Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
With the Thursday launch of the Nigerian Army’s Operations Ayem Akpatema ll in Jalingo, Taraba residents are expectant that the wave of insecurity sweeping the state will be held back.
Taraba state Governor Darius Ishaku, who disclosed that more than one hundred cases of kidnappings were recorded in the state between January and September, with over N250 million paid out in ransom by respective victims, said that he was hopeful that the new phase of the security operation will help to curb the crime menace.
“We have recorded over a hundred cases of kidnapping in the state this year, with more than 30 cases recorded in September alone. This is very disturbing. Our expectation is very high with the launching of this operation. We believe we will get back to normalcy very soon. We have confidence that the inter agency synergy that is coming to bear will yield the desired results. I have confidence in the army and all the other paramilitary agencies that their coming together will give us long term results and all the vices in the state will be rooted out,” Governor Ishaku stated.
Meanwhile, a former minority leader of the state House of Assembly, Alh. Imam Imam, has expressed optimism that the insecurity that has gripped the state will soon be a thing of the past.
Imam, speaking to Daily Sun, said that “it is clear the military and other paramilitary agencies involved in this operation mean business. This is clear even from their body language. I am optimistic that our security challenges will soon be a thing of the past.”
Meanwhile, some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have expressed hope that their days in the state’s refugee camps will soon come to an end.
Mr Ishaya Shivon, who has been in the camp since January, said that this would be the first time since their displacement that camp residents have been given concrete hope of a safe return back to their homes.
“Since we came here, our hope of returning home has continued to dwindle daily with continued attacks on those who even attempt to go back to their farms. Today, we really feel relieved with the assurance we are given by the army, who have also given us relief materials,” Mr Shivon remarked.
Earlier, the General Officer Commanding 3 Division Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Nuhu Angbazo, said that the training was aimed at enhancing inter-agency collaboration to ensure the overall success of the operation, so that normalcy will be restored to all the parts of the state.
The army launched Operation Ayem Akpatema (“Cat Race”) ll with the commissioning of twenty six motorcycles provided by the state government, and a one-day training before proceeding to the IDP camp at Kona, where food items were donated with the assurance that the operation will refugees safe return home as soon as possible.