The Theatre Commander of the Army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi is calling for an army aviation to boost security operations in the North East.
Adeniyi who received a National Assembly Joint Committee on the Army operations on Thursday, told the lawmakers that if military imbedded helicopters are provided, the Boko Haram insurgency would be over in the next three months.
“The only thing that I know needs to be given to the army now is the Nigerian Army Aviation. There’s a way we’ll solve a problem it’ll change the game. Army needs combat helicopters to end Boko Haram war. If we have it, it will not be deployed like the Airforce assets,” he said.
“Airforce assets are for bigger strategic goals. The helicopters will sleep with us at the trench.
“They’ll stay in the frontlines, so the helicopters and the rifles and the tanks will be together. I know this has been on the table for years and when this is done, Nigeria can go to sleep and the Army will end Boko Haram in three months”.
Adeniyi further stressed that Boko Haram, is not a formidable force that the military cannot defeat.
Speaking with journalists after a closed door session with the Army, the Chairman Senate committee on the army operations, Senator Ali Ndume, said the visit would give the National Assembly better insight as deliberations on the budget for the 2020 fiscal year begins.
The Nigerian Armed Forces has deployed 57 officers and soldiers to Mali on a peacekeeping mission.
Drawn from the Army, Air Force and Navy, the troops are expected to depart Nigeria for Mali in a couple of days.
Addressing them on Friday during their passing out ceremony from the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State, the Commander of the Army Infantry Corps, Major General Stevenson Olabanji who represented the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, warned that the Nigerian Army will not tolerate any act of cowardice or professional negligence while carrying out their operations in the West African country.
He also advised the contingent to abide by the rules of engagement, exhibit braveness as professionals and to also respect the cultural sensitivity of the people of Mali.
Beyond that, he reminded them of the United Nations’ zero tolerance on drug trafficking and human rights abuse.
The Nigerian Army has accused a non-governmental organisation, Action Against Hunger (AAH), of aiding and abetting terrorists.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel, Ado Isa stated that the actions of the NGO persisted despite several warnings.
Consequently, the army declared persona non grata for aiding Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa by supplying them food and drugs despite several warnings from the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE (TC – OPLD).
Read the full statement below.
SABOTAGE OF THE COUNTER INSURGENCY OPERATIONS IN THE NORTHEAST
The Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE (TC – OPLD)) has observed with utter disappointment and concern the notorious activities of some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) working in the North East (NE) Nigeria.
The subversive and actions of the NGO Action Against Hunger (AAH) persisted despite several warnings to desist from aiding and abetting terrorists and their atrocities The TC – OPLD has on many occasions raised alarm over this unwholesome practices of some NGOs and expressed same position during meetings with the NGOs operating in the NE Theater of Operation.
Consequently, the AAH has been declared persona non grata for aiding Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa by supplying them food and drugs despite warning from the TC – OPLD.
The Command has obtained several credible intelligence indicating AAH as one of those NGOs operating in the NE that is notorious in supplying food and drugs to the criminals in the area.
Members of the public are enjoined to continue to give credible information on the activities of the marauders/criminals and their supporters in the NE Theatre of operation.
The OPLD wishes to assure the public of its resolve and determination to always partner with credible NGOs and CSOs to cushion the impact of humanitarian crisis generated by the criminals in the NE in line with the international best standards
ADO ISA Colonel Deputy Director Army Public Relations Operation LAFIYA DOLE 19 September 2019
The Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE (TC – OPLD)) says it has observed with utter disappointment and concern the alleged notorious activities of some Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) working in the North East (NE) Nigeria.
According to the army, one of such NGOs carrying out subversive actions is the NGO Action Against Hunger (AAH), a claim which the humanitarian agency boldly refutes.
The Force however, insists that the NGO has persisted despite several warnings to desist from aiding and abetting “terrorists and their atrocities”.
In a statement by the spokesman of Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Ado Isa, the TC-OPLD said it has on many occasions raised alarm over what it terms unwholesome practices of some NGOs and expressed same position during meetings with the NGOs operating in the North East Theater of Operation.
Colonel Ado Isa stated that consequently, the AAH has been declared persona nan grata for aiding Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa by supplying them food and drugs despite warning from the TC-OPLD.
He said that the command has obtained several credible intelligence indicating AAH as one of those NGOs operating in the NE that is notorious in supplying food and drugs to the criminals in the area.
The army spokesman urged members of the public to continue to give credible information on the activities of the marauders/criminals and their supporters in the North East Theatre of operation.
He assured that the OPLD remains resolved and determined to always partner with credible NGOs and CSOs to cushion the impact of humanitarian crisis generated by the criminals in the North East in line with the international best standards.
Rohingya Muslims remaining in Myanmar still face a “serious risk of genocide”, UN investigators said Monday, warning the repatriation of a million already driven from the country by the army remains “impossible”.
