It is time for arms-carrying herdsmen and retaliating farmers to dance like rats before the cat.

A special operation like the one held in south east Nigeria in 2017 to check crime and activities of secessionists which eventually led to the proscription of IPOB will soon start in areas where herdsmen have clashed with farmers. 

This time it is not Egwu Eke or Python Dance or even Cattle Dance as some Nigerians had suggested when nealy 100 persons were killed in Benue State in January.

It is tagged: "Ayem Akpatuma" – 'Cat Race' and its major aim is to tackle recurring herdsmen/farmers clashes and criminal activities in Benue, Taraba and four other states.

The Nigerian Army said on Wednesday that the other states are Nasarawa, Kogi, Niger and Kaduna.

According to the Chief of Training and Operations, Major General David Ahmadu, the exercise will commence on February 15 and end on March 31.

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Ahmadu, who briefed reporters on 'Cat Race', said it would address emerging security challenges within the 1 and 3 Divisions including Headquarters, Army Records, Guards Brigade and 707 Special Forces Brigade “Areas of Responsibility.’’

The military is also looking to use the operation to aid civil authority in addressing those challenges.

"More so, Exercise Ayem Akpatuma has become more expedient due to upsurge in cases of armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in Kaduna and Niger States as well as other sundry crimes in Kogi State and herdsmen/farmers clashes and attacks on innocent members of our communities, particularly in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States by armed militias.

"These security challenges have continued unabatedly in these states despite the efforts by sister security agencies to curb them.

Also Read: Half Of Nigeria Controlled By Armed Herdsmen, Criminals - Shehu Sani

“The need for troops to be exercised, refreshed and to imbibe the requisite skills to cope with these emerging security challenges within the 1 and 3 Divisions including Headquarters, Army Records, Guards Brigade and 707 Special Forces Brigade Areas of Responsibility in aid of civil authority, calls for this exercise," Ahmadu said.

The Exercise Cat Race would be conducted in conjunction with other security agencies such as DSS, Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

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