Residents of four of the five villages, both Fulani and Berom, in Plateau State, that were evacuated last week are now free to return to their houses, except those of Mahanga where the military operating is still going on, an official of the Special Task Force has told PREMIUM TIMES.
Our reporter witnessed the STF deputy commandant briefing some Berom and Fulani leaders on the progress of the military operation which saw residents of Mahanga, Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh and Shong 2 evacuated from their communities and moved to temporary camps.
The operation, meant to chase out “murderers and criminals” suspected to be hiding in the villages, is about 80 per cent completed, officials said.
But residents of Mahanga are to remain in their camps until the operation is completed.
The Federal Government had last week ordered the military to deploy maximum force to flush out insurgents who were launching sporadic attacks on villages in Plateau state, killing scores each time they strike.
In compliance with the order, the defence headquarters served signal that soldiers would raid locations believed to be hideouts of the suspected criminals launching the attacks and destabilizing the state.
To avoid what the defence headquarters described as “collateral damage”, inhabitants of the five villages were asked to move into a temporary camp provided by the state government.
Residents of a few other villages – Kura-falls, Kuzukand Sharuk, Rim of Gashish and Bachit – were allowed to remain in their communities but advised should to be “careful of their movement within the area and avoid places of military operations.