Some governors have appealed to the Federal Government not to withdraw troops from their states after moves by the federal government to withdraw military from volatile areas in the country.
Some of the governors include Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Darius Ishaku of Taraba State and their counterpart in Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle.
The federal government had said it will withdraw the military currently stationed in some volatile spots in the country beginning from the first quarter of 2020.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, told newsmen that the withdrawal was to allow the military to focus on its primary duty of defending the nation against external aggression and respond adequately to “emerging threats.”
Some of the military operations were targeted at ending banditry and cattle rustling in the north as well as militancy and kidnapping in the south.
Commenting on the Federal Government’s decision, the Benue State Governor, Ortom on Monday appealed to Buhari not to withdraw troops code-named Operation Whirl Stroke deployed in the state.
Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke were deployed in the state in 2018 in the wake of the herdsmen attacks.
Ortom, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, appealed for an extension of the presence of the troops to allow the displaced persons return to their ancestral homes.
The governor said, “Our position is an appeal to Mr President. He had done Benue well by deploying Operation Whirl Stroke to help tame the menace of herdsmen at the time Benue needed intervention.
“We appeal to the President to extend the life-span of the troops at least by a year to enable our people at the IDPs camps to resettle in their ancestral homes.
The governor said that he had already communicated to the President not to withdraw the troops from the state for now.
Also, the Zamfara State Government opposed the plan by the Federal Government to withdraw its troops from some areas in 2020.
The state Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, told newsmen that the police alone could not address insecurity in the country.
The commissioner, who spoke on behalf of the state Governor, Bello Matawalle, said the insecurity situation in the country needed collective efforts of not only the security personnel but other Nigerians.
He stated, “Although we are able to reduce banditry in our state through dialogue and reconciliation, we still want the military to be in our midst in case of any unforeseen circumstance”.
Dauran said the military’s Operation ‘Hadarin Daji’ had contributed to the restoration of peace in many parts of the state.
For Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, he urged the Federal Government to reconsider the decision.
The spokesperson for the governor, Dan Abu, stated that the efforts of the troops in restoring peace in the state could be thwarted if the soldiers were withdrawn.
Abu said, “First of all, we are grateful for the good job they have done recently, especially since they intervened in the crisis in Southern Taraba and some other places in the state.
“Their presence has been very helpful. It has calmed down the crisis and we have been able to achieve relative peace as a result of their presence. For that reason, we are very grateful.
“But we believe that the withdrawal is premature because although there is relative peace now, there is a need for that peace to be sustained and their presence will go a long way in helping the sustenance of peace that has been achieved so far.”
But the Plateau State Government described the Federal Government plan as a welcome development.
The state Commissioner for Information, Dan Manjang, told newsmen in Jos that the decision would rekindle the confidence of the citizens that peace had returned to Plateau State, nearly 10 years after troops under Operation Safe Haven, were deployed in the state.
He added that the state Governor, Simon Lalong’s peace efforts had yielded positive results.
He said, “I think the decision of the Federal Government to begin the military pullout from volatile spots is a welcome development because I believe that they must have done some assessments of the situation in those areas to warrant such decision.
“For us in Plateau, it is our desire that troops from Operation Safe Haven go back to the barracks because no state will desire that soldiers will be guiding it all the time. As it is, we are doing well as a state.”