The Nigerian Army has strongly condemned the clamour for the removal of General Officer Commanding 3 Armoured Division (GOC), Major Gen. Ibrahim Ali, over the bloody crisis in Plateau State.
Ali is the Commander of the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), covering Plateau and parts of Bauchi and Kaduna states.
DAILY POST reliably gathered that the GOC no longer enjoys the confidence of Plateau indigenes who insist he is “biased”.
The locals have been drawing the attention of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, for Ali’s replacement.
The Coalition of Plateau Ethnic Youth Nationalities joined the call, lamenting the killings in Bassa, Jos North, Miango, Riyom, Mangu, Rukuba, Yelwa Zangam, among others.
Ali was accused of “unprofessional services resulting in the loss of lives and property within his area of responsibility”.
A similar call was recently made by the ECWA/TEKAN bloc of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Earlier, a section of Plateau people claimed that Ali was on a mission to wipe out indigenes, an allegation the Army denied.
In a statement at the weekend, the Army said the verbal attacks by GOC were “unnecessary distraction” in the effort to restore sustainable peace.
Major Eli Lazarus, Deputy Director, Public Relations 3 Division, noted that the latest demand was made hours after the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, visited Jos.
The spokesman recalled that Irabor interacted with stakeholders, had fruitful discussions and urged the people to support security agencies.
Lazarus said the youth coalition, led by Lohnan Samson, was trying to pull ongoing efforts “backward by reiterating the needless call for the removal of Maj Gen Ibrahim Ali”.
He appealed to the group and others “to stop dissipating energy attacking the people of the GOC” and concentrate on building peace.
“All organised groups in Plateau 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.
“If the group has any suggestion, credible information or specific issue to be addressed to fast track the restoration of lasting peace, it should feel free to make such suggestions to security agencies”, Lazarus added.