Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government has initiated moves aimed at tackling the recurrent farmer-herder clashes across the country.
He said the approach adopted by the government was the deployment of mobile police forces, the airforce, as well as the formations and units of the Nigerian Army to the affected states, namely Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba.
In a statement made available by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo stated that the Nigerian Army had through its 72 Special Forces Battalion, maintained Forward Operating Bases at the flash areas covering Guma, Logo, Katsina-Ala and Agatu Local Government Areas of Benue State.
The statement quoted the Vice President as saying, “The operation has the generic name Operation MESA, but it is nicknamed Operation ZENDA in Benue State. The Army had within the last few days scaled up the size of troops and equipment in Agatu, Guma, Katsina-Ala and Logo Local Government Areas of Benue State.”
Osinbajo said that the Army had deployed troops to two Local Government Areas, Awe and Tunga in Nasarawa State, to track activities in the two areas said to be operational bases for militants who constantly attacked Benue communities.
On efforts made by the Federal Government in the North-Eastern state of Taraba, Osinbajo noted that troops of 93 Battalion had been deployed to Takum Local Government Area of the state, adding that the troops were in constant communication with their counterparts in Benue State.
He said the Federal Government had reorganised the command and control structure of the Army formations and units in Benue and neighbouring states.
“Accordingly, more troops were deployed and the Commander 707 Special Forces Brigade was reassigned to Taraba State for effective command and control of troops operating in the entire Benue/Taraba general area. And next week, the Nigerian Army will flag-off Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA, to checkmate the activities of armed bandits and militias in Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa and environs,” the Vice President said in the statement.
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