Buratai Blames Locals For Attacks On Military Locations In The Northeast

Tukur Buratai

 

Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has recanted comments credited to him in which he allegedly blamed the recent setbacks in counter-insurgency operations on lack of commitment by soldiers fighting in the northeast.

Buratai has now shifted the blame on locals who withhold important information from the army giving the insurgents an easy ride during their raids.

Buratai made the clarification at the Borno state Government House Maiduguri, during a joint press conference with the state Governor Prof. Babagana Umara.

The COAS who insists he was quoted out of context further explains that “counterinsurgency is a complex and fluid operation” as according to him you are dealing with an enemy that you do not see.

“He is not wearing a uniform like our troops, they mix together with the population and they move together all over unless you can identify them as criminals then you’ll be able to deal rapidly with them but as long as they are not visible they easily mix.

READ ALSO: Army Arrest Top Bandits’ Informant, Logistics Suppliers In Sokoto

“One major challenge is if the people don’t bring them out at the critical time that they are needed then we’ll continue to have this challenge and everybody will continue to suffer,” Buratai warned.

The Army Chief believes that “Boko Haram sneak into towns and villages and members of the community see them, especially where troops are deployed: they do surveillance, they look at the troops how they are deployed, their activities and these people in the community see the strange faces; they hardly report until when they now go back and call their members and ransack and attack troops in their location and cart away food and other items from the communities.”

He, therefore, urged that the war should be seen as a collective responsibility not an exclusive reserve of the military.

He assured that the army is committed to defending the country and will continue to train and retrain personnel reminding them to uphold the tenets of the profession.

“We never doubt the loyalty and commitment of our troops but if we have setbacks and challenges we must address them appropriately and we must caution our troops.” Buratai maintained.

Politicians Planning To Bomb And Disrupt Governorship Elections – Buratai

 

Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai says the army has uncovered plots by some politicians seeking to disrupt the forthcoming elections with violence, including bombing some areas. 

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) made the revelation on Wednesday, during a meeting with Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), General Officers Commanding (GOC), Operational Commanders and Directors of the military at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.

He said, “Recent security threat assessment and analysis of the coming elections showed that politicians have made plans to use all means available to truncate the peaceful conduct of the elections.

“There are indications of their intent to take advantage of and to use the farmers/herders crisis, armed political thugs and ethnic militias to perpetrate acts of violence including bombings.

“Some of them also intend to infiltrate domestic staff of political opponents, employ mercenaries to carry out acts of assassinations, use the social media for smear campaigns, hate speeches and spread fake news in a bid to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the elections.

General Buratai, however, noted that the army is well prepared and has set operations in place to ensure that the plans of the deviant politicians will not come to fruition.

READ ALSO: Army Vows Tough Action Against Perpetrators Of Electoral Violence

Below is the Chief Of Army Staff’s full statement.

“OPENING REMARKS BY THE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF LT GEN TY BURATAI NAM OMM (BR) GSS psc(+) ndc (BD) FCMH FNHAM BA (Hons) MA MPhil AT THE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF MEETING WITH PRINCIPAL STAFF OFFICERS GENERAL OFFICERS COMMANDING OPERATIONAL COMMANDERS AND DIRECTORS HELD AT ARMY HEADQUARTERS CONFERENCE ROOM ON 6 MAR 19

Once again let me welcome you all to another expanded weekly meeting as done 2 weeks ago. I want to use this opportunity to congratulate you all for the professional manner in which you executed my directives for Operation SAFE CONDUCT. The proactive intervention of NA in the recently concluded Presidential and National Assembly Elections contributed greatly to its successful conduct and credibility. I am glad to note that both international and local observers and indeed the Nigeria print and electronic media applauded the professional role played by the Nigerian Army in ensuring that a secure and conducive environment was created for eligible voters to exercise their civic rights. Unfortunately, some level of violence was still recorded leading to disruption of polls, burning of ballot boxes in some areas as well as loss of lives, including the death of an officer and 3 soldiers. The Nigerian Army to a larger extent ensured that the large scale electoral malpractices and acts of thuggery aimed at disenfranchising voters as witnessed in previous elections were curbed despite the campaign of calumny orchestrated by some politicians against us.

Overall, I am delighted to note that the first phase of Operation SAFE CONDUCT was a huge success. Despite the bomb explosion in some parts of Maiduguri and attack in Geidam, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE were able to decisively defeat the attacks and secured the area for a successful conduct of elections. We must therefore consolidate on this success and prepare adequately for the second phase of the election by reviewing our plans with a view to correcting observed lapses a peaceful poll that will reflect the wishes of Nigerians that have the right to determine those that govern them.

