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157, 000 IDPs Return Home In Nasarawa, Benue, Taraba



Nigerian Army has disclosed that 157,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned home following the commencement of Operation Whirl Stroke.

The Force Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke, Maj-Gen. MA Yekini disclosed this when he received participants of the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) Course 2/2018 on an operational theatre visit to Operation Whirl Stroke.

While briefing the team, he said his troops are made up of Special Operation Forces (SOF) who were well trained and capable of engaging adversaries in close quarter battle.

He noted that Operation Whirl Stroke covers Nasarawa, Benue and Taraba states and has been able to secure the return of 157,000 IDPs to their homes.

Maj-Gen Yekini said the mandate of the force was to destroy identified camps used by militia elements and other criminal groups in the three states with a view to creating conducive atmosphere for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to return to their communities and reclaim their farmlands abandoned due to incessant attacks.

“Since the commencement of Operation Whirl Stroke over 157,000 IDPs have returned to their respective homes, various kinds of assorted weapons recovered and several militia suspects arrested and handed over to relevant authorities in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states,” he said.

In his remarks, the leader of the visiting team, Maj Gen E.J. Enenche noted that the visit was to enable the participants conduct an on the spot assessment of the operational plans of Operation Whirl Stroke with a view to contributing to the ongoing operations.

He reiterated that the knowledge gained would reinforce the participants’ understanding of tactical and operational estimates.

The visit is in line with the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) Mission Statement to produce well-trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.

In a related development, participants of the Army War College Nigeria recently paid a three day operational visit to  Operation Sharan Daji in Zamfara State.

Receiving the participants, the Force Commander, Major General Stevenson Olabanji, who was represented by the Commander 1 Brigade Brigadier General Kennedy Udeagbala, expressed delight in the activities of the college towards producing well-trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.

In a statement signed by the director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Texas Chukwu, he charged the participants to embrace the training with vigour as it is intended to expose them to  skills for Operational and Tactical Estimate process.

The team leader and Director of Studies, Brigadier General Charles Ofoche stated that the purpose of the visit was to give the participants a first hand information on reviewing a campaign plan for ongoing operation in an academic setting.

“The visit is focused at enabling participants come up with plans that could further enhance the conduct of Operation Sharan Daji, to achieve its end state and enduring exit strategy within the shortest possible time frame.”

During the visit, which had as a theme “Enhancing the Capabilities of the Nigerian Army in Combating Internal Security Challenges in Nigeria”, the team also paid a courtesy call on the governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari at the Government House in Gusau.

The governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Abdullahi Muhammad Shinkafi, described the choice of the state as apt and timely considering the security situation in the state.

He commended the efforts and resilience of security agencies deployed to the state and expressed appreciation to the federal government for her commitment to put an end to the senseless killings and banditry in the state.

Governor Yari promised to continue to support security agencies in all their efforts to restore peace and tranquility in the state.

The team also visited troops locations at Shinkafi, Talata Mafara and Tsarfe local government areas of Zamfara State to carry out on the spot assessment of their operational activities.