The Defence Headquarters recently reacted to the news published by the Vanguard Newspaper on 30th October 2020 at about 5:43pm over the claim that soldiers attached to the Special Task (STF) Force, Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH), killed four members of the community and dumped their bodies in surrounding Dams in the area during an attempt to stop hoodlums from looting the residence of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.
The story which was written by one of Vanguard News reporters, Marie- Therese Nanlong from Jos claimed residents of Gwafan village in Jos North local Government Area made the report.
Military Spokesperson, Major General John Enenche in a release said on Sunday 25 October 2020, hoodlums and vandals invaded the private property of the former Speaker at Lamingo, with a view to looting it. Consequently, troops of the STF, OPSH, which is saddled with the responsibility of maintaining peace and tranquility in Plateau State and environs, were immediately deployed to bring the situation under control.
Enenche added that, guided by extant Rules of Engagement and Standing Operating Procedures for such situations, the highly professional troops arrived at the residence and apprehended a total number of 30 looters.
He further explained that, a total of 114 hoodlums comprising 21 females and 93 males were apprehended for looting. Recall that Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN paraded the suspects before the press, and this was widely reported in various main stream and online media.
"It is worthy to mention that the timely intervention of our troops at the residence of the former Speaker ensured that the situation was nipped in the bud. Thus, the story is a malicious and mischievous publication against the Nigerian Military and Operation SAFE HAVEN in particular, that has commendably fostered peace in Plateau State" he said.
He re-emphasized that, "It is also worthy of mention that on 26 October 2020, 41 suspected hoodlums comprising 6 females and 35 males were arrested and thereafter released after profiling. One therefore wonders where there was shooting for a situation that was managed professionally to bring the situation under control".
Enenche commended the highly professional troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN for their dedication to duty.
Nigerian Army thus reassured the general public of their safety, encouraging them to go about their lawful activities without any fear.
The Military Spokesperson, Major General John Enenche therefore advised Media organizations to verify their facts before publishing untrue and unverified stories.