Missing General In Jos: The Inside Story And Implications For Plateau People (MUST READ)

As the military continues in its effort to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Major General Mohammed I Alkali (rtd) who retired from service as the Chief of Administration, Nigerian Army Headquarters, recently, ACHOR ABIMAJE (Jos) reports that Dura Du is completely deserted as Soldiers have embarked on total crack down on the community.

Over 500 women had protested in Dura Du community of Jos South local government area of Plateau State when the military expanded its search operation for Major General Mohammed I Alkali (rtd), who was declared missing since Monday, September 3rd.

It was gathered that since rescue operations commenced, the people of the community and its environs had not known peace has constant arrest, invasion of homes and business centres by the military was the order of the day.

LEADERSHIP Friday reports reveal that major General Alkali retired from service as the Chief of Administration, Nigerian Army Headquarters, and few weeks later, was declared missing .

It was further learnt that the retired general was said to be travelling from Abuja to Bauchi, and somewhere around Jos, his family lost contact with him.

According to investigation by the military then revealed that the General could have been killed and dumped in a deep pond in Dura Du, thereby making them to search the pond for him.

However, the protesting women in the community, dressed in black and some half naked, began a violent protest against the military, leading to series of clashes as the women threw stones at the military personnel while others dared them to shoot and even attempted to wrestle weapons from their hands.

The women said their anger was that the military has put a siege on their community since they suspected that the general was in the pond, and again that their people have been repeatedly killed without the military protecting them.

But their major reason for protesting the search by the military was due to a superstitious belief that the pond must not be disturbed in any way because it would lead to calamity for them, including mysterious deaths and other misfortunes.

Mary Yakubu, who spoke on behalf of the women said since the days of their forefather, no one has tampered with the water, and that it was a taboo to tamper with the water because their husbands and children would die mysteriously.

She said they haven’t known peace since the military suspected that their general was thrown into the pond with his car, saying that they have been harassed, threatened and even shot at.

Reacting on the search and rescue, officer in charge of the operation, Brigadier General Ibrahim Mohammed, said they had it on credible intelligence that General Alkali got missing in that area, and that the army headquarters had mandated and directed them to carry out a search and rescue operations.

Brigadier Mohammed said no amount of protest by the women or any superstitious belief about the pond would stop them from the operation, saying that they had earlier notified the community of the operation before commencing.

“In an effort to search for the missing Major General Idris Alkali, a lot of things were done, and all the hospitals in Jos were toured and checked.

“Besides, we have checked all the accident vehicles places. Based on credible intelligence, we now had to come to this community in the last one week. We are trying to find three things. One is on General Alkali who is declared missing. We are here also looking for his vehicle, which is a black Corolla, and we want to find out if he is alive or not.

“Again, we have credible information that some vehicles were actually pushed into this pond. We have been here for the last three days trying to see if we can salvage anything from the pond. The pond is a mining site and is deep. You can see that we have a crane, and we have used all kinds of methods and as the last resort, we have decided that we are going to evacuate the water from the pond to see what is underneath.

“Early this morning, I then came here and actually saw a group of women numbering over 500 all dressed in black and they insisted that we are not going to evacuate the water and we asked them why and they said this is the water they usually drink. And there are water points more than 30 of this type that are much cleaner than this one in this environment. But surprisingly, the women began throwing stones at my troops.

“There was even an instance in which one of the ladies was confident enough to try to wrestle a weapon from a soldier. And what these women are saying is that we will not evacuate this water, but we told them it is an order and we are going to evacuate this water and see what is in there. It is an order and no Jupiter will stop us until we see this to the end, we will not allowed miscreants to take law into their hands. That would not be allowed,” he said.

A group under the auspices of Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) on Monday called on the federal government to, as a matter of urgent attention, do its best to safeguard the safety of lives and property of citizens of Plateau State.

The group further lamented what they termed the alleged human right abuses and extra judicial killings by the Nigerian Army.

