The Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI),has dissociated itself from allegation by a civil society group that military personnel deployed for peace building in Plateau State have been molesting civilians in the state without reason.
Recall that a group, Coalition of Civil Society Organisation in Plateau State,had on Wednesday, through a statement,alleged that military personnel deployed to Plateau State on peace mission were heightening insecurity through their actions which they claimed,was against the rules of engagement.
In the statement which was a fallout of a its emergency congress,the group further alleged that “military personnel on bikes are always deployed to harass, scuffle, and intimidate harmless civilians, firing indiscriminately under the guise of maintaining peace and order where in the real sense there is absolutely no threat to peace and order.”
But reacting to the claim by the group, GOPRI,through its Executive Director, Amb. Melvin Ejeh,distanced itself from the allegations contain in the statement.
In a statement to this effect, on Wednesday, Amb. Ejeh,said though he’s a member of the civil society group in plateau state, him and his organisation completely distanced itself from the statement issued by the organisation especially the allegation against the military.
“The Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI) wishes to state categorically that we belong to the civil society organisation in Plateau State. However, we did not share all the the views contained in its press conference of yesterday, particularly the unfair and unsubstantiated allegations against the military men on bike,” a statement he released on Wednesday, said.
He added:”We distance ourselves from them on every issue particularly the unfair paragraph that concerns the military. We take strong exception to the allegations against the military personnel on bikes because it does not reflect the reality on ground.”
According to the activist,” “The most effective unit of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH),is the unit operating on bikes.”
” We strongly disagree on allegation of ‘militarization of the civic space and harassment, scuffling and intimidation of harmless civilians and firing indiscriminately by military personnel under the guise of maintaining peace and order where in the real sense there is absolutely no threat to peace and order’, as alleged by our umbrella body.
“In fact,we wish to unequivocally restate here that one of the most effective units in the OPSH operations is that of the bike unit. The personnel under this unit have no doubt, been doing their duties professionally and in line with rules of engagement,” GOPRI further said.
“We wonder where this spurious allegations is coming from! We are particularly surprised given that the allegation came from very learned and trained people like the CSO.
” We completely disassociate ourselves from the said statement and pass a vote confidence on military bikers and the entire Operations Safe Haven (OPSH),”the statement further stated.