By ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai recently launched Exercise Ayem Akpatuma (Cat Race) to bring under control the persistent herders/farmers crisis and other security challenges in Benue State and other north central states.
The Chief of Army Staff who flagged off the exercise in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, explained the idea behind the exercise and that the exercise was to help familiarize troops with the challenge of internal security as well as other security agencies as well as paramilitary organizations.
He hoped that at the end of the exercise things would harmonize, adding that it is the way of contributing their quota towards supporting the civil authorities to assuage whatever challenges they have over the situation that is facing the society.
He assured that the exercise would virtually cover the whole of Benue and its neighbouring states, adding that the last two years during which the crises became highly pronounced, peasants have felt abandoned to their fate and have reported to self help in order to defend themselves and their lands.
He explained that theses measures have led to the proliferation of arms and the rise of ethnic militia.
He said that it was the result of this that death folks from farmers and herders conflicts have mounted to an embarrassing number while thousands of peasants have been rendered homeless, saying that if the exercise is successfully carried out, it will give victims of menace a sense of belonging in Nigeria as well as help the individuals that have been displaced go back to their respective houses.
In his remarks, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Orton, expressed his gratitude to President Buhari for ordering the deployment of military to the state to tackle security challenges.