Nigerian Military authorities on Friday said reports alleging the arrest and detention of a State legislative member, Peter Gyendeng by Special Task Force operatives in Jos, the capital of Plateau State were false.

Major Umar Adams, the Special Task Force spokesman in Jos told MKB, "there was nothing like the arrest of Honourable Peter Gyendeng."

Maj. Umar had earlier requested to makefindings into the case before responding to enquiries by MKB.

However, a National Assembly member, Istifanus Gyang on Saturday morning confirmed holding hours long talks with the Task Force officials on the release of the detained lawmaker.

ID Gyang as he is fondly called said he was at the STF headquarters in Barkin Ladi town to facilitate the release of his State colleague till 2am, Saturday.

MKB had on Friday morning reported the detention of the lawmaker for allegedly attempting to bail a crime suspect in the STF custody.

The Punch quotes Mr. Gyendeng as saying he was tricked by the peacekeeping troops and detained for 8hrs.

In the report, the lawmaker said, “The truth about the whole thing is that on Thursday morning, I received a distress call that two people have been ambushed and killed by Fulani herdsmen on their way to the farm.

"I called the (OPSH) Sector Commander in Barkin Ladi who went there with his men. On getting there, the Fulani were there too.

"I was told that it was the Fulani who killed the three soldiers, although I wasn’t too sure. But that was what I heard.

“Around 10am on Friday morning, some of my boys were arrested. One of them had been arrested since July 17.

"I have been going there, but the father of the boy had not been given access to see his son. 

"I was intimated on the issue, I went there. I was briefed about the complaint that somebody lied against the boy.

“We fixed Tuesday (this week) for the final settlement with the (OPSH) Sector Commander.

"We had been calling the complainant but he refused to show up.

"I went there to bail the boy since the complainant didn’t show up.

"I didn’t know that they had given instructions that I should be detained."

The Punch further reports that Mr. Gyendeng was detained on allegations of leading a peaceful rally against military excesses in the state.

"They didn’t give me any reason until my people came to bail me and get me out of the place. They said it was because of last week’s peaceful rally over the killings. I was detained from 10am till 8pm," said Gyendeng, the House Committee Chairman on Public Accounts and Petitions and member representing the Barkin Ladi Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly said in the Punch report.

The NASS member representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal constituency in the Nigerian House of Representatives, Istifanus Gyang confirmed these claims to MKB after successfully negotiating his colleague's release along with other stakeholders.

"I however had to get them (STF officials) to understand that being a representative of the people, he (Gyendeng) is the eye of his constituency and has to share in the pains of his people.

"The welfare of his people is of crucial importance to him and therefore he has to identify with them in their moments of pain, in which case, he is only showing concern not necessarily participating," he said.

The reps member who is seeking election as the Senator for Plateau North in the National Assembly however explained that the military was interested in ending violence in the state but needed a change of public perception on the entire conflict.

"They made us to understand that to end this violent attacks, we have to change the narrative, defining the attacks as crimes against the state rather than giving them ethnic colorations which could somehow deprive us of the needed support and sympathy of those who matter as a result of their affiliations with the accused ethnic group," he said.

The Commander of the Special Military Taskforce codenamed Operation Safe Haven, Maj. Gen. Augustine Agundu, on Friday said he had "locked down" Barkin Ladi local government area to prevent further attacks.

Gen. Agundu said in The Punch, “I lost three men, they were killed in action as a result of this cycle of violence that has resurfaced. I lost some men yesterday (Thursday) because some persons decided to take laws into their hands and let me repeat again. There is no nation where you use crime to fight crime; there are constructive ways of engagement, no matter what the situation is.

“I have declared enough is enough; what happed in Barkin Ladi will never repeat itself again. I have locked down Barkin Ladi completely and no human being is going to cause further havoc in that LG. Whatever that is going on in Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Bassa, and Bokkos LGs, that is enough and that is the message I want to send. The troops have resolved to bring the situation decisively under control from this moment henceforth.

“The worst of it is that the proliferation of arms in Plateau is out of magnitude because that is the message I have been sending to everybody in leadership.

“I want to be very categorical, the situation on the ground is becoming more precarious than expected. Since the unfortunate incident of June 2018, all the efforts being made for greater understanding for peaceful coexistence, the situation is rather getting out of hand.”