The ongoing military operations to tackle the orgies of killings emanating from the conflict between the Fulani herdsmen and farmers in some states in the North-central geo-political zone of the country is yielding results with the reported dislodging of armed gangs and recovering of weapons in three local government areas of Benue State.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, stated this yesterday in an update of the offensive against trouble makers in the zone including Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa States, among others.
According to Olukolade, the formation commanders of the Nigerian Army had moved to the various states in their area of responsibility to conduct the operations aimed at addressing deteriorating security situation in parts of the North-central.
He said the troops deployed to Benue State had already cleared the camps of all the armed gangs in three local governments of the state.
“Normalcy has been restored in Guma, Gwer West and Agatu Local Government Areas. Some arrests and recoveries have been made in the process,” he added.
Tagged: “Operation Restore Peace,” the DDI noted that the mission has also resulted in the destruction of militant camps, arrests, as well as recovery of arms in Shendam area of Plateau State.
He disclosed that two AK 47 rifles were recovered after an encounter with the troops of the Special Task Force (STF) and the armed gangs in their enclaves in Shimanker in Plateau State.
In Kaduna State, Olukolade confirmed that militants’ camps in Ladduga near Kachia were destroyed while arms were equally recovered in Maigungume Hills in Niger State.
He noted promised that the General Officers Commanding (GOCs) were directly supervising the operations in their areas of responsibility in Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States as troops comb forests to apprehend members of armed gangs and destroy their enclaves.
In another development, retired military officers have vowed to bring their expertise to bear in the ongoing offensive against insurgents, offering to lend their full support to the fight against terrorism and other similar threats to national security.
This position was taken yesterday when a delegation of retired senior military officers led by Air Commodore Michael Ekwere (rtd) paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, in his office.
The retired officers used the opportunity to congratulate the Badeh on his appointment and subsequent elevation to the rank of a four-star general and also hailed the security forces for the successes recorded in the fight against terror.
Speaking on the objectives of the group, Ekwere said they came together for the purpose of giving back to the system that has invested so much in them while in active service through “support in the on-going efforts to rationalise and transform the armed forces.”
He noted that assistance programmes would allow the force to concentrate on their core functions, saying that the concept of national power demands that countries harness resources to confront threats to national cohesion.
According to him, “the group is offering to act as a force multiplier for the armed forces in the fight against insurgency in the country.”
Responding, Badeh commended the organisation for the visit, promising to look into the issues raised especially on their readiness to join actively in the fight against insecurity in the country.
The CDS also lauded the initiatives of the group, stating that he was particular about the prospects that these initiatives portend for engaging retirees and making post-service life a little more rewarding.
He assured the group of the support of DHQ and the services to help the group realise its objectives.
In a related development, the management of Elizade (Toyota) Nigeria Limited led by the Executive Director, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo and also the Chief Executive Officer of NICON Insurance, Emmanuel Jegede, visited the CDS.
Their visits were to felicitate with Badeh on his recent promotion and to strengthen the existing partnership between them and also identify with the success story in the fight against terrorism in the North-east.