The Nigerian Army in what seems like a response to the latest outbursts by the former Army Chief, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) on the state of insecurity especially in the Middle Belt region of the country, has extended their military exercise in Taraba State for two months.
The former Minister of Defence popularly known as TY Danjuma whose Taraba state has been at the heart of herders-farmers conflict, had accused the Nigerian Army of colluding with murderous herdsmen in their sustained killings and violence in several parts of the country.
But the Army has denied the allegations and had in a statement on Monday by the Spokesperson, Brig-Gen. Texas Chukwu, announced extension of exercise Ayem Akpatuma for only the trouble North East state.
Chukwu stated: “You will all recall that exercise AYEM AKPATUMA was flagged off on 20th February, 2018 to Practice troops in North Central and parts of North West on planning and conduct of ‘Military Operations Other Than War’.
“The exercise was also aimed at further sustaining Nigerian Army’s constitutional roles of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as aiding the civil authority to maintain peace and security. Exercise Ayem Akpatuma has recorded tremendous successes in spite of challenges. However, the exercise needs to be sustained in some areas in other to consolidate on the initial gains.”
“In view of the development, the ongoing exercise Ayem Akpatuma in Taraba State has been extended for two months. The extention becomes necessary in order to further consolidate on the gains achieved so far and due to calls by well-meaning Nigerians. The extension would facilitate the Nigerian Army’s effort of ridding the affected areas of militants and other criminal elements.”
He urged the general public, particularly residents of Taraba State are therefore requested to cooperate with the troops by giving useful and timely information to enable them carry out their constitutional duties effectively.