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Major General Atolagbe bags international awards

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A global organization, the International Federation of Civil Rights and Liberty Organizations, has conferred awards of excellence on the Commander of Operation Safe Haven Jos, Major General Anthony Atolagbe, for restoring relative peace between farmers/herdsmen in plateau state, after years of ethno-religious conflicts that saw hundreds of people dead and property worth several billions of naira destroyed.

Major General Atolagbe

The awards, “Outstanding Commander of Military Operation in Nigeria and Icon of Human Rights and Conflict Prevention”, presented to the security Chief, in Jos, according to the organization, followed his unique roles in handling the Plateau crises which yielded desired results.

Speaking at the ceremony, President of the International Federation of Civil Rights and Liberty Organizations, Dr Michael Spencer, said General Atolagbe was picked for the awards having viewed the conflict prevention and mitigation strategist of operation safe haven.

According to him, Atolagbe won the heart of his organisation, especially in terms of civil-military relationship, after its analysis of activities of various military operations in the country.

The awards, he revealed, also came after the organisation’s “multi level under cover investigations in the 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th quarter of 2017 as well as 1st and 2nd quarter of 2018″ which proved that Atolagbe and his ” able team have earned themselves” double points on the ladder of their career and earned excellent points for the entire country in the world perception index.”

Dr Spencer said the organisation before arriving at its verdict, carried out “extensive background checks on civil – military approach to security issues; operational strategies, respect for United Nations human rights and rules of engagement; attention on welfare of troops;priority to training and retraining of troops for better service delivery and provision of world class decent detention facilities.”

Others, he mentioned, were “the inclusion of enhanced community relations which has promoted quality relationship between host communities and the troops, the introduction of specialized operational motorcycles for troops to permeate difficult terrains during emergency operations, prioritization of troops adherence to professional ethics and improved relationship with the civil society organizations which has enabled many inquiries possible.”

“Your activities as commander of Operation Safe Haven Jos, and your officers and men have exposed you to public scrutiny more than most military establishment because you are directly dealing with the people who are unfortunately not in the war front.

“Therefore, the level of curiosity, anxiety and panic has to be censored by independent organizations in order to arrive at an acceptable judgment of the situation, “he told the Army General.

He spoke more on his organisation’s decision:” “Let me respectfully guide us to the reality that this is not the only operational command in the country, of course including in the police, we have done critical analysis and reviews have been subjected to independent opinion polls using various analytical indices.

“All results we generated both from our head office in London , and new Jersey and our country office points to one direction-that Major General Anthony Atolagbe remains an outstanding commander in military operations in Nigeria within the period under review.”

He commended The chief of Defense Staff General Gabriel olorunshaki, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.General Tukur Buratai, for appointing such a square peg in square hole, and for also providing the platform for excellent officers to excel” besides opening “doors for external inquiry into the activities of the military.”

In a related development, the organization shed more light on why his organization recently dismissed allegations of rape and human rights abuses against the Nigerian Military by the Amnesty International other unpatriotic organization and individuals.

“Only recently, about some months ago, there were allegations of human rights abuses against the Nigerian Army by some international sister organizations specifically the Amnesty International. Upon this reality, our president, His Excellency, Dr Michael Spencer visited Nigeria on a fact- finding mission to ascertain the veracity of this allegations.

” Ever since the organization has been involved in covert and overt investigations of security agencies particularly the Nigerian armed forces and the police to constantly put them on a check.

“Our organization last year engaged the federal government on the need to set up the investigative panel on allegations of human rights abuses by the Nigerian Army, this was complied with and appearances were made by various groups and individuals and substantial vindication was obtained which confirmed on the contrary that the allegations were untrue.

“This of course has led to the lifting of the ban on arms sales to the Nigerian state by United States of America, “it said.

He said all exploits had been pursued in conjunction with his organization’s effort in minimizing human rights abuses in the society.

Recall our organization , was recently nominated by the United Nations Commission for Human Rights and Refugees to submit memoranda and make appearances to the investigative panel on allegations of rape and physical abuse on internally displaced under age persons and women in Central and Eastern Africa and Syria.

We therefore want to sincerely express our heartfelt gratitude to the Military high command in Nigeria for changing the narratives from when crucial appointments where made based on region and godfatherism, to competence and dedication this is the sure way to go if the world must take us serious.

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