- Political leaders have been urged to stop playing politics with the Nigeria armed forces and issues of security
- DHQ said that talking down on the military will dampen the morale of the troops
- It said in Benue state, 147 herdsmen, 6 cultists, 5 rustlers and 6 armed bandits were arrested while 15 were arrested in Taraba state
Nigerian Defence Headquarters has, on Wednesday, April 18, called on politicians to stop playing politics with the issues of the army and security.
The Defence HQ disclosed this in a press briefing on the Armed Forces activities around the country.
The DHQ said that Operation LAFIYA DOLE has continued to record successes against Boko Haram terrorists as well as Operations Awatse, Operation Delta Safe and Operation Safe Corridor.
Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. John Agim, who spoke at the press briefing said the military had arrested 147 herdsmen in Benue state and 15 in Taraba in the ongoing operations in the states.
Going further, he added that 13 soldiers were killed during the exercise, while seven soldiers were injured in action.
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" Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA was conducted from 15 Feb – 5 April 2018 simultaneously in Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Taraba and Kaduna states. The duration of the Exercise in Taraba state has been extended to 14 May 2018 due to the prevailing security threats in the state. Troop’s activities throughout the conduct of the exercise were based on the rules of engagement in line with international best practices.
"During this period, a total of 183 criminals were arrested in Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA in Benue and Taraba states for various offences. In Benue state, 147 herdsmen, 6 cultists, 5 rustlers and 6 armed bandits were arrested while 15 were arrested in Taraba state. In 1 Div Area of Responsibility, a total of 13 bandits were arrested. All the arrested suspects have been handed over to the Nigeria Police for further action.
"Several arms and ammunitions were recovered during Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA. In Benue state, 1 x AK 47 rifle, 1 x FN Rifle, 3x AK 47 Magazines, 9 x rounds of 7.62mm special, 23 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 13 Dane guns, 38 machetes, several spears/axes and assorted charms were recovered. Also, 18 Motorcycles and 15 handsets were recovered in Benue state.
In Taraba state, 4 x AK 47 riffles with 3 magazines, 96 rounds of 7.62mm special, 8 rounds of 9mm and 19 locally made guns were recovered. Others include, 5 locally made pistols, one shot gun and 27 live cartridges. In 1 Div Area of Responsibility, 16 assorted arms were recovered and some ammunitions," the DHQ said.
Going further, the Defence HQ in the briefing appealed to political leaders not to talk down on the military as it will dampen the morale of the troops.
"Defence headquarters hereby appeal to our political leaders not to play politics with security issues and the Armed Forces of Nigeria. The military is the strength of every nation, Nigeria inclusive. If we talk-down on our Military, it will dampen their morale, the enemy will be emboldened to cause more havoc and the consequence on our citizens will be dire," the DHQ said.
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that troops deployed in Exercise Ayem Akpatuma in Taraba state in conjunction with personnel of the Nigeria Police on Saturday, March 31 arrested some criminal elements operating in Mayo Ndaga area of the state. Items recovered from one of the suspects Amos Titus- 35, include sheets of zinc, bed and locally made pistol.
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