I received with rude shock, disappointment and sadness the undeserving redeployment of Maj. General Anthony Atolagbe the Commandant Operation Safe Haven Plateau State.

In our quest for peace, permanent solution to the hostilities and killings in Plateau State, I have had the privilege of interacting with Maj. Gen. A. M. Atolagbe on three different occasions in search for better and practical ways to end the inhuman, barbaric, wicked and irrational killings.

Despite the exalted office he occupies, Maj. Gen. Atolagbe was down to earth and a listening Senior Military Officer.

My meeting him were all at his instance, when he felt there was need for more strategic ways to bring an end to the crisis in the State by bringing people he felt are critical to peace building processes and nation building in Plateau State.

In all our meetings with him, our concerns and positions have always been how attacks are carried out for a long time period by attackers without swift military intervention, possible arrest and prosecution of the killers.

He has always given us the hopeful assurance that we would soon be happy as he was working tirelessly with the personnel he superintends to ensure the era of non arrest of killers after barbaric attacks and killings is brought to a logical and beneficial end.

Now that we are beginning to feel the impacts of his assurance with the arrest of 18 suspected killers with dangerous weapons after the attacks in Barkin Ladi and Riyom LGAs which left over 200 persons dead, property worth hundred of millions looted/destroyed and about 19 communities sacked and being illegally occupied by the killers, he is being redeployed for reasons best known to the redeployment authorizing authorities.

We have heard that the arrested suspects are making revealing confessions on their sponsors who are highly placed personalities and Maj. Gen. Atolagbe was/still ready to ensure they are invited for questioning or arrested for possible prosecution for their roles in fuelling insecurity in Plateau State and other parts of Nigeria as well as terrorists financing.

Within the week of the gruesome genocide that killed over 200 innocent people without provocation, he painstakingly and proactively relocated the Headquarters of the Operation Safe Haven to Barkin Ladi LGA to ensure the arrest of the killers and curbing further attacks and killings.
This relocation is yielding positive results with the arrest of 18 suspected killers with sophisticated weapons.

Before now, killers would attack, maim, rape women and raze houses without any arrest, but his new tactics and swift military intervention is quite commendable.

We heard of pressure for him to transfer those arrested to Defence Headquarters which did not go down well with him considering the revelations by the suspects who are exposing their sponsors.

To me, this is not the appropriate time to redeploy this man who has put his life on the line to ensure Plateau State returns to the path of peace and becomes more safer.

We are all witness to how his professional and technical expertise stopped the escalation of the violent attacks to the State Capital, Jos as well as other parts of the State.

If indeed, the Nigerian government is sincere and honest in fighting insurgency, then Maj. Gen. Anthony Atolagbe should be encouraged with both human and material resources to perform credibly more.

Gen. Anthony Atolagbe should be allowed to carryout more investigations and arrest of killers.

He should be promoted to his next rank for doing what no Commandant has swiftly done after attacks/killings or at least given a letter of commendation for the wonderful job he is doing towards restoring peace in Plateau State and protecting our territorial integrity against external aggressors and haters of Peace.

His redeployment is unwise at this critical moment he is cracking down on the criminals having gathered sufficient intelligence information and knowledge of the State, the terrain and other sensitive information on the violent attacks.
When would the new Commandant acclimatize himself to the State, the terrain and build relationships at the time the State is going through monumental hostilities?

He has carried stakeholders along in discharging his responsibility who were providing him with intelligence information helping him in his assignments.

Reports of his redeployment on his inability to dance to the tune of some cabals has been going on for a long time in the media space but we never took same seriously.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) should as a matter of urgency revisit his redeployment, bring him back to continue arresting the criminals and exposing their sponsors.

Except if they want us to believe they are not comfortable with how he is arresting the killers.

With immediate arrest of the killers and their prosecution, that would serve as deterrent to others which in turn would restore the much needed peace to Plateau State.

Gen. Anthony Atolagbe deserves promotion or at least a commendation letter not redeployment.

I pray for the restoration of Peace, unity and harmonious living in Plateau State.

Yours Truly,
Amb. Friday Bako