Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army has announced the extension of its ongoing internal security operation codenamed “Exercise Ayem Akpatuma” in Taraba State to curb the crisis between Fulani herdsmen and natives.
The Army said “Exercise Ayem Akpatuma”, launched on February 20 in some states including Taraba, has been extended for two months in Taraba State in order to further consolidate on the gains achieved so far.
Director, Army Public Relations Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, who made this known in a statement, said the decision to extend the operation followed calls by well-meaning Nigerians to do so.
Chukwu, who said the extension would further facilitate the military’s effort in ridding the affected areas of militants and other criminal elements, called on the public, especially residents of Taraba State, to cooperate with the troops by giving useful and timely information to enable them carry out their constitutional duties effectively.
The Army spokesman in the statement said:
“You will all recall that Exercise Ayem Akpatuma was flagged off on 20th February, 2018 to practice troops in North Central and parts of North West on planning and conduct of ‘Military Operations Other Than War’.
“The Exercise was also aimed at further sustaining Nigerian Army’s constitutional roles of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as aiding the civil authority to maintain peace and security.
“Exercise Ayem Akpatuma has recorded tremendous successes in spite of challenges.
“However, the exercise needs to be sustained in some areas in other to consolidate on the initial gains.
“In view of the development, the ongoing exercise AYEM AKPATUMA in Taraba State has been extended for 2 months.
“The extention becomes necessary in order to further consolidate on the gains achieved so far and due to calls by well-meaning Nigerians.
“The extension would facilitate the Nigerian Army’s effort of ridding the affected areas of militants and other criminal elements.
“The general public, particularly residents of Taraba State are, therefore, requested to cooperate with the troops by giving useful and timely information to enable them carry out their constitutional duties effectively.”