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Military operation in six states ‘long overdue’

Military operation in six states ‘long overdue’
February 08
21:35 2018
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The Middle Belt Conscience Guard, a civil society group, says the people in the six  states where the army is planning a 44-day operation will be the winner if things go as planned.

The army had announced that the operation code-named “Operation Cat Race” is targeted at checking the high level of insecurity in Benue, Kogi, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kogi and Niger states.

Describing the operation as a welcome development, Raymond Enero, national president of the group, said it came at the right time.

He asked the political class to desist from exploiting it.

“Other military and security services will be collaborating with the Nigerian Army during the operation that would target killer-herdsmen, cattle rustlers, armed bandits, kidnappers, armed militias and other criminal elements in addition to providing training for troops,” he said in a statement.

“Our group had wished for this kind of military operation owing to the menace of the identified security problems that fall within the remit of the operation. We had made series of contacts to get such intervention and we are today elated that our wishes are coming to pass.

“The people of the Middle Belt region would be the ultimate winner when Operation Cat Race succeeds as we expect it to. We look forward to a time when the states in the Middle Belt would no longer be used as the poster states for avoidable bloodletting.

“We are eager to a return to a time when the entire area covered by the north-central geopolitical zone and outlying areas are back to providing an abundance of plant and animal produce to nourish the country with surplus left for export.

“Such expectation can only come to fruition when farmers and herders are not at each other’s jugular, when investors can visit to prospect without fear of being kidnapped and when people are confident of their safety while in transit for their legitimate livelihood.

“We are aware that similar deployments in certain other geopolitical zones were unnecessarily sensationalised,  by groups that have dark agenda for their people. Such attitude was even as the larger population in these areas hailed the succession of the operations by the Nigerian Army as helping to restore peace, sanity and stability in their towns and villages.

“The Middle Belt Conscience Guard therefore call on our people across the region to give their maximum cooperation to the military. They should see Operation Cat Race as redemption that will allow them free themselves from criminals who have terrorized them in recent months.”

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