THE Special Task Force (STF) in Jos, Plateau State capital, has introduced a new dimension to its operations towards ensuring better security, especially on Sundays.
Yesterday, soldiers of the STF, as early as 6.00 a.m., ordered all motorcyclists, commercial and private, to switch off their ignition while they and their passengers roll their motorcycles to some distance before riding them again.
As soon as they appear at the security check-points, they would stop, switch off their engines, discharge their passengers and roll the motorcycles past through the checks and start their journey again after some reasonable distance.
This strategy has created traffic snarl, which did not go down well with commuters who were hurrying to meet early devotion. Motor vehicles, on the other hand, are now thoroughly checked before being allowed to pass.
According to Gideon Awaze, who said he worshipped at ECWA Good News Church in Jos, “these checks are becoming unbearable, especially when no worship centre is close by. In as much as we are not opposed to security search, this is too much, especially with motorcycles where nothing dangerous can be hidden. What is the essence of asking them to come down and then roll the motorcycles when they are not being searched because nothing incriminating is on them?”
But one of the soldiers said the dimension was for the good of all, especially the worshippers. He argued that if any motorcycle rider was carrying any improvised explosive devices (IED), going through such rigour would make the device go off before reaching his destination. He urged the residents to exercise patience and not complain, adding that the security agents would not do anything detrimental to the people.
Speaking with journalists at the weekend, the Management Committee Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Council, Emmanuel Dachollom Loman, who spoke against the backdrop of the attack on Bokkos community on Thursday midnight where two youths were killed by unknown gunmen, said the situation in the council was gradually becoming normal except for a few isolated pockets of attacks.
“At the moment, we are experiencing some peace. Things have calmed down. But the problem we have now is just the pockets of attacks we have been having in our villages. They (the attackers) would ambush people. In fact, it has come to be a kind of guerrilla tactics this time around”, Loman stated.
According to him, “the problem has been mostly the native youths with the Berom and the Fulani herdsmen. These are the people who have lived together for a very long time, peacefully. All of a sudden, there was a little problem that affected the whole state, which also went down to Barkin Ladi Local Council”.
Loman dubbed the faceless people who carry out the pockets of attacks in the council as terrorists.