The Taraba State Government on Saturday expressed shock over alleged sudden withdrawal of military contingent deployed to enforce peace and security in southern part of the state.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Gov Darius Ishaku on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan-Abu, the government lamented what it described as “unceremonious withdrawal of soldiers from the operations.
“The surprise is that no reason was given for the withdrawal and the government was not aware.
“At the moment the reason for the withdrawal of the soldiers is not known to us,” the statement added.
Also, the Chairman of Donga Local Government Council, Mr Nashuka Ipeyen told newsmen, in an interview, that soldiers deployed to troubled spots in the local government started pulling out around 1:00am on Saturday.
Ipeyen explained that on receipt of the information, he quickly contacted the Commanding Officer, 93 Battalion Ada Barack Takum, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Gambari who said he ordered the withdrawal of the soldiers.
“I complained to him over the withdrawal of soldiers because we received information that some villages were going to be attacked, but he told me he would not risk the lives of his soldiers.
“The Commanding Officer insisted that he was withdrawing the soldiers until the state government write an undertaking that it will take responsibility if any of the soldiers is attacked or killed.
“I don’t know why the state government would have to do that for the soldiers when the attackers are killing civilianson daily.
“However, I have made arrangement with the commissioner of police who has since deployed three trucks of mobile police personnel to provide security for the people,” he said.
In a swift reaction, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 23 brigade Yola, Maj. Kamarudeen Adegoke, denied the allegation saying no soldier was withdrawn from the local government.
“All our men are still stationed at their various duty posts”, NAN quoted him as saying.
“I don’t know where the state government has gotten its information that troops have been withdrawn, but what I can confirm to you is that our men are fully on ground,” he said.