By Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Kogi state government has said there is no hidden place for armed bandits in the state as it has opened up the access road leading to the notorious Uttu forest which is the den of criminal armed bandits terrorizing people of Nasarawa and Kogi states.
The opening up of the access road is to make it easy for clearance operations by the men of the Nigerian Army following the recent bombardment that led to the arrests of several kidnappers and bandits in July.
“During the operation, no fewer than 778 family members of suspected terrorists and bandits consisting mostly women and children were rescued by troops and several suspected terrorists were neutralized and large cache of arms and ammunition were captured from the criminals.”
Recall that the Nasarawa state government had similarly opened up a road from its area to access the forest which is located in Toto local government that borders both Kogi and Nasarawa states.
The Nigerian Army high command in a statement signed by the Acting Director, Army Public relations, Col Sagir Musa, on Monday commended the Kogi state government for its efforts in opening up the area for easy accessibility.
The statement reads; “The Nigerian Army (NA) wishes to appreciate and commend the Kogi State Government for heeding its advice conveyed through the Commander 4 Special Forces Command Doma to construct 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 entire area.”
It would be recalled 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.
“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 succor to law abiding citizens living in the localities.”
“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 Nigerian Army called on other states to emulate the good examples of the Governments of Nasarawa and Kogi States in this strategic efforts.”
“The Army reassure the general public that it remains resolute and focused in the fight against terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities in Nigeria.”