Operatives of the Operation Whirl Stroke have killed 145 bandits and arrested 223 others in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states.
A total of 194 weapons; 3,683 ammunitions and one hand grenade were also recovered from the bandits during operations in the three states.
This was revealed by the Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, during a courtesy call on the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, at the Government House, Lafia, on Thursday.
Yekini assured residents of the affected states of the commitment of the security forces in ensuring the safety of their lives and property.
According to him, the crises in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states could be traced to the struggle over the control of farming and grazing land along the River Benue trough.
He explained that while herdsmen consider and use the area for grazing their cattle, indigenous Tiv farmers use the land for farming, while the Jukun fish in the river.
“The interplay of economic activities among these three different tribes along the River Benue valley is the cause of the crises we are facing across these three states,” Yekini stated.
He told the governor that the Operation Whirl Stroke had it bases along the bank of the River Benue, while its special forces were deployed in Giza, Keana Local Government Area; Tunga, Awe Local Government Area; Ugya, Toto Local Government Area; Rukubi, Doma Local Government Area; and Loko, all in Nasarawa State.
He added that more bandits were arrested and weapons recovered in Benue than in any of the other states.
Yekini noted that the operation was not limited to military action alone, but that civil-military relations were also being enhanced to build confidence among the civilian population.
The governor commended the troops for their commitment and sacrifice towards ending the senseless killings in the three states.
He said Nasarawa State was now reaping from the security arrangement put in place by the former governor Umaru Al-Makura administration, particularly as it related to the relative peace being enjoyed by the Igbira and Bassa people.
Sule promised his administration’s continued support for the Operation Whirl Stroke.