We Will Not Rest Until Nigeria Is Safe, Says Olonisakin

 

 

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, has given assurance that the Nigerian Armed Forces will not rest until the lives and properties of the citizens are secured.

He stated this on Saturday in his speech as the Special Guest of Honour at the Passing Out Parade of the 78 Regular Recruits Intake of the Nigerian Army.

General Olonisakin said, “Nigeria is currently facing numerous security challenges occasioned by the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, armed bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements.

“I wish to state that these security challenges will soon come to an end as we will not rest on our oars until the country is safe for all of us.”

READ ALSO: Nigerian Army Recruits 5,000 Soldiers

The Chief of Defence Staff was pleased that the recruitment of 5,000 personnel into the Nigerian Army would go a long way to tackle the security challenges in the country.

He asked the newly recruited soldiers to be good ambassadors of the army, the military and Nigeria in general.

General Olonisakin noted, “Today marks yet another chapter in the history of this great institution (the Depot) and the country in general.

“I am glad that Depot Nigerian Army has continued to evolve innovative ways of improving the standard in the training of personnel for the Nigerian Army.”

“This realistic and result oriented training that is being imparted in young recruits here has been yielding positive results.

“This is evident by the robust fighting spirit displayed by our soldiers in various theatres of operations,” he stressed.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, giving a speech at a Passing Out Parade ceremony in Kaduna State on October 19, 2019.

 

 

The defence chief congratulated the new soldiers and challenged them that upon concluding their training at the Depot, much was expected from them in terms of contributing to the efforts to tackle the nation’s security challenges.

He also advised them not to relent but improve their competencies individually and collectively by undergoing various training and courses.

General Olonisakin commended the Federal Government and others who have been supporting the military one way or the other in the fight against insurgency and other forms of crimes in the country.

The event which held at the Depot Nigerian Army in Kaduna State was attended by top military officers and government officials among others.

Olonisakin Warns New Army Officers Against Misconduct, Indiscipline

 

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, has challenged the newly graduated officers of the Nigerian Army that much is expected from them in keeping the country together.

He stated this in his speech at the passing out ceremony of 259 cadets of the Direct Short Service Course from the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), Jaji, Kaduna State.

General Olonisakin said, “I wish to make it clear to the passing-out cadets that the Nigerian Armed Forces has zero-tolerance for indiscipline and unprofessional conduct.

“As junior leaders, you will be confronted with various challenges. The Nigerian Army expects you to add value to the system by being innovative and providing objective leadership to the men that will be placed under your watch.”

He added, “As professional officers who will shortly be commissioned into the Nigerian Army, each and every one of you has various roles to play based on your expertise and previous experiences, in curtailing our security challenges.”

READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct Four Turkish Nationals In Kwara

The defence chief also asked the new officers to join the effort at tackling the rising security challenges posed by Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, as well as kidnapping, armed banditry and communal conflicts among others in parts of the country.

He reminded the graduating officers that they were joining the military at a time the Nigerian Armed Forces was consolidating its fight against all forms of security challenges in the country.

General Olonisakin said, “The training you have received in this institution, couple with further training you will subsequently receive in the course of your career in the Nigerian Army will be invaluable when applied with passion and commitment in your various assignments.

“You are expected to exhibit complete and absolute loyalty to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, as provided in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Oath of Allegiance which will be administered to you shortly.”

“You are also expected to be guided by existing regulations in your personal and professional conduct.

“I need to advise you that any act of disloyalty, disobedience to constituted authority, insubordination and other unprofessional conduct will attract appropriate sanctions,” he added.

The Nigerian Army School of Infantry has been a major facilitator and force multiplier in the fight against terrorism and other related crimes in the country, through effective training of security personnel, even from the Nigeria Police Force.

On the other hand, the security challenges in the country call for effective training and retraining of young military officers on contemporary counter-terrorism operations.

The graduating officers were trained on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations for onward deployment to the North-East and other troubled parts of the country.

They were trained in special warfare and counter-terrorism courses which lasted for six months and were also exposed to academic and field exercises such as tactical combat shooting.

Others are unarmed combat and water exercises, stop and search techniques on roadblocks and checkpoints, rescue missions, and identification of improvised explosive devices among others.

At the passing parade ceremony which marked the end of the training, the officers display a colourful march pass in both slow and quick time upon the arrival of the defence chief who doubled as the reviving officer for the parade.

Insurgency War: Defence Minister Calls For More Synergy Between Media, Military

File: Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali

 

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali has called for stronger collaborations between the security forces and the Nigerian media in the war against insurgency.

The minister, who made the call at a national conference on Civil-Military relations and the Media in Kaduna state, believes that, the ongoing fight against insurgency armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling, cannot succeed if the media continues to downplay the effort of the military in combating the insurgency.

