BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI – With less that 72 hours to the end of Exercise Ayem A’ Kpatuma, or Cat Race, a military spike operation to end herdsmen incursions in Benue state, the tribal leaders of the state have described the exercise as a monumental failure.
Baring any changes, the 45 days Military Exercise which formally took off in the state on February 15, 2018 will come to and end on March 30, 2018.
Speaking on the successes and failures of the exercise in the state, the tribal leaders through the President General Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege maintained that the state had been worse off since the coming of the military Exercise.
He said, “the Exercise as far as we are concerned has achieved next to nothing, we have not felt their impact in the state and that is the truth of the matters.
“Perhaps we will give it to them for aiding herdsmen and their cows to mindlessly take over our communities and destroy the food crops and barns of our helpless people.
“Within this period of the Exercise, herdsmen have become embolden, they have besieged Benue communities with impunity, and the killings have continued despite the ongoing Exercise because herdsmen enjoy cover from the military.
“If they the military have a contrary view, I challenge them to present their scorecard for everyone to see. Our IDPs camps have continued to swell because the people are still being attacked and they are still running away from their communities.
“All we want at the moment in Benue is a full-scale military operation to stop the killings and also chase out the herdsmen who have occupied and taken over our communities so that the over 175,000 IDPs in the right camps can return to their ancestral homes and continue with their farming activities.”