The Nigerian Army on Monday commended the Kogi State Government for constructing an access road from Kpokpolobi to Uttu forest to aid troops’ operations against suspected criminals in the area.
A statement by Col. Sagir Musa, the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, in Abuja noted that the state government heeded the advice of Nigerian Army on the need to create access to the forest.
Musa said that the opening of the area with road would minimise acts of banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery committed by fleeing terrorists and bandits in the area.
He said that the creation of access into such remote and isolated areas would further bring governance and development closer to the people, while enhancing security in the area.
He said that the creation of access would also boost the general security of the areas and bring succour to the law-abiding citizens living in the localities.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to use this opportunity to call on other states to emulate the good examples, as demonstrated by the governments of Nasarawa and Kogi states in these strategic efforts.
“It would be recalled that on Sept. 28, the Nasarawa State Government, on the advice of the Nigerian Army, began the opening up of access through Kenyehu Uttu forest and contiguous hills in Toto Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
“The Nigerian Army uses this opportunity to reassure the general public that it remains resolute and focused in the fight against terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Musa recalled that troops recently conducted clearance operations in the Uttu-Kpokpolobi forest and contiguous hills in Toto LGA of Nasarawa, where identified terrorists’ hideouts were destroyed.
He said that no fewer than 778 family members of suspected terrorists and bandits, comprising women and children, were rescued by troops during the operation.
He added that several suspected terrorists were killed, while large cache of arms and ammunition were captured from the criminals.