On Monday the Nigerian Army announced that Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA has been extended in Taraba State.
This announcement came barely ten days after retired General TY Danjuma advised Nigerians to defend themselves before killer herdsmen wipe them out.
Danjuma, who spoke at the maiden convocation ceremony of Taraba State University in Jalingo, the state capital, called on the people to rise against “ethnic cleansing”.
“You must rise to protect yourselves from these people, if you depend on the armed forces to protect you, you will all die.
“This ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba, and it must stop is Nigeria,” Danjuma warned.
A statement by Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, Director Army Public Relations recalled that the operation was flagged off on 20th February, 2018 in North Central and parts of North West on planning and conduct of ‘Military Operations Other Than War’.
The statement reads: “The exercise was also aimed at further sustaining Nigerian Army’s constitutional roles of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as aiding the civil authority to maintain peace and security.
“Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA has recorded tremendous successes in spite of challenges . However, the exercise needs to be sustained in some areas in other to consolidate on the initial gains.
“In view of the development, the ongoing exercise AYEM AKPATUMA in Taraba State has been extended for 2 months. The extension becomes necessary in order to further consolidate on the gains achieved so far and due to calls by well-meaning Nigerians.
“The extension would facilitate the Nigerian Army’s effort of ridding the affected areas of militants and other criminal elements.
“The general public, particularly residents of Taraba State are therefore requested to cooperate with the troops by giving useful and timely information to enable them carry out their constitutional duties effectively.”