In a strange and bizarre twist, Men and personnel of the Nigeria Army have resorted to evacuating water from a mining pond at Dura, Du District, Jos South Local Government of Plateau, in search of a missing retired Major General, Idris Alkali.
Major General Alkali who was the immediate past Chief of Administration, Army Headquarters, Abuja, was declared missing on the 3rd of September.
The last time he was seen or heard from he had been on his way to Bauchi after leaving Abuja in the morning.
The Nigeria Army revealed it was evacuating the pond based on certain Intelligence reports it received about the missing General.
The commander of the search and rescue operation, Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Mohammed, who is also the Garrison Commander, 3 Division Garrison, Nigeria Army, Rukuba, Jos addressed newsmen on Thursday, shortly after the commencement of the evacuation.
According to Mohammed, after thorough search and investigation by the Nigeria Army, intelligence gathered so far that made it necessary to search the water body for the missing General.
“In carrying out a directive from the Army headquarters, a thorough search was conducted, hospitals were visited; we searched everywhere.
Based on credible intelligence, we had to come to this place and we have been here for the last one week. We are trying to find three things – an officer, Maj. Gen. Alkali (rtd), who is still missing, his vehicle, a black Toyota Corrolla, and also ascertain whether Alkali is alive or not.
We have credible information that some vehicles were pushed into this river and we have been here for the last three days trying to see if we can salvage something from the river.
The river is a mining site and therefore very deep. We have used all options but as a last resort, we will evacuate the water from the pond to see what is in it.”
Some community women however were opposed to the evacuation of the water body despite the fact that there might be a dead Nigeria Army general at the bottom.
The women numbering about 500 and clad in black, stormed the river to protest the evacuation of the water. According to the protesting women, the water had been part of the community over time and of huge cultural significance to the community.