The Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), maintaining peace in Plateau and parts of Kaduna and Bauchi, has trained 103 youths on armed combat and intelligence gathering, as part of efforts at tackling insecurity in southern Kaduna.
The graduation ceremony of the trainees took place at the OPSH Sector 7 Command in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area, Kaduna state.
Speaking at the ceremony on Saturday, Commander of the sector, Timothy Opurum, said the training of the civilians was informed by the displacement of communities by bandits in 2021.
“What brought about this training is the displacement of people living in Jankasa and Kachechere villages under Ungwan Gaya District.
“When I took over, I discovered that there were no people living in those areas because of an incident that happened in that place last year.
“Based on that, I drew these youths from among all the indigenes that had been displaced from that place and gave them basic training.
“This is to enable the people to retake their lands, especially as we are approaching a new farming season,” he added.
According to Mr Opurum, the civilian joint task force comprises youths selected from different ethnic groups and religions.
Members of the civilian joint task force, named Coalition of Vigilantes Network, will work together under the control and supervision of the command and in synergy with other existing vigilante groups.
“Other vigilantes in existence are doing their best, but there seems to be something missing and that thing missing is synergy.
“I am trying to synergise and bring all the vigilante groups together including all the legions and hunters,” he stated.
In his remarks, Amos Gwamna, member representing Jaba/Zango Kataf Federal Constituency, commended the military and advised the civilian combatants not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs by politicians.