The Nigerian Army has said it would begin a special exercise tagged: ”Operation Cat Race”, which in Tiv language means “Ayem Akpatuma’’ to tackle the recurring herdsmen/farmers clashes and criminal activities in the entire Northern states especially in Benue.
Chief of Training and Operations, Army Headquarters, Major General David Ahmadu, who represented Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the exercise would be targeted at the unlawful killers, herdsmen, cattle rustlers, armed bandits, kidnappers, armed militias and other criminal elements.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who frowned at the culprits during his visit to Nasarawa State earlier in the week had warned, that government would no longer tolerate the vices and operations of the herdsmen in the killing of innocent citizens.
“We have deployed additional resources to all the affected areas to maintain law and order.
“I appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from reprisal attacks. The security agencies have standing order to arrest and prosecute any and all persons found with illegal arms
“I will once again express my condolences and sympathy to all the affected victims of these barbaric acts,’’ said President Buhari.
Already, troops have been deployed to four states which includes Benue, Taraba, Niger and Kaduna states.
“More so, Exercise Ayem Akpatuma has become more expedient due to upsurge in cases of armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in Kaduna and Niger states as well as other sundry crimes in Kogi State and herdsmen/farmers clashes and attacks on innocent members of our communities, particularly in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states by armed militias.
“These security challenges have continued unabated in these states, despite the efforts by sister security agencies to curb them.
“The need for troops to be exercised, refreshed and to imbibe the requisite skills to cope with these emerging security challenges within the 1 and 3 Divisions, including Headquarters, Army Records, Guards Brigade and 707 Special Forces Brigade Areas of Responsibility in aid of civil authority, calls for this exercise,’’ Gen. Ahmadu said.