About 182 suspects were arrested in Benue, Taraba and Kaduna states during the conduct of “Exercise Ayem Akpatuma’’ by the Nigerian Army in the three states and three others.
The Director, Defence Information (DDI), John Agim, announced the figure, while giving an update on the just- concluded exercise which also covered Nasarawa, Niger and Kogi states.
Mr Agim also said the army lost 13 personnel during the exercise which began on February 15 and ended on April 5, while seven others sustained various degrees of injury.
Ayem Akpatuma (Cat Race) was conducted to assist civil authority to address the recurring farmers/herdsmen clashes and other forms of crimes in the six states.
However, the exercise was extended in Taraba till May 14 in view of the prevailing security threats in the state, according to Mr Agim.
Giving the breakdown of arrests, the DDI said 147 herdsmen, six cult members, five rustlers and six armed bandits were apprehended in Benue and 15 suspects in Taraba.
According to him, in 1 Division Area of Responsibility (Kaduna), 13 bandits were arrested during the period.
“All the arrested suspects have been handed over to the Police for further action,’’ Mr Agim said
He said the following weapons were recovered in Benue, while the exercise lasted: one AK47 rifle, one FN rifle, three AK47 magazines and nine rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.
Other recoveries in the state, he said were: 23 rounds 7.62mm Nato ammunition; 13 Dane guns; 38 machetes; several spear/axes and assorted charms.
Also recovered in Benue, Mr Agim said, were 18 motorcycles and 15 cell phones.
In Taraba, the DDI said four AK47 rifles; three magazines; 96 rounds of 7.62 special ammunition; eight rounds of 9mm ammunition and 19 locally made guns were recovered.
The others, he said, were five locally made pistols; one shotgun and 27 live cartridges; while 16 assorted arms were recovered in 1 Division Area of Responsibility (Kaduna).
Mr Agim commended community chiefs, chairmen of local governments and governors in areas covered by the exercise for providing useful information that was instrumental to its success.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999