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STF celebrates with resettled Gashish IDPs, reassures them of security



The Special Task Force (STF), in charge of security in Plateau on Monday visited Gashish District to celebrate with people that had returned to their ancestral land after they fled the area on June 22, 2018.

The residents had fled the area after gunmen invaded their community, killed many people, injured several others and burnt houses.

Police reports indicated that more than 200 people were killed by the gunmen that invaded the area in the night.

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Thousands fled the area and were quartered in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), camps in Barkin-Ladi, Kuru and Heipang, with some of them able to return to their homes in December 2018, after the STF restored peace to the area.

To mark the first anniversary of the attack, Maj. Gen. Augustine Agundu, the STF Commander, visited the area to reassure the returnees of the security outfit’s commitment to their safety.

“We are here to reassure you of our commitment to your safety. We also want to be sure that you have settled into normal lives and have returned to your farms,” he said.

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“We are ready to deal with people that are not ready to let peace reign. We will remove those who do not want us to stay in peace. We shall not spare any trouble maker.

“It is time for farming and anybody that is going to disturb farming activities will be removed from this society

“There is enough grass for the cows, so we won’t allow people to block the cattle from feeding on them and shall also not allow the cows to stray into the crops,” he said.

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The commander said that the STF had the intelligence and manpower to deal decisively with anyone who may wish to foment trouble, and advised the people to live in peace with one another so as to reap God’s abundant blessings.

Agundu assured the people that he would liaise with the Plateau government to ensure the return of the remaining IDPs.

M Peter Gyenden, member of the Plateau House of Assembly representing Barkin-Ladi constituency, in a remark, appreciated the STF for the “kind and reassuring visit”, and reaffirmed the people’s desire to live in peace with one another.

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He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to actualise the establishment of the mobile police squadron in the area as promised.

“The Police outfit will give the people more confidence as they go about their activities,” he said.

Mr Francis Chong, President, Gashish Development Association, in his speech, said that the people were living in fear of fresh attacks.

Chong corroborated Gyenden’s position that a security outfit be set up in the area.

Malam Musa Musa, a Fulani youth leader, in his remarks, said that Fulani youths were committed to ensuring enduring peace in Gashish.

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The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the commander donated some clothing and food materials to the people of the community.

NAN also reports that the communities will soon hold a memorial and thanksgiving service at COCIN Church, Anguldi in Jos as part of activities to mark the one year anniversary.

Edited by Ephraims Sheyin

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