The call by All Progressives Congress (APC) elders’ council in Plateau State on Governor Simon Lalong to conscript some youths trained in security and intelligence by an Israeli firm into vigilante groups has raised new concerns over the rising insecurity in the state.
Addressing newsmen, the Plateau APC stakeholders council urged Governor Lalong to identify citizens of the state that were trained abroad by the last administration on security and intelligence gathering, to be reabsorbed into the Operation Rainbow to complement the recently trained 3,000 vigilantes.
Though it is not clear whether the state government will heed the call, there are fears that the request was a subtle attempt at further fueling the raging insecurity in the state as those referred to by the APC stakeholders were allegedly trained to target a section of the state.
There are concerns that the trainees were chosen and trained specifically to favour a segment of the state. Those concerns which were expressed then but later subsided, resurrected yesterday, following the call by the APC elders’ council.
Some residents of the state who spoke to our correspondent alleged that the call by the elders was not bereft of ulterior motives as according to them, the youths were selected and equipped with training on how to unleash mayhem on a targeted segment in the state.
They recalled that the member representing Wase Federal Constituency and current deputy speaker, Rt Hon. Ahmed Idris, told the 8th National Assembly in 2018 that 300 youths from Plateau State were trained in Israel. Wase told the House during plenary that the trained youths later “fizzled into thin air”.
“I was opportune to be a member of a transition committee when this government came in, about 300 people were trained in Israel, we ask government to find those who were trained but nobody has been traced,” Wase had told the then speaker, Yakubu Dogara-led House of Representatives.
Wase said those trained were the ones who agitate and kill in Plateau. He also noted that some containers loaded with arms procured from Israel were imported to the state and traced to the resident of an unnamed politician.
It would be recalled that reacting to Idris’ revelation then, an official of the Plateau State government said the state trained 30 persons, not 300 on basic counter terrorism in Israel.
Recently, the state saw deterioration in the security situation with scores killed and houses destroyed during series of coordinated attacks.
Although the state had been witnessing recurring threats to security of lives and property, the latest occurrence, which led to killing of scores including children in Yelwa Zangam village and subsequent imposition of curfew in Jos South, Jos North and Bassa council areas preceded the killing of some travelers in Rukuba area of Jos metropolis.