Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state has hired the service of an Israeli security outfit, Israel Security Academy (ISA) which specialises in training and preparation of close protection specialists, operative management and counter terrorism for the training of his controversial Plateau state task force, codenamed “Operation Rainbow”.
A two-part video on YouTube obtained from the website of ISA shows the group of 100 young men and women from Plateau state receiving training in VIP/ close protection, high risk zones management, physical combat, and fitness exercises such as press-ups, under the supervision of Israeli firm’s instructors.
Although the location of the training was not specified, images from the video indicate that the training sessions for members of the Jang vigilante group may have started since last year and were being conducted in some part of Israel, though information from the ISA website say it has training facilities in Israel, Nigeria and Switzerland.
Governor Jang had in February, 2011 while confirming the federal government’s approval to him to create “Operation Rainbow” said members of the group would be trained by the police, and would receive directives from him.
He has also stated that the group would eventually take over from the Special (military) Task Force (STF) in the state, with whom they were to work closely.
The governor has since 2011 appointed a retired Air Force officer from Plateau state, Air Vice Marshal Bala Danbaba (rtd) as commandant of the group, while another retired military officer in the rank of a colonel serves as head of operations.
It has its operations head office along the Aliyu Makama Road, adjacent the Plateau state House of Assembly in Jos, where a few armoured personnel carriers, said to have been purchased from Israel by the state government for some of its operations, are currently being kept.
The establishment of “Operation Rainbow”, which was hitherto considered to have been shelved had raised concerns within some sections of the communities in Plateau.
While some, especially the Hausa and Fulani in Plateau North Senatorial zone who have been locked in bitter hostilities with the governor’s Berom group raised concerns that Jang may set members of the group against them, his political opponents said they fear that “Operation Rainbow” could be deployed to strengthen his political muscle ahead of the 2015 general elections.