Following announcement been carried out by state-owned Plateau Radio Television (PRTV) on Monday night and yesterday morning alleging that a helicopter and 13 hilux vans carrying arms and ammunition had arrived Mahanga, a Fulani community in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State in readiness for an attack on some Plateau communities, the Special Task Force (STF) and leadership of Mahanga responded yesterday, asserting that there was no substance in the story.
Both the STF Commander, Major General David Eniete and chairman of the Riyom chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Isa Abdullahi said in Mahanga yesterday that the story was a rumour peddled by people with no stated motive.
The STF commander who led other officials of the Force and journalists on a fact-finding visit to Mahanga and the Riyom Miyetti-Allah chairman stressed that Mahanga remained how it had always been and had not had any arms-bearing set of visitors in recent history.
The STF Commander, Eniete, addressing newsmen on arriving Mahanga in the afternoon of yesterday, said, “We decided to travel this rough terrain so that you could see for yourself after what the radio relayed last night and this morning, to show you that nothing of what was reported happened, as the people of this community themselves will tell you.
Rumours of this kind have been peddled in the past, but I felt compelled to respond to this one. The story of 13 hillus vans and one helicopter bringing arms here is false and should be discountenanced. There were stories in the past about here and some other parts of the state of training camps and Sambisa-like forests, they are all false.”
When asked whether the particular ‘rumour’ of 13 hilux vans and one helicopter might not turn out to be real, Eniete said, “The rumour has no chance of becoming reality. The troops (of STF) in place all over Mahanga and the rest of Plateau are trained to contain any attacks.”
Speaking for the people of Mahanga, the Riyom Miyetta Allah chairman, Isa Abdullahi said there was no truth in the story; and responding to a question on whether there was any recent incident that could warant the ‘rumour’, Abdullahi revealed that suspected Berom-speaking attackers killed 12 cows from Mahanga residents last Sunday.