Military declares Benue, Taraba communities peaceful
The Defence headquarters on Saturday declared some communities in Benue and Taraba states peaceful and safe for living.
The Commander of Operations Whirl Stroke and the acting Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, and Brig. Gen. Onyeama Nwachukwu, respectively, declared that peace and tranquility had returned to the affected areas.
The two military generals, who led journalists on tour of the areas in Benue and Taraba states, said normalcy had returned to the troubled areas.
Yekini said, “…We sent a strong force to Gbise to flush out these criminal elements and establish a point which is like a super camp. Thank God we are able to achieve the mission and the area is generally peaceful and calm.
“In fact, you can see that normalcy has returned and people are freely going about their economic activities.
“On the second strategy we used to end the crisis between the Tiv and Jukun around these areas, our intelligence suggest that the crisis was being fuelled by Gana and his gang. Gana had a troop that he sent to attack the people around the border areas until we came here, neutralised those of them that refused to run and captured those we could capture. That was how we were able to bring peace and tranquility to this area.
“So, in a way, since we did this deployment, we could see that the Tiv/jukun crisis has gradually reduced to almost zero.”
Yekini stated that in a bid to sustain the peace that had already been recorded, the military had embarked on other operational strategies.
These, he said, involved “kinetic (actual fighting) and non-kinetic, which involves peace and security meetings with critical stakeholders in the affected areas where religious leaders, traditional rulers and youths were brought together from both sides and agreed to give peace a chance as a result of OPWS intervention.”
The OPWS commander said most of the people that fled during the crisis had started returning to the communities. he said the presence of soldiers in the deserted areas restored confidence in the people to return home.
Also speaking, the acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Onyeama Nwachukwu, said, “As it stands today, this community, a stronghold of that criminal, has been liberated; they have been neutralised and that is why we are here to show you that peace and tranquility have been restored to this community and economic and social lives have also been restored to the community.”