The fact-finding mission to Myanmar, set up by the Human Rights Council, last year branded the army operations in 2017 as “genocide” and called for the prosecution of top generals, including army chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Some 740,000 Rohingya fled burning villages, bringing accounts of murder, rape and torture over the border to sprawling refugee camps in Bangladesh, where survivors of previous waves of persecution already languished.
But in a damning report, the United Nations team said the 600,000 Rohingya still inside Myanmar’s Rakhine state remain in deteriorating and “deplorable” conditions.
“Myanmar continues to harbour genocidal intent and the Rohingya remain under serious risk of genocide,” the investigators said in their final report on Myanmar, due to be presented Tuesday in Geneva.
The country is “denying wrongdoing, destroying evidence, refusing to conduct effective investigations and clearing, razing, confiscating and building on land from which it displaced Rohingya”, it said.
Rohingya were living in “inhumane” conditions, the report continued, adding more than 40,000 structures had been destroyed in the 2017 crackdown.
The mission reiterated calls for the UN Security Council to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or to set up a tribunal, like for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
It said it had a confidential list of more than 100 names, including officials, suspected of being involved in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, in addition to the six generals named publicly last year.
The report also repeated calls for foreign governments and companies to sever all business ties with the military, urging a “moratorium” on investment and development assistance in Rakhine state.
The maligned Muslim community has long been subjected to tight movement restrictions, making it difficult or impossible to access healthcare, work and education.
The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and are accused of being illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.
The army justified the crackdown as a means of rooting out Rohingya insurgents.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal two years ago, but virtually no refugees have returned to date.
The investigators described conditions in Myanmar as “unsafe, unsustainable and impossible” for returns to take place.
Nearly 130,000 Rohingya have been trapped in camps in central Rakhine since a previous bout of violence seven years ago.
Described as “open-air prisons” by Amnesty International, people there remain reliant on humanitarian aid and are rarely granted permission to leave.
Those outside the camps fare little better, needing special authorisation — and often hefty bribes — to leave their village boundaries.
Their homes flattened by bulldozers and land commandeered, refugees in Bangladesh fear they will be subjected to the same, or even worse, treatment if they return to the processing camps built by Myanmar.
The UN team also accused the army of fresh “war crimes”, including forced labour and torture, against civilians in the north of Rakhine state.
The area has once again become embroiled in conflict as the military wages war on the Arakan Army (AA), rebels fighting for the rights of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.
Myanmar military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun rejected the team’s findings, calling them “one-sided”.
“Instead of making biased accusations, they should go onto the ground to see the reality,” Zaw Min Tun told AFP.
The UN investigators have never been granted permission to enter Myanmar or access Rakhine.
The team has handed its report to an investigative panel, which aims to build up evidence to support any future prosecution.
“The scandal of international inaction has to end,” mission expert Christopher Sidoti said.
“Unless the United Nations and the international community take effective action this time, this sad history is destined to be repeated.”
The meeting held a day after Channels Television reported that at least 20 soldiers of the Operation Lafiya Dole were missing while the bodies of nine others were recovered in Gudumbali town.
The soldiers were said to have been ambushed by the insurgents at a Granda village, engaging them overnight from Monday until the early hours of Tuesday this week.
Despite the recent attacks in parts of the North-East, Buratai insisted that the insurgents were criminals and called for the support of Nigerians to wipe them from the region.
The spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sagir Musa, read out the declaration of the army chief to waiting journalists at the end of the meeting.
He backed the new position of the army with the fact that the criminals “no longer pretend to be championing any cause other than the quest for materialism as manifested in murder and terror on hapless people.”
Musa, however, said the force was worried about what he called the increased propaganda and undue publicity given to the remnants of the “erstwhile Boko Haram terrorist group” by some individuals.
The worrisome development, according to him, has further boosted the image of the criminal gang as referring to the criminals as Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria amounts to encouraging terrorism.
The army spokesman called on Nigerians not to glorify them by calling them by any name other than criminals, rapists, kidnappers, armed robbers, and murderers.
Read the full statement issued by Musa below:
The Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has noted with great concern the increased propaganda and undue publicity given to the remnants of the erstwhile Boko Haram terrorist group by some people.
This worrisome development has further boosted the image of the criminal gang thus assuming larger than life status. He made the plea while visiting troops in the North East.
He, therefore, pointed out that it is wrong for any person to eulogise or support murderers, bandits and armed robbers that the known Boko Haram terrorist group has turned into.
Consequently, referring to such gang of criminals, bandits, insurgents such as Boko Haram Terrorists Group, JAS or ISWAP in Nigeria could amount to supporting or encouraging terrorism.
The Chief of Army Staff said that it is also important to note that the mode of operation of these elements, is pure criminality for personal gains.
It is common knowledge that the criminals no longer pretend to be championing any cause other than quest for materialism as manifested in murder and terror on hapless people.
