Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. John Ajim, has said that since the Operation 777 was launched six weeks ago, troops of the Operation WHRIL STROKE have conducted a total of 49 offensive operations and 13 non kinetic activities within the Joint Operation Areas (JOA) in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states.
He recalled that the Operation 777 was launched on October 8, this year to re-energize the existing operations of the military all over the country to in order to close gaps so that criminal elements will not escape from theatre of operation to other places.
Gen. Ajim while briefing newsmen at the headquarters of the OPWS, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Thursday, revealed that 10 of the offensive operations were conducted in Benue against the wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza popularly known as Gana and militia men aligned to him in parts of Ukum, Katsina-Ala and Vadiekya Local Government areas between October and November this year.
He noted that as a result of these offensive operations, Gana’s armed group had been subdued to a large extent even as some of his men are currently at large, a development which had resulted in a remarkable improvements in security along the Sankera axis.
Ajim who was in company with the Commander OPWS, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini explained further that in the past six months the OPWS had recovered a total of 57 weapons including 27 AK47 magazines and 1,311 rounds of ammunition while over 157,000 internally displaced persons have returned to their ancestral homes.
Gen. Ajim stated further that during the same period, a total of 83 suspects were arrested out of which some have been jailed while others are still undergoing investigation for prosecution.
Of the number, Gen. Ajim stated that 18 assorted weapons were recovered while a total of 37,000 IDPs were returned back to their ancestral homes since the commencement of the OP777 six weeks ago in the three Joint Operation Areas (JOA).
He stated further that the non kinetic activities of the OPWS had resulted in some peace and security meetings across the joint operation areas which had culminated in the return of thousands of internally displaced persons.
On his part, Maj.-Gen. Yekini assured that the entire joint operation area is now secured as troops had cleared all communities of criminal elements and urged those who are still in IDP camps to return to their ancestral homes.