TASK FORCE DENIES SHOOT-TO KILL ORDER, ORJI DECRIES KILLINGS IN THE NORTH
THE Special Task Force (STF) in Plateau State has refuted a statement credited to its media officer, Captain Charles Ekeocha, that soldiers of the STF have been given a shoot-to-kill order in their operations.
Meanwhile, the incessant killings of Igbo in parts of the North particularly in Jos
has been described by the Abia State Governor Theodore Orji as an unjustified act even as it has become a stigma in the North -South relationship.
While addressing journalists on Tuesday about a group that dared the STF men, Ekeocha, said that soldiers had been given order to shoot-on-sight.
Apparently disowning that statement, Commander of the STF, Brig.-Gen. Hassan Umaru, said the shoot-on-sight order purportedly said to have been issued by the task force was false. He advised the public to disregard the order.
While advising journalists to deny that report, Umaru said: 'I just want to use this opportunity to clarify a burning issue that has been making the rounds in the state now which has to do with a shoot-at-sight order.
'Unfortunately, nobody has given such order to the Special Task Force either from within or from Abuja as people have been saying. I don't think we have reached that stage or the security situation in the state has not degenerated into that extent where we will now call for a shoot-at-sight order.'
Umaru reiterated that any person or group caught setting ablaze worship places would face the full wrath of the law. 'What I directed was that anybody seen trying to burn a church, a mosque or any building should be brought down. That is just the instruction.'
He, however, appealed to the residents of the state irrespective of ethnic, political or religious affiliations to embrace peace.
Orji, who decried the scenario through his Abuja-based Media Adviser, Mr. Ben Onyechere, said 'it cannot be understood why our Northern brothers would continue to kill the Igbo living with them at will, not minding that it could attract reprisal killings of Northerners in the South-East.'
Describing Igbo as peace loving people whose only motive of living in the North was the pursuit of legitimate trade and commerce for which they are known for, Onyechere pointed out that Igbo have also contributed and were still contributing to the development of those areas they resided in.