READ ALSO: ‘We Are In Danger’, Obasanjo Laments Level Of Disunity In Nigeria

In his remarks, the Minister of Defence, expressed concerns that beyond the insurgency in the North East, security threats from kidnappers, cattle rustlers, and armed bandits are potential threats to the collective peace of the country, hence, he urged that every hand must be on deck to secure the country.

“Beyond the insurgency in the north east, kidnapping cattle rustling, farmers-herders clash and associated banditry has now threatened the peaceful existence of our country. This situation calls for effective collaboration with the media and increased inter-security agency collaboration particularly in areas of intelligence information sharing and other logistics in order to turn the tide against the criminal elements.”

“It is imperative for the media to be guarded by professional ethics, corporate social responsibility and related principles of responsible and developmental journalism. The media has a duty to exercise restraint about the content of reports on front-line situation in order to avoid feeding the public with graphic facts and sensitive info that may strengthen the enemy’s camp to the detriment of the legitimate authorities.

Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, who was also present at the event, highlighted that  the Armed Forces enjoys vibrant civil-military relations at the strategic level, but the situation is not the same at the operational levels.

He hoped that a strong partnership between the media and the military could be a potent weapon in defeating insurgency in the country.

“The military has intensified efforts to build bridges of understanding between itself and civil populace. This effort has led to the establishment of Civil-Military Affairs Directorate and Department in Defence Headquarters.

“While the structures will continue to serve as a pivot for formal interaction between military and the civil populace, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is open to other acceptable medium of engagement with the citizens in line with global best practice.”

“I wish to urge media practitioners to regard the military as partners in the defence of our citizens and then territorial integrity of our dear nation,” he urged.

Olonisakin Asks Military To Be Apolitical

Boko Haram video

 

The Chief of Defense Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin, has urged all military formations in the country to be apolitical.

The chief who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, Nuratu Batagarawa, said this on Monday at the passing out of over 1,000 new naval officers at the Nigerian Navy Training School, Onne, Rivers State.

He urged the men and women to be loyal and disciplined, adding that no officer should make themselves available to be used by self-seeking individuals.

The event was attended by the Chief of Naval Staff and other security chiefs in the state.

What We Discussed With Buhari – Chief Of Defence Staff

What We Discussed With Buhari – Chief Of Defence Staff

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, says the service chiefs briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on security issues in the country when they met with him on Tuesday.

General Olonisakin told State House correspondents shortly after the meeting in Abuja that though the recent happenings in the country were not strange to the President, the service chiefs were at the meeting to give him an update.

He said, “He (Buhari) has been receiving regular briefings from the Vice President (Yemi Osinbajo) and he has also been going through the print media and electronic media to follow the happenings in the country.”

“After the meeting, he has directed on some areas we should look at so as to enhance our operations in the country. He talked about the unity of the nation which is non-negotiable; we have all been fully instructed to ensure that that directive is carried out to the letter.”

President Buhari meets with service chiefs

On the alleged involvement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in secret service, Olonisakin said, “Every security threat, all security threats were treated one after the other – ranging from terrorism to kidnapping, herdsmen/farmers clash, to IPOB issue were all treated. Comments were made as to what to do as regards those issues.”

He said the President has directed the security agencies to ensure that all issues which pose threat to Nigeria’s unity and sovereignty were well addressed.

“Every security like I said, we are going to enhance our operations in all the areas we need to do that. Like I said, he has given the necessary directives which will be carried out by the military and the security agencies,” he added.

The Defence Chief said President Buhari also directed the military to ensure that the life and property of the citizens were protected.

He said the President also asked them to make sure that the whole nation is secured while troops stationed outside the country carry out their jobs effectively.

Olonisakin refuted claims that Boko Haram terrorists were regrouping and hinted that efforts were on to tackle the menace of suicide attacks in the North-East.

He said, “On the Boko Haram issue, you all know it’s an asymmetric warfare. It’s not that the Boko Haram terrorists have stepped up their games, it’s just the issue of the suicide bombing that has been the problem and of course, we’re also working with the security agencies and the intelligence agencies to make sure that we address that menace.”

Herdsmen Attacks: Olonisakin Assures Benue Residents Of Rehabilitation

Abayomi Olonisakin-Herdsmen-BenueThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, has assured residents of communities in Beneu State ravaged by herdsmen attacks that government will rehabilitate their homes and property.

General Olonisakin also promised the people of Agatu community and other local government areas affected by the attacks that government would rebuild destroyed public utilities in their areas.

The pledge was made by the Director of Communities, Defence Headquarters, Major General Edward Nze, who represented the Chief of Defence Staff at a fact finding visit to Agatu and other local government areas.

Speaking at Buruku and Tarka, where many lives were lost in the wake of herdsmen attacks on Benue communities, he noted that the visit was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive.

Major General Nze added that President Buhari had ordered that the perpetrators of the act must be sought out and destroyed.

In his reaction, the Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, urged the Federal Government to deal with this threat, which he described as ‘worse than the Boko Haram insurgency’.

