By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
The Nigerian Army has commended, Kogi State Governor, Yahaha Bello for opening access road from Kpokpolobi to the notorious Uttu forest to tackle banditry terrorizing people of Nasarawa and Kogi states.
Recall that the Nasarawa state government had similarly opened up a road from its side to access the forest which is located in Toto local government that borders both states.
A statement by Army headquarters appreciating Kogi State Government signed by Col Sagir Musa, Acting Director, Army Public Relations was issued on Monday, reads, “The Nigerian Army wishes to appreciate and commend the Kogi State Government for heeding its advice conveyed through the Commander 4 Special Forces Command Doma to construct an access road from Kpokpolobi to Uttu Forest.
“The opening of the road will no doubt minimise if not eradicate incessant banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery incidences committed by fleeing terrorists and armed bandits in the general area.
“Additionally, creating access into such remote and isolated areas with attendant infrastructural development will further bring governance and development closer to the people of the hitherto ungoverned spaces as well as enhance security in the areas.
“Recall that on the 20th of September 2020, the 4 Special Forces Command of the Nigerian Army located in Doma Nasarawa State, conducted clearance operations in Uttu – Kpokpolobi forest and contiguous hills in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State where identified terrorists’ hideouts were destroyed.
“During the operation, no fewer than 778 family members of suspected terrorists and bandits consisting mostly of women and children were rescued by troops.
“Several suspected terrorists were neutralized and a large cache of arms and ammunition were captured from the criminals.
“It should be noted that opening up access into such remote and isolated areas will no doubt enhance the general security in the areas and also bring succour to law-abiding citizens living in the localities.
“The NA 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 the 28th of September 2020, the Nasarawa State Government, on the advice of the Nigerian Army commenced the opening up of access through Kenyehu Uttu Forest and contiguous hills in Toto Local Government Area of the state.
“The NA 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.”