He pleaded that as peace loving people, Nigerians should not be glorifying these criminals by calling them by any name other than “criminals,” “rapists,” “kidnappers”, “armed robbers” and “murderers.”
Unfortunately, many Nigerians are not aware that giving prominence to the criminal activities of the terrorist group through sensational headlines and fake news in both electronic and print media could also amount to tacit support to terrorism which violates the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011.
It is, therefore, important that all Nigerians rally round our gallant troops as they fight these criminals.
All should know that the support to the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the counter terrorism efforts would boost their morale and it will be highly appreciated.
The Nigerian Army is asking for the continued understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians and well-meaning people.
He further stated that all troops have been enjoined to henceforth go all out to deal decisively with these criminals.
They are nothing but bandits and armed robbers. Let’s support our military to ensure a secured Nigeria.
According to Colonel Musa, the patrol team came in contact with the terrorists and engaged them with heavy volume of fire that led to the death of “countless number” of the Boko Haram fighters.
He added that a few insurgents escaped with gunshot wounds, as a result of blood trails in the general area.
The Nigerian Army spokesperson disclosed that the gallant troops also recovered some weapons and equipment from the terrorists.
“Sadly, during the encounter, three of our gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while eight other soldiers sustained injuries.
“The bodies of the fallen heroes and those that sustained injuries have since been evacuated. The wounded are being treated and are in stable condition,” the statement said.
Musa stated that the troops remain highly motivated and have continued combing the general area with a view to clearing remnants of fleeing terrorists.
He also said the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, along with some principal staff officers from the Army Headquarters, Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole and other commanders, have visited the troops and those wounded in action.
The Nigerian Army says it has repelled a terrorist attack on two communities (Gubio and Magumeri) in Borno State.
According to a statement by the Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Ado Isa (Colonel), the terrorists had targeted the army who were deployed to the areas to enable them gain access to shops in the market so that they could loot food and other items.
The attack was, however, repelled by the troops and the terrorists were forced to withdraw from the town following a fierce gun battle.
In the process, some buildings and property were destroyed, while a vigilante lost his life.
“The Theatre Command wishes to state that the attack was targeted at Nigerian Army troops deployed in the areas to enable the terrorists to gain access to shops in the markets in the towns to loot food items and other logistics,” the statement read.
Isa also explained in the statement that “due to fierce fire exchange, the terrorists were forced to withdraw in disarray from the town, resulting to damages on buildings and property along their route of withdrawal.”
He said there was no casualty on the troops and no loss or damage of equipment as reported.
The army colonel noted that peace has since been restored in the communities with residents going about their lawful businesses.
He sought the support of the public for the military and other security agencies in the area of information sharing.
Isa also asked them to report suspicious movement in their communities to proactively deal with criminal activities.
Police in Ogun State has said that some soldiers from the Ikeja Cantonment in Lagos, played a role in the killing of some residents of Isheri Olofin on Sunday, August 13.
The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, CP Bashir Makama in a statement on Monday, said credible information at the disposal of the command has it that on the said date, Four (4) men of the Nigerian Army believed to be from Ikeja Cantonment and posted to Kara Market, left their beats and went to Isheri Olofin, a border town between Lagos and Ogun State where the indigenes of the town were celebrating their annual “Isheri Day”.
CP Makama further revealed that the soldiers, on getting there, had a minor disagreement with some youths which made the soldiers to start shooting sporadically into the air.
He adds that consequently, one Damilare Adelani was hit by bullets and he died on the spot.
The police spokesman went on to reveal that the ugly incident infuriated the people at the scene who in turn reacted violently against the soldiers leaving one of the soldiers and three other civilians injured.
He said the soldiers quickly took their injured colleague to a hospital (name withheld) where they met one of the injured civilians being attended to by a Medical Doctor on duty.
According to the police commissioner, a statement from the officials of the hospital reveals that the Soldiers ordered the doctor at gun-point, to leave the injured man and attend to their colleague.
They then dragged the patient out of the bed and subsequently stabbed him to death with a Bayonet attached to the muzzle of his rifle,” CP Makama said.
Following the emerging details of the incident, the Ogun State police command says a full-scale investigation into the “Isheri Day” shooting incident has been launched.
The command through CP Makama further notes that contact with the military authorities in Ogun State have been established and efforts are in place to ensure that those found wanting are brought to book.
Yekini added that the troops recovered five assorted weapons and 12 others at various stages of manufacturing from the suspects.
He identified one Saidu Mohammed, a suspected herdsman leading a gang of rustlers with over 2,000 stolen herds of cattle and the kidnapping of herdsmen for ransom in Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi and parts of the Federal Capital Territory.
According to the theater commander, one of Mohammed’s victims who broke loose during the exchange of a N2.5 million ransom, testified against the suspect said to have relocated to Nasarawa State.
He said two of the members of wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza, were arrested with the illegal weapon manufacturer who owns a factory with over 50 weapons sold out.