By Gabriel Yough
Jalingo – The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has flagged off Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA II in Takum, Taraba with a charge on troops to consolidate on the gains recorded during the first exercise in the state.
This is contained in a statement by Maj. Ikechukwu Eze, the Acting Deputy Director Army Public Relations, on Sunday in Jalingo.
Buratai explained that the Exercise was being conducted by Headquarters 3 Division, Headquarters Command Army Records, Headquarters Guards Brigade and 707 Special Forces Brigade.
He explained that it would run simultaneously from Nov. 1 to Dec. 23 in Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa and Benue States.
The Army Chief, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Maj.-Gen. Nuhu Angbazo, maintained that the 2019 exercise would be conducted in collaboration with sister security and paramilitary agencies.
“The exercise is aimed at building the capacity of the Nigerian Army personnel through practical exposure to sharpen skills in combating internal security threats across the North Central Region.
“It is also expected to strengthen civil–military relations between the military and good people of Taraba through civil–military cooperation activities such as medical outreach programmes, sanitation exercises, educational support among others,” he said.
Buratai charged participating teams to take the Exercise seriously, be respectful with law abiding citizens, adhere strictly to Rules of Engagement while being very firm and decisive in dealing with criminals.
In his speech, Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba said the exercise provided opportunities for Officers and men of the Nigerian Army to operate alongside their counterparts from other security agencies to checkmate the security challenges in the State.
He maintained that the strength of any nation was in the ability of its military to protect its territorial integrity and support internal security.
He said that Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA II would provide the platform for renewed and vigorous joint efforts to meet emerging threats.
Represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Haruna Manu, Ishaku noted that the choice of Kofai Ahmadu in Takum as the area for the flag-off of the exercise was significant because it is one of the hotbeds of the crises bedevilling the State.
He urged those participating in the Exercise to also be courteous and polite to law abiding citizens and should be very firm and decisive in dealing with criminals.
The event was rounded up by a Medical Outreach provided by the Army in collaboration with Taraba Ministry of Health to members of the public.
The medical outreach and other activities would run concurrently with the Exercise as it progresses.