of livelihood destroyed.
In his remarks, the OPSH Commander, Major General Dominic Onyemelu, expressed delight to partner with CAN in resolving security challenges in the state.
Onyemelu noted that since his assumption of office to Plateau in February this year, the issues of kidnapping and criminality has been reduced to the barest minimum.
According to him, “Alot has been done about kidnapping and over 30 kidnappers have been arrested and are in our custody.
“We will charge them to court by myself, I don’t want to hand them over to the Police, I will prosecute them myself.
“Any person who kidnap anybody and make a call to demand for ransom, we will certainly get him no matter where they hide themselves.”
The OPSH Commander express the desire to work with every group that will promote peace and unity in the state, and vowed that his personnel will not take side 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 maintained.
He said that the personnel are being paid their salaries and allowances, and no reason to take side with any group or individuals against national security.