By Stephen Adeleye
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Tuesday pledged the State Government’s continued collaboration with the Nigeria Army and other security agencies to ensure security of lives and property in the state.
Bello made the pledge after he paid a facility visit to the 480 troops of 91 Brigade Headquarters of the Nigerian Army deployed in the ongoing Operation “AYEM AKPATUMA” (CAT RACE) at Irepeni along Abuja-Lokoja- Okene road.
He told newsmen that the army and other security agencies in the state had ensured that the state was free of crime and criminal activities that had bedeviled the people prior to the inception of his administration.
“I am sure you are aware of some acts of criminality and insecurity that existed in Benue, Kogi, Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, for some time in the North Central,” he said.
The governor expressed satisfaction with the excellent performance of the troops deployed to the state which had made it an investment haven.
“I keep telling everybody that Kogi is the safest state in the country today for investors.
“We went round the bush to visit the troops’ operational base and their various camps, and we saw that the troops are doing a very wonderful job.
“I met the troops in a very high morale and they are doing an excellent job. Crimes and criminality have been brought down to the barest minimum in Kogi.
“What the troops have been doing is excellent and I am highly impressed and satisfied with their job. I wish the exercise should continue as long as I remain in power,” the governor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Bello had visited the troops at their various camps along Okene-Ajaokuta-Adogo and Abuja-Lokoja-Okene roads.
During the visit, Bello commended the troops for the good job they were doing and charged them to remain focused and committed to flushing criminals out of Kogi.
The Commander, Command Army Records Headquarters, Lokoja, Major Gen. Felix Agugo, told journalists covering the visit that “AYEM AKPATUMA” would last till the end of March.
NAN reports that the troops of Command Army Records Headquarters supported by Army Headquarters Special Forces had on March 11 conducted a raid at Irepeni and Egee communities within Okene Local Government Area of the state.
Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu, Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement, said that one of the prime suspects, Mohammed Bashir, a member of the gang that allegedly killed Corporal Mamman of Army Headquarters Special Forces on Feb. 27, was apprehended.
According to Chukwu, items recovered from him were two AK 47 rifles with registration number 58008731 and 45 rounds of 7.62mm special.
A follow-up on the operation later led to recovery of additional two AK 47 rifles.
The eight suspects arrested during the operation were presented to newsmen on Tuesday along with various arms and ammunition that were recovered from them. (NAN)