The Special Military Task Force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), in Plateau has arrested 27 suspected cult members operating in various communities in Jos North Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Maj.-Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, the Commander of the task force, disclosed this, while speaking with newsmen on Saturday in Jos.
Okonkwo said that the arrests followed raids by troops in communities between Nov. 17 and Nov. 20.
He said that the suspects — 21 males and six females — were arrested in Apata, Jenta Adamu and Jenta Miango communities in the area.
Okonkwo said that the arrests were part of the task force’s efforts to rid the state of crimes and criminality.
The commander stressed that the task force would not relent it its determination to curb petty crimes, killings and other forms of crimes in the state.
“This exercise is in continuation of our determination to end all forms of insecurity in Jos and Plateau in general.
“The suspects are largely responsible for the crimes and breaking down of law and order in their communities.
“They kill innocent people on daily basis; they are a very dangerous set of human beings.
“Yes, we have redeployed our troops into the hinterlands, but we shall continue to raid communities in the city-centre until these crimes are stopped,” he said.
Okonkwo said that the operation was to prevent crime during the hosting of the National Festival for Art and Culture (NAFEST) in the state.
He also said that the task force would continue to clamp down on all criminal elements to ensure a peaceful Yuletide in the state.
He urged residents to cooperate and support the task force in its bid to ensure safety of lives and property in the state.
The general said that the suspects would be handed over to the police for prosecution.
“During the raid, we also arrested some drug barons but immediately handed them over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further action,” he said.
Okonkwo said that the items seized from the suspects included knives, cutlasses, three locally made pistols and ammunition as well as suspected hard drugs.