Military troops operating in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States code-named ‘Operation Whirl Stroke’ (OPWS) said they have intensified surveillance in areas considered to be security flash-points to check the menace of militia herdsmen and other criminal elements.
The Commander of OPWS, Maj Gen Adeyemi Yekini, while conducting newsmen round the Tyo-Mu community where Governor Samuel Ortom was reportedly attacked, said OPWS troops have been deployed to the community to also forestall incidences of armed banditry.
He noted that the patrol of troops in the area would help check cases of militia herdsmen and other criminal elements emerging from the forest across River Benue to unleash mayhem on the people.
“Troops of OPWS have been deployed to the area and are currently combing the forest which serves as a hideout for the assailants, even their makeshift camps have been destroyed by the troops”.
The military Commander stated that the coming of the security formation to Benue had improved security to a large extent, saying some notorious criminal elements in Sankera axis had also been neutralised.
Maj Gen Yekini while answering questions from journalists on the insecurity situation in Sankera, appealed to residents to volunteer information about bandits hideouts for necessary action, pointing out that refusal to provide useful information had been their major challenge in flushing Criminal elements in the axis.
“We are here to clear bandits from their hideouts, we should not be judged by this singular assignment. We have accepted it was a security breach and we will take action to restore normalcy.”
The OPWS Commander stated further that since coming on board three years ago, over 1,000 armed criminals have been neutralized, and close to 700 weapons recovered in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States with the highest number of arms recovery made in Benue.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday urged the Department of Security Services (DSS) to investigate claims that the Fulani National Movement (FUNAM) was responsible for last Saturday’s assassination attempt on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
The member representing Buruku Federal Constituency, Hon Kpam Jimin Sokpo, and 11 others, in a motion to urgent public importance, expressed concerns about the worsening spate of violence and insecurity in the country.
Sokpo in the motion said the armed attackers, numbering over 15 wielded sophisticated weapons and dressed in black, had trailed the Governor from the farm but were repelled by the security detail attached to the Governor, who had to run for over 1 kilometre to safety.
He said later news reports suggested that a group identified as Fulani National Movement (FUNAM) has through one Umar Amir Shehu, claimed responsibility for the dastardly attack, and reportedly justified its attempt on the life of the Benue State Governor.