Armed soldiers blocked off various places in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Sunday, including the Court of Appeal complex.
Apart from the appellate court complex located along the ever-busy Yakubu Gowon Way in Jos, our correspondent observed that the soldiers who stationed their armoured tank in front of the court complex also stationed themselves in various strategic locations throughout the city alongside other security operatives.
The development was attributed to the Plateau State governorship election petitions, which were scheduled to be delivered by the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Sunday.
Captain Oya James, spokesman for the Military Taskforce in charge of maintaining peace in Plateau state, told newsmin Jos on Sunday that the presence of armed soldiers was to prevent a breakdown of law and order following protests sparked by a recent court of Appeal judgement that sacked all National Assembly members elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
James said, “You know about the tension in the town due to the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal. So, there is little tension in town as the governorship election petitions will also be delivered on Sunday. And you know we have worked tirelessly to restore peace on the Plateau. So, in a situation like this, although the police being their primary responsibility is deployed, our people are only there to monitor the situation so that we don’t go back to where we are coming from and to avoid a breakdown of law and order.”
Meanwhile, the Middle Belt Youth Council has condemned the use of its name by “fake Middle Belt groups” in Plateau State in order to earn cheap political points.
Emmanuel Zopmal, President of the Middle Belt Youth Council, accused the lawmaker representing the Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam federal constituency, Yusuf Gagdi, of being behind the fake group activities meant to cause trouble in the Middle Belt region, saying he should be held responsible in the event of any breakdown of law and order in Plateau state due to his do or die style of politics, during a press conference in Jos on Sunday.
Zopmal said, “The apex body of the Middle Belt youth leadership under the leadership of Middle Belt Forum led by Dr Bitrus Pogu has become aware of a fake group claiming the name Coalition of Middle Belt Groups.
“As a reputable organisation that promotes equity, justice, fairness, and unity in the Middle Belt, we issue this press conference to categorically denounce and distance the Middle Belt from the purported “Coalition of Middle Belt Groups” that was drafted by a desperate and callous politician in order to score a point in the ongoing judicial process on election matters in Plateau State.