<<< By Akor Godwin >>>
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, has ordered criminals parading themselves as herdsmen to leave Benue before the army launches another attack against them.
General Buratai who gave the order on the occasion of a cocktail party and command performance held in his honour at the new banquet hall of Benue People’s House, Makurdi, yesterday, said the next action against the criminal elements would be devastating.
He said the army would not relent until total peace was restored in Benue and announced that a Commander has been posted to head the new Brigade in the State.
He explained that the Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, NASME, Commander of the seventy-two Special Forces Battalion, the Provost of the Naval School of Logistics arid the Brigade Commander would all coordinate the provision of security in Benue and reiterated that criminals no longer have hiding places in the State.
General Buratai said many serving and retired military officers from Benue have been his mentors and singled out the Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Security Matters, Colonel Edwin Jando, as the person who influenced his military career.
The Chief of Army Staff said General Kwambe, Kwambe and Orokpo have also been of great help to him and respectively described Generals Akem and Ode as the engine rooms of his administration and invention in the army.
He said the title of “Warrior and Protector of Benue People’’ given to him by Governor Samuel Ortom in recognition of his peace efforts makes the State his second home, pointing out that some of the cultural dances showed that Borno and Benue have cultural affiliation.
Earlier, the Acting Secretary to the Benue State Government, SSG, Dr. Bem Meladu, who represented Governor Ortom at the event, had said in every Benue home, there is either a serving or a retired military man.
During the Chief of Army Staff Conference held at NASME, Makurdi, free health services were given to over three thousand persons at the North Bank area of Makurdi, while some water projects which would, in future, be of benefit to residents of the area were commissioned at the barracks located there.