Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed plans to launch military operation code named “Ayem Akpatuma” in Benue,Taraba and Nasarawa states beginning from next week.
The move is in furtherance of efforts to contain killings occassioned by farmers and herdsmen, especially in Benue and Taraba states.
Recall that Osinbajo heads a special committee set up by the federal government to find amicable ways of resolving the farmers-herders crisis.
At the recent (National Economic Council) meeting which he chaired, it was resolved that the Vice President and other members of the committee pay a scheduled visit to the states where armed militia, alleged to be herdsmen have constituted menance.
Besides the Ayem Akpatuma operations which is set for launch, the VP said federal government has been working round the clock to restore sanity with recent intervention being the deployment of mobile police forces to some of the troubled areas.
Some of these interventions he listed to include the army and Air Force, the Nigerian Army formations and units already in place in Benue State.
He said the 72 Special Forces Battalion, have consistently maintained Forward Operating Bases at the flash areas covering Guma, Logo, Katsina-Ala and Agatu Local Government Areas.
“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.
“The Army also recently deployed troops at Awe and Tunga Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State, in order to monitor and block the gaps that were presumed to be used as staging points by armed herdsmen to attack communities in Benue State.
“Additionally, troops of 93 Battalion, Takum in Taraba State, also occupy blocking positions as well as maintain constant liaison with troops in Benue State.
“Furthermore, the command and control structure of the Army formations and units in Benue and contiguous states have been reorganized.
“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.
“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 VP stated.