Buratai, who gave the order on the occasion of a cocktail party and command performance held in his honour at the Banquet Hall of Benue People’s House, on Thursday said the next action against the criminal elements would be devastating.
He said the military would not relent until total peace was restored to Benue. He also announced that a commander had been posted to head the new brigade in the state.
“We will do our best to ensure that the prevailing peaceful atmosphere here is maintained”, Buratai said.
He explained that the Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, the Commander of the 72 Special Forces Battalion, the Provost of the Naval School of Logistics and the Brigade Commander would all coordinate the provision of security in Benue. He reiterated that criminals no longer have hiding places in the state.
Buratai said, ‘’Many serving and retired military officers from Benue State have been my mentors. I can tell you that the Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Security Matters, Col. Edwin Jando (retd.), was the person who influenced my military career most.
He explained that he was among the 10 military officers posted to Angola by Jando and that he, Buratai, who had served as the former colonel’s adjutant, was one of the two officers that finally remained in Angola to serve in the peace mission.
“I would have left the military some years ago but a Benue man stood behind me and said I did not commit any offence,” he added.
The chief of army staff said, “Generals Kwambe, Kwembe and Orokpo have also been of great help to him and respectively described Generals Akem and Ode as the engine rooms of administration and invention in the army.”
He said the title, “Warrior and Protector of Benue People” given to him by Governor Samuel Ortom in recognition of his peace efforts made the state his second home, pointing out that some of the cultural dances showed that Borno and Benue had cultural affiliation.
Earlier, the Acting Secretary to the Benue State Government, Dr. Bem Melladu, who represented Governor Ortom at the event, had said in every Benue home, there was either a serving or a retired military man.
Melladu also said much has been done by the military under Buratai. He therefore said, “We are proud of you.”
He assured Buratai that Benue State would continue to support military formations to enable them perform optimally.
Some water projects which would be of benefit to residents of the area in future were commissioned at the barracks located there.
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