Nigerian Troops are to go after killer-herdsmen and the militia behind the killings in Benue, Taraba, Niger and Kaduna states, the Army said yesterday.
President Muhammadu Buhari warned in Nasarawa on Tuesday that attacks by “herdsmen” and other bandits would no longer be tolerated.
The Army said it would begin a special exercise tagged: ”Operation Cat Race”, which in Tiv language means “Ayem Akpatuma’’ to tackle the recurring herdsmen/farmers clashes and criminal activities in the states.
Troops will be deployed in the four states from next week. The exercise is billed for February 15 – March 31.
Chief of Training and Operations, Army Headquarters, Major General David Ahmadu, who represented Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the exercise would be targeted at killer-herdsmen, cattle rustlers, armed bandits, kidnappers, armed militias and other criminal elements.
He listed other security agencies that will participate in the exercise as the Department of States Services (DSS), the police, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other Security institutions.
Gen. Ahmadu said the exercise would cover the 1 and 3 Divisions representing the Northwest and North central geopolitical zones. The Guards Brigade, 707 Special Forces Brigade, and the Headquarters Army Command will also be involved.
He said it would also aid civil authority to address those challenges.
The chief of Training said that the exercise would be unique as “Step-Up Brigade Headquarters’’ would be established in Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States.
Ahmadu called on members of the public in the affected states not to panic as their security, safety and well being had been “deliberately factored in to the planning of the exercise’’.