An end to the incessant killings witnessed in some parts of the country may be in the offing, as the Nigerian Army has deployed troops in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States.
The deployment will also cover Kaduna, Niger, and Kogi states.
Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, COAS, made the disclosure on Monday, February 12, 2018, at a press briefing held at Army Headquarters, AHQ.
The COAS, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Major General D. D. Ahmadu, announced that consequent upon the special operation, Brigade Headquarters will be established in the 6 affected States.
Though, the COAS did not state the number of officers and soldiers to prosecute the exercise, investigation revealed that a Brigade is made up of 3 fighting Battalions, and an administration, admin, Battalion.
It was further gathered that each Battalion consists of at least 1000 officers and men. It then follows, that about 24,000 troops will be involved in the special operation, to clear the affected States of attackers, whose activities had left deaths and destruction of property in the trail.
According to Buratai, the military operation, which is code-named Exercise Ayem Akpatima, will begin on Thursday, February 15, 2018, and end on March 31, 2018, It will be undertaken in conjunction with special forces drawn from the Department of State Services, DSS, Police, as well as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
The Areas of Responsibility for this operation are, 1 and 3Divisions including HQ CAR, Guards Brigade, and 707 SF Bde.
“You may recall that last year, the Nigerian Army conducted several training activities for its personnelin different geopolitical zones of the country, in line with its constitutional role in aid of civil authority.
“More so, Exercise Ayem Akpatuma has become more expedient due to 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.
“The need for troops to be exercised, refreshed and to imbibe the requisite skills to cope with these emerging security challenges within the 1 and 3Divisions including HQ CAR, Gds Bde, and 707 SF Bde Areas of Responsibility in aid of civil authority calls for this exercise. Also, the drive towards actualizing the COAS vision, which is “To have a Professionally Responsive NA in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles”, informs the plan for the conduct of this exercise.
“This exercise will be conducted in conjunction with other security agencies such as Department of State Services, the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. It will also afford the troops an opportunity to effectively checkmate the dreadful activities of the marauding criminal militias perpetrating criminal acts in these States and its environs”, the COAS said.
He further stated that the exercise will metamorphose into “real time operations”.
His words: “Additionally, Exercise Ayem Akpatuma is also conceptualized to dovetail into real time operations thereby fulfilling both training and operations objectives of sharpening operational skills of personnel as well as providing an avenue to conduct operations against violent criminals when called upon. Exercise Ayem Akpatuma will also be unique as the ones before it with the establishment of Step-Up Brigade Headquarters in Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger State.