Military refutes Benue ambush story

Operational Whirl Stroke (OPWS) has debunked online reports that some troops, including Capt Z. Sani, were ambushed somewhere in Benue State few days ago.

In a statement made available to The Guardian, the commander, Maj.-Gen. Adeyeni Yekini, described the story as fake, hence should be disregarded.

“HQ OPWS wishes to state in categorical terms that no OPWS personnel is involved in any ambush in the recent past as reported.

“It further wishes to state that Capt Sani was injured during an encounter with armed militia men at Barkin Kota in Keana Council of Nasarawa State in July 2018. The incident was given wide publicity at the time. It is therefore mischievous for the writer of the fake report to link his injury to any current operation.

“For the avoidance of doubt, HQ OPWS wishes to once again state that none of its personnel was ambushed in any part of Benue, Nasarawa or Taraba states in the past several months,” he stated.

Intimating that OPWS had substantially achieved its mandate of ending the incessant killings by armed groups in the three states which constitute its Joint Operation Area (J0A), he added: “The force is now focused on destroying the remnants of armed militia camps that might still be in any part of Benue. Nasarawa and Taraba, and is working for the return of more internally-displaced persons (lDPs) to their ancestral homes in the three states.”

Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has identified dialogue as the only way to sustainable peace in Nigeria.

He, therefore, expressed hope that the nation would certainly come out of its security challenges.

The monarch spoke yesterday in Abuja at the launch of ‘How a Congress of Baboons Made a General’, a book written by a former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Gen. Martin-Luther Agwai (rtd.), where he urged Nigerians not to be tired of dialogue.

“We shall certainly overcome insecurity in Nigeria. There is hope. Let us not get tired of dialogue, as only the truth shall set us free,” he said.

Agwai, who retired as a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the monarch noted, remained the only officer in the military that served within and outside his territory unequalled due to his sterling performance.

Corroborating the monarch’s remarks, the former army chief acknowledged that the country had numerous security challenges.

He called for collaborative efforts to stem insecurity, cautioning the masses against being influenced by politicians to heat up the polity.

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