STF urges calm over redeployment of soldiers in Plateau Nigeria, Niger meet over water resources
The Special Task Force (STF) in Plateau State yesterday dismissed fears over the redeployment of some soldiers manning various checkpoints in Jos city, adding that the move was aimed at checking activities of cattle rustlers in the hinterland.
Daily Trust observed that checkpoints around major areas in the city such as Lamingo, Dogon Dutse, and Gangare which used to be manned by soldiers of the STF have now been replaced by mobile police personnel and members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). The STF Media and Information Officer, Captain Ikedichi Iweha, said some of the soldiers were on special assignments in various villages in the state in an effort to check cattle rustling.
Iweha explained that the mobile police men and the civil defence personnel are part of the STF and the force is increasing its activities in the hinterland to check the menace.
“The withdrawal of soldiers in town is very light because we still have soldiers strategically placed in major check points and response to any emergency will be swift and precise,” he said.
He added that the fact that some checkpoints are now manned by the mobile police and civil defence is an indication of the return of peace in Jos but assured the public of enough soldiers in all sectors and active distress numbers. Nigeria and Niger Republic are holding talks in Sokoto aimed at resolving problems associated with the sharing of common water resources between the two countries in line with the 1998 bilateral agreement.
According to the Secretary General of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation, Ambassador Abdul-Jalil Abubakar, the meeting was convened to resolve problems relating to the implementation of the agreement.
“The Minister of Water Resources in one of their meetings with his Nigerien counterpart decided that experts should come and look at the problems with the aim of resolving them diplomatically. This is why we are here. We want the common water to be shared equally,” he said.
Abubakar said two dams were in Niger while two are in Nigeria and when they visited some of them they discovered that they had dried up, which is one of the causes of the problems. Also speaking at the meeting Governor Aliyu Wamakko said the resolution is long overdue because of the economic importance of the agreement to both countries.
According to him, the problem has been on for close to 20 years now and because of its diplomatic nature it has to go through this mechanism.
“Niger Republic constructed a dam in Zango just close to Kwani that has impounded water and refused to allow it pass to Karmalo lake and as such farmers in the area became idle. The same thing with the Jibiya dam in Katsina State which affected the discharge of water to enhance hydrological balance in parts of Niger Republic,” he said.
The other reason of the meeting, according to the governor who was represented by the Commissioner, Ministry of Environment, Muhammadu Jabbi Kilgori was to fine tune ways of getting support from the African Development Bank to revive the drying dams. He added that Sokoto State and Nigeria stand to gain a lot from the project as it would enhance food production, revenue generation and socioeconomic growth.