From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Troops of the joint military Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) have been commended for their resilience and doggedness in the fight against banditry, kidnapping and other violent crime posing threats to the peace and stability of communities within their Area Of Responsibility (AOR) in Nasarawa, Benue and adjoining states.
Acting OPWS Force Commander Brigadier General Clement Apere, who gave the commendation during his maiden operational visit to troops’ locations in Nasarawa and Benue States, assured them of prioritising their welfare to enhance operational efficiency.
The force commander, in a statement by the Deputy Director (Defence Information), Air Commodore WAP Maigida, urged the troops to remain patriotic and also redouble their efforts in the sustenance of peace and security within their area of responsibility.
The statement listed locations visited by the Force Commander to include Giza, Tunga, Ondori, Loko, Maraba Udege, Uttu Forest and Ugya in Nassarawa State as well as Igumale, Odugbo and Akwu, all in Benue State.
‘According to him, the Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs have ensured that the welfare of troops fighting insecurity in the country remains one of the topmost priorities of this present administration.
‘He further noted that the government is working tirelessly to acquire more equipment in order to energise the fighting spirit of troops in the theatres of operation so as to yield the desired results in quelling insecurity within the state and the nation at large.’
Apere who noted that the visit has provided him with the opportunity to have an on-the-spot assessment of the challenges which the troops are facing with regards to the operations commended the field commanders and urged them to maintain the tempo in order to guarantee the safety of lives and properties of the civilian populace in the states.
The statement added that the force commander also visited Odugbo community in Apa Local Government Area of Benue State where he granted an audience to the District Head of Odugbo, Chief Audu Umoru, who commended the efforts of OPWS for restoring normalcy to his community.
‘Chief Audu disclosed that since the troops were deployed to the community, herdsmen/farmers clashes hitherto experienced in the locality had become a thing of the past.
‘He added that the locals, who had since returned to their ancestral homes, were going about their farming activities without fear of molestation.
‘The Commander OPWS said he was delighted to note that the efforts by troop securing the community are yielding positive results,’ the statement said.
The statement urged the locals to continue to provide credible information that would aid the operations.
The force commander was accompanied by the Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Bashiru Mamman and other OPWS Component Commanders.
The acting OPWS Force Commander recently took over from Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, who was posted to Defence Headquarters as Chief of Defence Training and Operations.