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Experts Accuse Nigerian Military of Collusion With Fulani Terrorists 

Plateau Coalition Fingers Army Lt Colonel For Aiding Fulani Terrorists

By TruthNigeria Staff

Following the public protests of Bokkos County mothers against the failing Nigerian military on Friday a coalition of Plateau State citizens   has demanded the liquidation of the Special Military Task Force known as Operation Safe Haven (OPSH). The task force, including military, police and local civil defense units, has been operating in Plateau for a decade but has been complicit in the Christmas attacks, according to the Coalition of Plateau State Indigenous Youths/Ethnic Nationalities.

The coalition faults OPSH for its shoddy, slow, noncommittal and unprofessional response to early warnings and distress calls at the time of the attacks during the bloody assaults beginning Dec. 23. The indigenes coalition claims the army aided the attackers and facilitated the colossal damage.

Lieutenant Colonel T.T. Pave, a key leader of troops charged with suppressing terrorism in Plateau State,  has been accused of using his position as the Sector Commander of Bokkos County to give  support and cover for Fulani terrorists during their Christmas day massacre.

Pave was named in a communique on January 6, 2023 by the Plateau citizens group.

“The sector commander Lt Col T.T Pave, was accused by eye witnesses among the affected communities of giving cover and aiding the killing by the Fulani militias,” according to a statement signed by Mr  Paul Dekete and Mrs Duwam Bosco.

“Eyewitnesses from communities affected also accused men under Lt Col T.T Pave’s command to arrest and kill locals as seen in the case of late Mr. Samuel Longleng, who was confronted and fired at will by men under his command at Garah – kawel, of Mushere district of Bokkos County among other cases, while arrested Fulani are release within the shortest possible time. We are calling for his public probing and possible discipline to serve as deterrent and restore confidence on the Military Operation,” according to the release.

Defense Analysts Call out Nigerian Army

In the wake of the catastrophic attacks by thousands of armed terrorists murdering close to 300 citizens in Plateau for seven days in December, military analysts  have told TruthNigeria reporters that the Nigerian military has failed its core mission to defend citizens, deferring to Nigeria’s political class that allows the killings to proceed.

David Otto, an independent global counter-terrorism consultant and expert on conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East has told TruthNigeria in an exclusive interview that the military is complicit with the terrorists.

David Otto, counter-terrorist expert based in London. Photo by David Otto.

“This is not the first time that attacks in the communities of Bokkos, Mangu, and Jos South are happening. More so, the current attacks have occurred back-to-back in two days, with the marauders moving from one village to another without military response.

“Before every attack, letters were written to the communities informing them of impending attacks, and the General Officer Commanding( GOC), Third Division of the Nigerian Army, Jos, has his headquarters within the vicinity of the operational zone. So, nothing should have prevented the Army from responding swiftly to the distress calls,” Otto said.

Otto said that the military has refused to pursue the bandits into the caves and mountains where they are camping; rather, the military has set up roadblocks in cities and towns,” he added.

 “The military, in the eyes of many residents and foreign observers, has lost credibility,” Otto said.

Military Under Former Pres. Muhammadu Buhari Fingered For Blame

Former Army Colonel and contemporary Security Consultant Hassan Stan-Labo.   photo by Stan-Labo.

The lackadaisical attitude of the federal and state governments in the past eight years is responsible for the current response of the military to the attacks on Mangu, Jos, and Bokkos counties, leading to heavy losses of lives, according to former Army Colonel Stan Hassan Labo, who talked to TruthNigeria.

“The generals were always afraid of taking action against the terrorists for fear of being punished by the president or the defense minister, who seemed sympathetic to the terrorists in Plateau and other parts of the Middle Belt,” Labo said.

Labo went on to say that for the past eight years, the Federal Government led by Muhammad Buhari and some state governments have been colluding with terrorists in Plateau.

“It is a known fact that Buhari’s ministers stink, as Sheik Isa Pantami and Shehu Malami were known to have links to Boko Haram, and even Buhari himself was at one time nominated by terrorists to be their spokesman,” Labo said.

When reminded that Nigeria now has a new president, Minister of Defense and National Security Adviser, Col. Stan Labo, explained that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is very slow in taking decisive actions that have quelled the terrorists and terrorism in the Middle Belt.

“When Tinubu came onboard, I thought that he would first and foremost tackle insecurity, especially in the case of the military, but instead, he is behaving just like former President Muhammadu Buhari.

“He is being very slow, and he has been reactive instead of proactive.

Caught with their pants down

Despite the plethora of allegations of inaction and failures on the Plateau, the Commander of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), got  some credit a reprieve from defense analyst Mordecai Funom.

Having served with the Nigerian army in Lebanon, Sierra Leone, and the former Yugoslavia, Funom told Truth Nigeria that the 3rd Division, which forms the bulk of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), is stretched beyond its limit and cannot effectively act to counter attacks on rural communities on the Plateau.

“Remember, the Third Division forms the bulk of OPSH, which provides security for Southern Kaduna, Bauchi, and the whole of Plateau State,” Funom said.

“That means it would be grossly under-strength. If a division is made up of four thousand men and women and sends a thousand men to Kaduna, another thousand to Bauchi, and the rest are dispersed to volatile areas on the Plateau, then the division would have been seriously depleted and a minimum response to a crucial situation would not be achievable,” Funom added.

According to him, since the military lacked the necessary men and intelligence, it was caught with its pants down,” Funom said.

General Abubakar Abdulsallam, the commander of Operation Safe Haven, and the GOC of the 3 Division told media that his men responded to 36 calls, but they stretched to the limit.

“We responded to 36 different calls. As we were going to this place, a call would come from another place, and we moved to that place, and before you knew it, we were overwhelmed.

Nigerian Air Force not used in Plateau during Black Christmas

However, Col. Hassan Stan Labo pushed back against the general’s excuse, saying the military could have used its attack drones and armed helicopters, to degrade the terrorists.

“Where are our attack drones and helicopters? Why did the military not use these assets to degrade them?” he asked.

Fulani Mass Attack Planned in August 2023

The attack on Plateau communities was planned in Zamfara state in the Sububu forest, a den for Fulani terrorists, in late August 2023, according to a confidential intelligence report shared with TruthNigeria.

On August 15, 2023, the kingpins of Fulani Militias, along with political operatives from Plateau and other North-Central States, joined Fulani terrorists from the Niger Republic, Mali, Tchad, Zamfara, and Katsina States, according to the document.

After the meeting, the terrorists resolved to do the following:

1. To continue with the destruction of farmlands in spite of the ongoing harvest.

2. To sustain isolated killings, ambushes, and rustling of cows under the cover of “robbery or criminality;”

3. To plan a mega invasion of Plateau villages and communities in and around Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, Mangu, Riyom, and Bassa Counties and launch the same by November 15, 2023.

Mike Odeh James is a veteran conflict reporter in Kaduna and covers terrorism for TruthNigeria.com

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