A group, under the aegis of Buhari Tarzarce Vanguard (BTV), has flayed the decision of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) to redeploy Maj.-Gen. Anthony Atolagbe as commander of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH).
The group, while appealing to the DHQ to immediately rescind its decision on the redeployment, said any contrary view by the latter could give wrong impression that the arrest of some herdsmen in the state was the reason for Atolagbe’s redeployment.
It said though transfer and redeployment of personnel were prerogative of the military high command that do not need interference of external influence, Atolagbe’s redeployment at a time he had made significant inroads in curbing the recurring Plateau attacks, was not the best decision.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja signed by its Co-ordinator, Alhaji Muhammed Biba, the group alleged that the courage displayed by the commander in arresting the herdsmen involved in recent attacks in the state was the reason the military authorities moved against the commander.
It, therefore, insisted that unless the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, reverses Atolagbe’s redeployment, the Plateau people would hold the authorities responsible for any further bloodshed in the state.
The BTV, which called on the military to rescind its decision, also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the military high command to reverse the redeployment based on the confidence reposed in the commander for the courage he displayed in arresting assailants of victims of recent Plateau attacks.
The statement read: “We are indeed shocked when we woke up to this reality.
Citizens are thrown aback by the decision of the Defence Headquarters to further dim our chance in 2019 by redeploying a focused military officer who was bent on restoring lasting peace to the North-Central.
“This is not only sad, but very disheartening and does not project our great party and President’s fight against terrorism in good light.
“How do you redeploy an officer who has made far-reaching positive discoveries on the most challenging and hidden sources of problems bedeviling the entire country? What is the reason for his sudden redeployment?
“Why is the redeployment coming at a time that very critical arrests have been made and useful revelations made indicting prominent people?
Why the deployment at a time the opposition and a section are maliciously accusing the Presidency and the North for being behind these herdsmen?”