The Nigerian Army has launched operation “Ayem Akpatuma”, meaning ‘Cat Race’ to tackle the crises between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
This was announced my army’s chief of Training and Operations, Major General David Ahmadu, on Wednesday.
The operation will run from February 15 to March 31 in Benue, as well as Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger states.
This operation is coming on the back of several clashes involving farmers and herdsmen in the north-central, resulting in many deaths.
“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.
Ahmadu further urged residents of the states involved not to panic.
“The troops taking part in the exercise would be guided by the Professional Code of Conduct, Rules of Engagement and the respect for human rights. Thus, the general public is requested to remain vigilant and be security conscious, as suspected criminals may be fleeing from military operations in these areas and finding a safe haven amidst our communities.”