The military has explained why troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), maintaining peace in Plateau and parts of Bauchi and Kaduna States, arrested nine youths travelling on motorcycles from Bauchi State to Nasarawa.
This is contained in a statement by Captain James Oya, the Media Officer of the operation on Friday in Jos.
Oya was reacting to reports that the bikers, allegedly missing, were later found in military custody.
”The attention of OPSH has been drawn to the erroneous reports on the circumstances surrounding the arrest of nine youths travelling from Bauchi State to Nasarawa State on motorcycles, through Jos, during the by-election in Plateau.
”To set the records straight, on Feb. 3, troops received calls from well-meaning citizens on the movement of a large convoy of persons on motorcycles, traversing Jos East Local Government Area of Plateau while the by-election was going on in the state.
”Considering the prevailing security challenges, they were subsequently tracked and taken into protective custody for profiling.
”Following thorough profiling, the travellers were found to be innocent and were released to their family members in less than 48 hours after passing the necessary security checks,” he said.
Oya advised news outlets to desist from publishing unconfirmed information to the public, adding that such actions would further exacerbate the current security challenges confronting some parts of the nation.
”It is of utmost importance to stress the risks associated with spreading unverified information, taking into account the potential dangers it poses.
”Security agencies will not leave anything to chance in exploring legitimate means to track down any activity inimical to security to avert any attempt to unleash mayhem on innocent civilians.
”We therefore urge all to exercise caution and verify information before disseminating it to the public,” he said.
He called on the public to continue collaborating and provide security agencies with credible information that would aid in securing peace-loving citizens.