‘Operation whirl stroke’ to hit militia herdsmen, killer groups in four states
The Nigerian Military, yesterday, said it was set to bring down fire and brimstone on herdsmen militia and any other militia groups identified to be behind the carnage killings in Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa and Zamfara states.
Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen John Agim, who was joined by “Whirl Stroke” Operations Commander, Major Adeyemi Yekini, made the declaration yesterday while briefing newsmen on activities of the combined forces to tackle insecurity in the four states.
Brigadier Gen. Agim maintained that the troops under the ‘Operation Whirl Stroke’ will not only track, fish out and come down heavily on any camps of militants terrorising the four states, but will even cross over to any state in pursuit of criminals to flush them out.
He intimated that through intelligence, the military discovered that killer herdsmen hide behind cattle to launch attack on innocent people, adding that they will shoot and kill any cow used as shield by the attackers.
He also disclosed that the Operation started in earnest on May 8, 2018 and troops were deployed to all the flash-points in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states; stressing that already 147 persons have been arrested by the troops sent to the affected communities.
His words: “It will subsequently be deployed in Zamfara State, however, aerial recognizance is being carried out on a daily basis in Zamfara state as well as other states under this operation.
“Operation Whirl Stroke is a full-scale military operation in collaboration with other security agencies to completely restore law, order, peace and stability to the affected communities.
“The operation is different from the normal military operations because it has drawn Special Forces from all security agencies including, the Army, Air Force, Police, Navy, DSS among others.
“It is the first time in the history of the country. During the operation there will be air surveillance, marine patrol and land patrol to check attacks from the criminals,” he added.
According to him the operation will also ensure return of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, to their various homes.
He said available information has indicated that about 400 residents of Ayilamo village and about 200 residents of Uzer village have returned, out of about 1,500 and 1,000 residents, respectively, who fled the villages in January 2018, due to increased level of attacks by the suspected herdsmen.
“Let me once again encourage locals to share necessary information and intelligence with the troops on the activities of herdsmen and other criminal elements in their localities,” he solicited.
He said: “The evil people amongst us are fewer than the good people. What gives them freedom of action is our silence of their evil activities and, therefore, let us all join hands to salvage our dear country.
“So, let me once again encourage locals to share necessary information and intelligence with the troops on the activities of herdsmen and other criminal elements in their localities, We have no other country than Nigeria,” he noted.