Buratai gives criminal elements among herdsmen in Benue quit order

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By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai has ordered criminal elements parading themselves as herdsmen to leave Benue before the army launches another attack against them.
A statement signed by Governor Samuel Ortom’s aide, Godwin Akor informed that Buratai who gave the order on the occasion of a cocktail party and command performance held in his honour at the new banquet hall of Benue People’s House, yesterday, said the next action against the criminal elements would be devastating.
He said the army would not relent until total peace was restored in Benue and announced that a commander has been posted to head the new brigade in the state.
 
“We will do our best to ensure that the prevailing peaceful atmosphere here is maintained” Buratai assured.
He explained that the commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, NASME; commander of the 72 Special Forces Battalion, the provost of the Naval School of Logistics and the Brigade commander would all coordinate the provision of security in Benue and reiterated that criminals no longer have hiding places in the state.
General Buratai said many serving and retired military officers from Benue have been his mentors and singled out the Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Security Matters, Col Edwin Jando, as the person who influenced his military career most.
He explained that he was among the 10 military officers posted to Angola by Jando and that he, Buratai, who had served as the former colonel’s adjutant was one of the two officers that finally remained in Angola to serve in the peace mission.
“I would have left the army some years ago but a Benue man stood behind me and said I did not commit any offence”, he added.
The chief of army staff said Generals Kwambe, Kwembe and Orokpo have also been of great help to him and respectively described Generals Akem and Ode as the engine rooms of administration and invention in the army.
He said the title of “Warrior and Protector of Benue People” given to him by Governor Samuel Ortom in recognition of his peace efforts makes the state his second home, pointing out that some of the cultural dances showed that Borno and Benue have cultural affiliation.
Earlier, the Acting Secretary to the Benue state government, Dr Bem Melladu, who represented Governor Samuel Ortom at the event, had said in every Benue home, there is either a serving or a retired military man.
Melladu also said so much has been done by the army under Buratai and emphasized thus: “We are proud of you”.
He assured the chief of army staff that Benue would continue to support military formations in the state to enable them perform optimally.
During the chef of army staff conference held at NASME, Makurdi, free health services were given to over 3,000 persons at the North-Bank area of Makurdi.
Some water projects which would, in future, be of benefit to residents of the area, were commissioned at the barracks located there.

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