Military operation in Niger saved millions of lives —Army •As Niger govt asks citizens to remain calm

The Nigerian Army has said on Sunday that Thursday’s operation of the military in Kpaidna community in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger helped save the lives of millions of Nigerians.

This was as it said despite the heavy casualty suffered in the attacks on its personnel in the state, it would not be distracted from dealing with any threat to national security.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Mechanised Division, Kaduna, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, said  this in Minna, the state capital, while conducting journalists round the assorted arms and ammunition recovered from some criminal elements at Kpadina, Lagbe and Kopa villages in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.

Speaking against the backdrop of the criticism of the military on the invasion of the communities, Oyebade challenged the critics to  justify why the community members should keep assorted weapons in their homes.

He said if the weapons had not been recovered from the criminal elements, only God knew the havoc it could have caused the larger society.

He  said further that  those who were criticising the military for invading the communities should  justify why they should be keeping such sophisticated weapons in their homes.

We have a job to rid the country of criminal elements and we will continue to do so inspite of the heavy casualty suffered by us,

The intention of some people for criticising the military is to force us to recoil so that we do not carry out our constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property of the citizenry.

He, however, maintained that the Nigerian Armed Forces and other para -military agencies have the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian people to ensure that crimes and criminality were not allowed to thrive anywhere in Nigeria.

Also, Niger State Commissioner for  Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, has called on the people of the state to  remain calm as  security agencies in the state have been working   to return normalcy after the recent crisis between the military and villagers in  Kpaidna, Legbe-dagma, Bambe, Kopa, Lunku and the  surrounding villages in Bosso Local Government Area of the  state .

He said this in a press statement made available to journalists on Sunday , in Minna,  the state capital ,adding  that the Alhaji Abubakar Bello- led administration placed  utmost premium on the security of  lives and property  in the state and will continue to     ensure peaceful co-existence   in the state.

He  urged  the people of the state  to remain calm and go about their legitimate businesses,   adding that  the government   will  ensure that the situation does not escalate to the level of impeding the existing  peace  in the state.

The commissioner  said  further  that the government is appealing to all political leaders in the state to guard their utterances in order not to jeopardise the relative peace  in the state

Meanwhile, the G begnu Boknu Yakwo Association, an umbrella body of Gbagyi (Gwari) worldwide, Niger State, has  condoled with  the Federal Government over the killing of some military personnel during the clash between military and some villagers in the state.

The group, in a statement signed by state chairman, Danjuma  Paiko, prayed for the repose of the souls of all those who lost their lives in the  incident  and for God to grant  their  families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.