Some group of Special Task Force known as operation Safe Haven, in Jos, North-Central Plateau State has intercepted two trucks loaded with a total of 145 children – all male, at a check-point.
According to the report from our correspondent, the boys are all with the age range of four to eight years and were being transported from states to states within the north-central region using Plateau state as a major route. The Public Relations Officer of the Plateau State Police Command, ASP Mathias Tyopev, confirmed the incident
“On Thursday 12th January, 2017 the special task force, Sector 2 located opposite University of Jos intercepted two trucks conveying 145 children from Bauchi and Jigawa states to Plateau, Kaduna and Nassarawa states.
“Our investigations further reveals that these children who are all male were to be taken to places where the three mallams who were coordinating the movement have not even visited.”
It was also discovered that the minors were being transported in a truck ordinarily meant to carry farm produce such as grains, animals and other goods across the states, but was used to convey the children under harsh and unfavourable weather conditions in which the children were stacked alongside grains without any comfort for such long distance journey.
The children have been retained in Nigeria Police headquarters in Jos since they were rescued, while more investigation into the case is carried out by the police. A source said they were last seen with the Plateau State Police Commissioner, Mr. Peter Ogunyanwo, who was supervising the distribution of food and other welfare materials to them.
Meanwhile, the suspects – two drivers, eight conductors and three accompanying instructors, have been apprehended and detained by the police as they provide information about how they were able to recruit the children and their destination. The police say it is cooperating with the Plateau chapter of Jama’atu Nasril Islam and other critical stakeholders, to establish contact with the two state governments of Bauchi and Jigawa for the return of the children to their parents.