“We call on the Plateau State government to set up a judicial commission of inquiry which should be composed of people of integrity and high moral standing in the society to investigate the recent crisis in Jos and also ensure the implementation of previous white papers from such commissions in the past in an effort to bring about an enduring solution to this problem.”

Addressing newsmen in Jos, Barrister Hanack Mark Rere, chairman of the Association in Plateau said after the alleged draining of the pond suspected to contain the vehicle of the missing general, which took over two weeks and without independent monitors, the army embarked on a lock down on the community at Lo Pamdyet Latya.

He added that they invaded the community at about 2am in the early hours of the morning on the second day of October 2018 and combed the entire community effecting arbitrary arrests molesting the inhabitants raiding houses, assaulting and threatening the inhabitants, those who were lucky were able to escape through nearby bushes and farms to neighbourhood communities were they either sought for refuge or fled to other destinations for their safety.

Rere said, “In the recorded arrests made within the community, there were over 25 arbitrary arrests made in Dwei and Latya communities between the 2nd and the 5th of October 2018 aside the varying violation of rights by the men of the Nigerian Army.”

“Those arrested were taken into detention at military facilities not the police, some were paraded on National Television as common criminals and suspects, a media summary conviction which is a gross violation of their fundamental rights.

“Within these communities, over 16 houses and shops and other business venues were broken into and some doors broken and removed by men of the Nigerian Army and thereby displacing over 40 persons and rendering them homeless and exposed to the elements of the weather and society especially at such insecure times.”

He further stressed, “There was no entry or exit into these communities since the military had locked down the communities and even innocent communities were blocked and arrested and detained, these cases are without mention of those who were physically abused and battered by the men of the Nigerian Army, some of whom are still receiving treatment.”

“We call on the Nigerian Army in line with global best practices to be humane, fair unbiased and civil in its operations in line with democratic tenets by respecting the fundamental rights of citizens guaranteed by the constitution.

“If our government has failed to protect her people, we call on the attention of the international community to respond to our cry and help us.”

Meanwhile, the Plateau State Police command on Thursday declared eight persons wanted in connection with the missing Major General Idris Alkali, the retired former Chief of Administration at Army headquarters.

The police said preliminary investigation into the disappearance of the senior retired officer showed that the eight suspects masterminded and executed the disappearance of the missing senior officer. This was contained in a statement signed by DSP Tyopev Terna, public relations officer PPRO of the Plateau Police command made available to newsmen in Jos.

The statement reads that those wanted as “Da Chuwang Samuel (aka Morinho). He is 28 years old, dark in complexion, has no tribal mark on his face and is tall. He is a panel beater by profession and Berom by tribe. He speaks Berom, Hausa and English fluently. His phone number is 08063644429.

“Nyam Samuel (aka Soft Touch). He is 25 year old, tall, and dark in complexion and has no tribal marks on his face. He is a panel beater by profession and Berom by tribe. He speaks Hausa, Berom and English fluently.

“Mathew Wrang (aka Amesco). He is 27 years old, tall and dark in complexion with no tribal marks on his face. He has Adams Apple, is married. He is Berom by tribe and speaks Hausa, Berom and English fluently.

“Pam Gyang Dung (aka Boss). He is 53 years old with an upper gap tooth. Dark in complexion, tall with no marks on his face. He has a baldhead and his occupation is farming and mining. He is Berom by tribe. He speaks Hausa, Berom and English fluently.

“Chuwang Istifanus Pwajok Stephen (aka Tifa). He is 46 years old, light in complexion and has moustache, tall and has no tribal mark on his face. He is a surveyor and businessman by occupation. He is Berom by tribe. He speaks Hausa, Berom and English fluently.

“Timothy Chuan. He is 26 years old, light in complexion, tall and has no tribal marks on his face. He is married and a tipper driver as well as sand vendor by occupation. He is Berom by tribe, speaks Hausa, Berom and English fluently. His phone number is 09081177173.

“Moses Gyang (aka Boss). He is 25 years old, light in complexion, tall, keeps afro hair and has no tribal marks on his face. He is married and Berom by tribe. He speaks Hausa, Berom and English fluently.

