A major victory has once again been recorded in the fight against armed banditry and criminal herdsmen in the Benue valleys as Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE, on 12 May 2020, while responding to a distress call on suspected armed herdsmen infiltration at Agasha in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, neutralized four (4) assailants. They recovered two AK-47 rifles, four magazines, in addition to 65 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition from the criminal herdsmen.
Benue has been a major battlefield between indigenous farmers of crops in the fertile Benue valleys, and criminal and notorious elements among the herdsmen passing through and settling in the same general area. Although this phenomenon has lasted for more than two decades, recent confrontations have been well-documented and well-reported by the media.
The state, dubbed “The Food-Basket of the Nation” is among the top farmers of groundnut, yam, rice, mango, tobacco in Africa. This is why many citizens expect firm response from the Federal Government, to protect the farmers and people from marauding herdsmen. While speaking to the press last month, Governor Samuel Ortom had in clear terms, said that the leadership of Miyetti Allah have yet to profer alternative to the status quo despite him asking them to do so several times. According to him, the state is being overrun by irate herders from Niger, Chad, and other surrounding countries who behave in violent manner and kill the indigenes of the state as if they are chickens.
This cheering news is sequel to the decimation of the notorious Orjondu a week ago around Katsina-Ala and Zaki-Biam highway, as reported by Switch Nigeria.
Operation WHIRL STROKE, launched in May, 2018 in response to insecurity precipitated by violent herdsmen, armed bandits and violent militia groups in Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, and Zamfara States. The troops consists of all the military services (Army, Air Force, Navy), the Nigeria Police, and the Department of the State Security Services, DSS. They commenced operations on 8th of May, 2018.
Guma Local Government Area is home to Gbajimba town, location of a very strategic local produce market called Gbajimba Market where dried or smoked fish, yam, and rice, are sold at very affordable rates. Gbajimba Market is about a 90-minutes drive from the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, barring the pitiful state of the road. In fact, Guma is very close to the eastern and northern parts of the State capital city, Makurdi.
The troops have continued to sustain the intensity of their operations. They appealed to the general public to provide credible information to the Armed Forces of Nigeria, to facilitate the success of their operations.
Source: Defence Headquarters