By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—Benue Youth Forum, BYF, a civil society group, has expressed fears and concern over the sincerity of the federal government to stem the killings in the state by herdsmen through the military spike exercise recently launched in the state, code-named Exercise Ayem A Kpatuma (Cat Race).
Addressing reporters, Wednesday, in Makurdi, President of BYF, Mr. Terrence Kuanum, faulted the decision of the military to announce and publicise the dates within which the exercise would last, weeks before the actual commencement of the exercise.
He said: “We know that military operations or exercises have rules of engagement. We, therefore, wonder whether or not the current exercise in Benue State has rules of engagement, because the Nigerian military has failed to tell us the rules by which they are to engage with their host communities.
“We hope that the military will uphold its integrity and carry out the exercise in a professional manner to prove our suspicions wrong and also ensure compliance with the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of the state.”
The military formally flagged off the special operation at its operational base at the LGEA Primary School, Mbabegha in Guma Local Government Area of the state, which will also cover other Middle-Belt states currently witnessing security challenges.