“Yakubu Rap. He is 52 years old, dark in complexion. He is the District head of Dura. He is married with children and is Berom by tribe. He speaks Hausa, Berom and English fluently.”

Above all, the 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, Maxwell Khobe Cantonment Rukuba Barrack, Jos has said it has uncovered a shallow grave where the corpse of the missing Army officer Major General Idris Alkali retired was said to have been earlier buried.

This is coming on the hill that the Plateau State Police command has said four of the eight persons declared wanted in the case of missing General, Da Yakubu Rap, the district head, Timothy Chuwang, Mathew Chuwang and Stephen Chuwang have reported to the Plateau State Police command headquarters, Jos and are undergoing interrogation.

According to a statement issued in Jos by the command PPRO, DSP Mathias Tena Tyopev, he said the decision to declare some people wanted in respect to the case of the mysterious disappearance of Major. General IM Alkali (rtd) has started yielding results.

According to him, the shallow grave is in ‘No man’s land’ identified by four different suspects at different times of arrest who took troops on the search and rescue operation to the spot where the alleged corpse of the missing officer was exhumed and reburied in yet to be identified place again.

The General Officer Commanding 3 Armoured Division, Maj Gen Benson Akinroluyo, made the disclosure during a press conference held at the 3 Division Conference Room at the Rukuba Barrack near Jos, the Plateau State capital.

“On 29 September 2018, when the General’s black Toyota Corolla car was recovered from the abandoned mining pit, those involved and those not involved in the killing of the senior officer held a meeting to relocate his corpse away from the community. This is because of the inherent danger it would attract to the community.

He further stressed, “Consequently, a 10- man team was constituted to relocate his corpse earlier buried in a shallow grave within the community to elsewhere.

“A specialist in preservation of corpse was contracted. The specialist assisted in exhuming his corpse from the shallow grave to elsewhere. Only few trusted members of the community knew where his corpse was relocated. The specialist is currently in our custody.”

He pointed out this is an attempt to cover up the heinous crime committed by the community. “There exists other evidences and indicators that point to the fact that those who were involved in the killing of the senior officer are being supported and backed by community leaders within the Dura-Du District,” the GOC stated.

Akinroluyo stressed that, “Please note that four different sources not known to each other at various times took us to the open shallow grave where the senior officer was earlier buried but subsequently removed,” and debunked opening any other grave in the district.

In confirmation of the spot he said, “Furthermore, sniffer dogs that have been cultured with the personal effects of the senior officer led us to the same opened shallow grave. That was the only grave we were led to by different people and sniffer dogs. We did not go to any other grave as the operation was carried out based on credible intelligence.

“Like I always say, the cordon and search operation is intelligence driven and that is why the operation has been conducted in line with international best practices and respect for human rights.

He also maintained that the perpetrators of the act shared the belongings of the missing officer after he was whisked away, “The senior officer was assaulted and killed, thereafter, his belongings such as clothings, cash, phones and laptop were shared by those who killed him. His body was dragged before being moved to somewhere else and his car was driven and pushed into the abandoned mining pit filled with water. The irate youths who followed his car to the abandoned mining pit filled with water on many tri-cycles popularly known as “Keke NAPEP” jubilated for s best known to them or for mission accomplished.”

The Garrison Commander, who doubled as the commander of the Search and Rescue Operation for the missing senior Army officer, Brig Gen Umar Muhammed, who took journalists to where the body of the missing officer was earlier buried said, the sniffer dogs were trained with the personal wears of the missing officer, and “When we reached this area called No-Man’s Land they only hovered on this spot. The specialist in our custody said he helped in packaging the body here and handed it over to the community who alone know who they entrusted it to go and reburiy it.

“Leaders of this community called for a meeting and during the meeting, it was agreed that since the vehicle was discovered, the body should not be discovered. So, in the meeting it was agreed that the body should be exhumed and buried elsewhere.

“There was a 10-man committee that was set up and the committee contracted the specialist, who after finishing his job, told us everything and he is in our custody,” the commander stated.

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