“It is our belief that a very firm action should be taken, otherwise, we will run into a problem that is far worse than the Boko Haram.

“Therefore, the law should take its course and a very firm action should be taken to nip this in the bud,” he said.

African Standby Force: Nigerian Military Contingent Complete Training

Standby ForceThe second batch of the Nigerian military contingent to the African Union Standby Force have returned from training in South Africa.



The contingent comprising 41 soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Army, Navy and the Air Force arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport with assurance of a prepared African Union Force to combat insecurity in the continent.

According to Navy Commodore Uche Onyia who received the Nigerian contingent, the effort is to operationalize the African Union resolution of 2013 to establish a stand by African Union Force that will respond to security emergencies in the continent.

WATCH TROOPS’ ARRIVAL HERE

The idea behind the African Standby Force is to present a continent that is united in preventing and acting against conflicts and the plan moved a step further towards its realisation with the completion of the Amani Africa II combat training in South Africa.

Military, police and civilian personnel from the five regional economic blocs on the continent participated in the 3-week programme in South Africa.

South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, who was at the closing ceremony, commended the participants and the continent for moving forward with efforts to solve its own problems.

“This exercise demonstrates that Africa is serious about peace and that the continent is also serious about investing in peace,” he said.

The African Union Standby Force is supposed to be 25,000 men strong, requires about 1 billion US dollars to become functional and expectedly deployable within 14 days as against nine months in more global operations.

Nigeria, Algeria and Angola were commended for strategic airlift capabilities at short notice during Amani Africa II exercise and Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, also commended his men.

“Your participation in this exercise is highly commendable. So I want you to know that the President is happy with it,” he said to them.

He also told Channels Television in South Africa that the Director of the exercise is a retired Nigerian Major-General, an indication that “Nigeria is committed to the peace, stability and security of our continent”.

With Mali, Libya, Central African Republic, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria still facing security challenges, there would be expectations that the ASF could come in handy but the Defence Attache, Embassy of Niger, Col. Mamou Souley, said that this would still take some time as the different troops would need to develop better synergy.

Fashola Hosts Army Chief, Urges Military To Defend Nation’s Democracy

Fashola with COASLagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday charged the military in the country to always do everything possible to protect and nurture the nation’s budding democracy to enable it grow and benefit all Nigerians.

The Governor, who made the call while hosting the new Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant- General Kenneth Minimah, at the Lagos House, Marina, noted that it was the responsibility of the military to defend and support democracy to grow, once any society has moved to embrace it as its system of government.

“Across Europe before the institution of democracy, the military played a substantial role in governance, but once the society moves on, as we have moved on to embrace democracy, the military must do everything possible to sustain that democracy and must refrain from anything that will undermine that democracy, whether in the minds of the people or individually”, the Governor said.

Acknowledging that the nation’s military had done very well in this area as well as in the defence of the nation’s territorial integrity, Fashola noted that there were a few bad eggs that must not be allowed to destroy the good reputation of the military.

The Governor declared, “We know that the military has done very well; but like in every other institution, there is always a few bad eggs. They are in the minority and, as I always say, we must do everything possible to fish them out and put them where they belong.”

He congratulated the new Army boss on his elevation and noted that it has been the lot of every military officer who has had the privilege to serve in Lagos to be elevated as soon as he or she is moved from the state as was the case of the last two General Officers Commanding (GOCs) who moved from the state.

The Governor ascribed this to a rub-off effect of the state as ‘Centre of Excellence’ saying, “As the Centre of Excellence, I do not think anybody should expect anything less from those who served here because of the multi-national family that you interact with here and the experience that it brings. The challenges, of course, are many”.

He prayed that the new Army boss and his officers and men would find the needed inspiration as they continue to tackle the insecurity challenges facing the nation and, expressed the hope that the Military would also take all measures to secure the territorial integrity of the country.

“Let me lend my voice of inspiration as you and your officers and men respond to the national insecurity challenges that we face as a nation and we hope also that you will take all the measures that you need to secure the territorial integrity of the country”, he said.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Chief of Army Staff said that he was in Lagos as part of his tour of the Army formations under his command across the country, adding that the courtesy visit was a routine one normally made to Chief Executives of states where he visits before undertaking the tour of the formation in any state.

Thanking the Governor for rescheduling his travel for lesser Haddj in order to receive him, Lt. Gen. Minimah expressed delight at meeting the Governor and promised to do his utmost during his tenure to uphold democracy and defend the territorial integrity of the nation.

Also present at the occasion were the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba; his Transportation counterpart, Mr. Kayode Opeifa and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Major Tunde Panox (Rtd) while the Chief of Army Staff was accompanied by other top Military officers including, Major-General Patrick Akeu, Major-General Letam Wiwa, Major-General  Abayomi Olonisakin, Major-General Temi Dibi, Colonel Solomon Udounwa, Lt. Col. A.M. Inuwa and Lt. Col. S.M. Uba.