The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that under the exercise code named: “Enduring Peace“ the army is also offering free medical services and free drugs to indigent locals of the host communities.
Army stages exercise 'Enduring Peace' to rid Kogi of criminals
The Nigerian Army, Headquarters, Command Army Records (HQ CAR), on Monday, launched an exercise aimed at routing criminals in their hideouts in Kogi.
The communities are Irepe-Rukura, Zariagi and Kabba Junction in Adavi Local Government Area LGA) of the state.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, said the exercise was a joint one involving all security agencies with presence in Kogi.
According to him, the decision to make it a joint exercise is in consonance with his vision of having a professional Nigerian Army ready to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in the defence of Nigeria.
"This clearly underscores the fact that all security agencies are critical stakeholders and, therefore, we must work together to achieve the common goal of safeguarding the lives and property of Nigerians everywhere”, he said.
Represented by the Commander, Command Army Records (CAR), Maj.-Gen. Okpe Ali, the COAS expressed his gratitude to the governor for always providing the enabling environment for them to operate in the state.
The army boss stressed that the exercise was designed to be conducted in the last quarter of the year to checkmate all forms of criminality as the Yuletide season approaches.
He emphasised that the exercise was as a result of the prevailing security challenges in the country.
He added that similar exercises were ongoing in other parts of the country under different names depending on the threats perception and peculiarities of the region.
He noted that the exercise was expected to hold from Oct. 4 to Dec. 23, 2021 with a series of operational activities including patrols, ambushes and raid of criminal hideouts.
“It will also witness some non-kinetic activities in the form of Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) programmes such as medical outreach, among others.
“Our choice of medical outreach to kick start “Exercise Enduring Peace is firmly rooted in our belief that the support of host communities is key to the success of the entire programme.
“This medical outreach is put together to support the host communities within our areas of operation and to have their cooperation”, he said.
NAN reports that Maj.-Gen Ali, in his own comment, commended the COAS for providing the resources for the medical outreach and the entire exercise.
In his remarks, Gov. Yahaya Bello, who inaugurated the exercise, commended the COAS for the initiative and for instilling courage in the troops for the recent well-coordinated onslaughts against insurgency, kidnappings and banditry.
Bello, who was represented by the State Security Adviser, Cdr. Jerry Omodara (rtd), vowed that his administration would continue to destroy houses and property traced to criminal elements in the state.
He said that his administration would leave no stone unturned to destroy all criminal hideouts in the state.
Bello stressed that the ongoing military onslaught against insurgents and bandits across the country was a clear attestation that the military was determined to end all forms of insecurity in Nigeria.
He commended the synergy among security agencies in the state and urged them to remain resolute in the fight against criminality in Nigeria.
“Kogi is a home of peace and my administration is determined that residents sleep with their two eyes closed”, he said.
Earlier, the Regimental Medical Officer, Capt. Nurudeen Saka, noted that the outreach was planned with the prevailing illnesses in the area in mind.
The common ailments include malaria, worm infestation, HTN, DM, blood pressure, high sugar level and eye problems.
A member of the Hunters Group of Nigeria, Kogi Chapter, Mr Saliu Jimoh, who spoke on behalf of the host communities said through collaborative efforts with security agencies, they had arrested more than 10 suspected kidnappers and freed their victims.
Two of the beneficiaries of the medical outreach, Aisha Suleiman and Fadi Sule from Irepe-Rukura community, in their separate comments, told NAN that they were very grateful to the COAS for his gesture.
The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of souvenirs to the heads of all the security agencies present on the inauguration.
Security agencies at the occasion were the Police, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS), Nigerian Correctional Services (NSC), among others.
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