Following incessant attacks
by suspected herdsmen in some
parts of the country, especially
the North-Central states of
Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, as
well as Kaduna and Taraba, the
Nigerian Army said it is planning
the conduct ‘Exercise AYEM
AKPATUMA’ from Thursday,
February 15 to Saturday, March
Briefing newsmen at the army
headquarters, Abuja, yesterday,
Chief of Training and Operations
(Army), Major-General DD
Ahmadu, disclosed that
will be conducted in 1 and 3
Divisions including HQ CAR,
Gds Bde and 707 SF Bde Areas of
Responsibility, covering (Benue,
Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna
and Niger States).
General Ahmadu said the
exercise has become 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
He recalled that last year,
the Nigerian Army conducted
several training activities
for its personnel in different
geopolitical zones of the country,
in line with its constitutional role.
“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 3 Divisions 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’s vision,
which is “to have a professionally
responsive army in the discharge
of its constitutional roles”,
informed the plan for the conduct
of this exercise.
“This exercise will be
conducted in conjunction with
other security agencies such as
the Department of State Service,
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
“Additionally, ‘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.
will also be unique as those
before it with the establishment
of Step-Up Brigade Headquarters
in Benue, Taraba, Kogi,
Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger
States. Emphasis will be placed
on raids, cordon and search
operations, anti-kidnapping
drills, road blocks, check points
and show of force, as well as
humanitarian activities such as
medical outreach.
General Ahmadu said it is
pertinent to note that the exercise
is set to be another remarkable
one that would make the nation
proud of the Nigerian Army’s
determination in sustaining its
constitutional role of defending
the territorial integrity of the
nation, as well as its commitment
to the civil authority to bring
peace and security in troubled
In this regard, members of the
public, especially residents of
Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa,
Kaduna and Niger States are
enjoined not to panic as the
security, safety and well-being
of innocent and law abiding
citizens have been deliberately
Niger Delta agitators said
they have forgiven former
Military Head of State, Ibrahim
Babangida, and ex-President,
Olusegun Obasanjo, for their
past mistakes against youths.
Speaking under the auspices
of 21st Century Youths of
Niger Delta, the agitators
anchored their remark on the
fact that both past leaders
fearlessly told President
Muhammadu Buhari the truth
on the state of the nation and
the need to restructure the
In a statement signed by
WOI Izon Ebi, the agitators
also appealed to Nigerian
youths to forgive the two
former leaders since they have
now told Buhari the truth.
They also warned the Chief
of Army Staff, Lt General
Tukur Brutai, over his planned
re-launching of Operation
Crocodile Smile 3 and Python
Dance 3 in the South-South.
The statement reads, “We
applaud General Babangida
and Obasanjo for their
boldness for the love of
Nigeria and its youths.
“We urge all youths to
forgive them and take the
message because they are part
of the problem of Nigeria and
now they have said the truth
because they are close to their
creator. Their sins are forgiven
for this single act of courage
and boldness to speak the
truth for the love of Nigeria
and the future of Nigerian
“It is now left for President
Buhari to do the needful
and restructure the country
because every father will
always like to give their
children a future. What
does Buhari want to be
remembered for? We leave the
question for him to answer
because everything has been
“The 21st Century Youths of
the Niger Delta and agitators
with conscience lauded General
Babangida for his courage and
love for Nigerian youths for
standing up and speaking as a
General that believes in unity.
“His message is simple,
urging the youths of Nigeria
to wake up from their slumber
and rise up to take leadership
from analogue leaders that
have failed their generation.
“It was not surprising to
us when Professor Umar
Labdo Mohammed of the
Faculty of Humanity, North-
West University, Kano, made
provocative and derogatory
statements that the Fulanis
are born to rule Nigeria for
a long time and that Niger-
Delta resources are owned by
the north because of their land
mass and population.
“It is not surprising to us
because God is using him
to expose the reason why
we found ourselves in this
primitive, barbaric and ungodly
society called Nigeria. How do
you explain and defend the fact
that the allocation of Katsina
State with no oil is far higher
than the allocation of the six oil
producing states in the Niger
Delta, where oil is produced
using the indices of land mass
and population.
“The so-called land mass
that is supposed to be used for
agriculture is now a breeding
ground and training camp
for terrorists. The so-called
population is now empowered
with AK47 rifles and cows
with the aid of mercenaries to
kill innocent Nigerians and
hardworking farmers that are
struggling to provide food
for the nation and the federal
government is trying to proffer
a legal backing to justify their
killing of innocent Nigerians
with cattle colony.
“The last time we checked,
we found out that the country’s
armed forces swore to an oath
of protecting the lives of its
citizens and the territorial
integrity of its nation.
“And that is what is playing
out and we in the Niger Delta
will not, we repeat, will not
take any military action in any
guise from the unprofessional
army headed by Buratai,
which has lost its pride and
By Iorakpen Ishu-Josef
Appreciate ex-leaders’ letters to Buhari
Lt Gen. Yusuf Buratai
factored in the planning of this
“Furthermore, troops taking
part in the exercise would be
guided by the professional code
of conduct, rules of engagement
and 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.
“The public is also reminded to
report any suspicious activity or
movement to the nearest military
formation or other security
agencies for prompt action. In
order to ensure cordial civilmilitary
relations, we shall make
contact phone numbers of all
brigade commanders public in
addition to the Nigerian Army’s
short code Information and Call
Centre, 193’’.

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