By Stanley Onyekwer
The Middle Belt Patriotic Assembly has expressed satisfaction over the ongoing military exercise christened “AYEM AKPATUMA” otherwise called Cat Race across Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Taraba states, as it started yielding positive reports so far.
The exercise, which was recently launched by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai, aims to tackle the menace of herdsmen/Farmers clashes, Armed banditry and cattle rustling across the states.
Speaking yesterday at a press conference in Lafia, Coordinator of the group, Comrade- Omenge Frederick commended the army for making concerted efforts to rid the region of killer herdsmen.
Frederick noted that after their assessment, it came to the conclusion that the military is doing a good job in Benue State and other parts of the country where “ Exercise Cat Race “ is currently taking place.
He said Nigerian Army exercise should be supported to achieve the desired goal which will be beneficial to the entire country, stressing that the Nigerian Army under Lieutenant General Buratai has remained apolitical and can do without political distractions
He implored the stakeholders to spare the military of any interference in the internal affairs of the state whilst allowing the Army to concern itself strictly with the Exercise Cat Race which was inaugurated to flush out criminal elements from the State.
According to him, all stakeholders must understand that the military as a national institution doesn’t yield to concerns of that which benefit the overall interest of the country.
He urged individuals, especially the Benue State and Adamawa state governments to set a good example by not dragging politics into security issue.
He said, “Whereas the Governor is free to make his statement anywhere in a democracy, the Middle Belt Patriotic Assembly considers the comments as a clear breach of the constitution.
“It’s an attempt to drag the Nigerian Army into the politics surrounding issues between herdsmen/Farmers in the state.”