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Army launches 44-day operation ‘Cat Race’ in Benue, Taraba -Details

The Nigerian Army said on Wednesday that it will begin Exercise Ayem Akpatuma covering Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger states in order to tackle the cases of kidnappings, herdsmen/farmers’ clashes among others.

The Chief of Training and Operations, Maj Gen David Ahmadu, who announced this in Abuja on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, said the exercise would run from February 15 to March 31, 2018.

According to the army, Exercise Ayem Akpatuma, which is said to be the Tiv language for Cat race, will involve raids, cordon and search operations, road blocks, show of force and checkpoints.

 

The deployment came after several killings involving farmers and herdsmen in the north-central region of the country which resulted in several deaths and destruction of property worth millions of naira.

Major General Ahmadu recalled that in 2017, the Army conducted several training activities for its personnel in different geopolitical zones of the country, in line with its constitutional role in aid of civil authority.

“Exercise Ayem Akpatuma has become more expedient due to the 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 unabatedly in these states despite the efforts by sister security agencies to curb them,” he said.

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