Recent security threat assessment and analysis of the coming elections showed that politicians have made plans to use all means available to truncate the peaceful conduct of the elections. There are indications of their intent to take advantage of and to use the farmers/herders crisis, armed political thugs and ethnic militias to perpetrate acts of violence including bombings. Some of them also intend to infiltrate domestic staff of political opponents, employ mercenaries to carry out acts of assassinations, use the social media for smear campaigns, hate speeches and spread fake news in a bid to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the elections. We must not allow them succeed.

Let me reiterate that the NA will enforce all guidelines in support of the Nigeria Police Force to ensure the peaceful conduct of the elections in line with its constitutional roles. I therefore want to remind us all not to rest on our oars. We shall not allow those who are determined to undermine our electoral process to succeed. These forthcoming gubernatorial and state assembly elections are very crucial. This is an election that touches on the interest of the people at the grassroots and could likely be volatile in nature. It is important to reiterate that politicians will employ and deploy all means to outwit each other to gain control of power at this level. We may recall that in the recently concluded polls, some politicians in their quest for power, armed thugs and miscreants with automatic weapons; induced and coerced youth corpers and INEC ad-hoc staff to perpetrate acts of electoral malpractices. We must therefore continue to support the NPF and other security agencies to prevent these malpractices from occurring again. I therefore urge all commanders to work assiduously and closely with the civil authorities and all law abiding individuals as well as groups to ensure the success of the forthcoming elections.

During the course of the recently concluded elections, troops of the Nigerian Army were able to make arrests of persons who perpetrated acts of electoral offences. These suspects are to be immediately handover to the police for prosecution. I want to state and categorically warn that the Nigerian Army will not tolerate any acts that will undermine national security. This time around we shall be tough on those who plan to rig or disrupt the electoral process. I therefore want to appeal to Nigerian youths to shun any attempt by any politician to use them to perpetrate any form of violence. As we mourn the death of the young officer and soldiers killed on the course of their lawful duty during the recently held election, I want to assure their families that their death will not be in vain. In line with the tradition of the Nigerian Army they will be given heroic burial as they are indeed the heroes of our democracy. I have directed that their full entitlements be paid. Let no one be in doubt that those desperate politicians and criminals that attacked our troops in the course of carrying out their legitimate duties will be tracked down and brought to justice.

We have all seen the advantages of the NA Situation Room for Elections Security Monitoring. This laudable innovation to security monitoring has received accolades from different quarters and already promoting inter-agency cooperation. There is no doubt it assisted us in timely decision making and more timely response to situations. I want to urge all commanders to further key into the platform. As we take decisions and respond, we must have at the back of our mind that the army must remain professional and apolitical all through the electoral process.

There have been reports of alleged compromises by some personnel during the elections. We have received complaints from some stakeholders, major political parties, Governors of Bayelsa, Oyo and Ogun States of allegation of misconduct as well as unprofessional conduct by some of our personnel. Unfortunately some other states have gone to the press with unsubstantiated allegation without resort to the NA leadership. Nonetheless, all these complaints are noted and will be addressed appropriately. A high powered committee had been convened and instituted to investigate all cases of alleged misconduct by troops arising from the 2019 General Elections. This is aimed at ensuring that all cases are thoroughly looked into for the purpose of dispensation of justice and to uphold Nigerian Army’s credibility, professionalism, and apolitical stand.

Once again let me reiterate my charge to you concerning this election:

Commanders must be vigilant to ensure that cases of infiltrations to scare off voters are not allowed.

Hobnobbing and fraternization with politicians during this election period is totally prohibited.

Commanders must ensure robust and extensive patrols are carried out to cover all flash points; enforce the no movement restrictions and carry out thorough searches of vehicles and persons.

Commanders must deal decisively with any electoral crime or action such as electoral thuggery, snatching of ballot boxes, illegal possession of electoral materials and firearms as well as other crimes that would mar the smooth conduct of the election.

There must be no military escort for any politician or retired military personnel until after the elections.

Commanders must ensure that no retired military officer is allowed to use Service weapons hitherto authorised for their personal safety during the period of the election.

Commanders must ensure that troops remain on the ground to counter and deal ruthlessly with any post-election violence.

Commanders must work in conjunction with the police and other security agencies to dominate the environment to forestall any form of violence.

Commanders must maintain force protect and respond decisively to prevent any surprise attack on troops of Operation SAFE CONDUCT and eligible voters by armed militia groups or political thugs.

Commanders must act according to the Rules of Engagement and within the code of conduct as well as have respect for fundamental human rights in the performance of their assigned roles.

Commanders must not take any unlawful orders from any politician no matter how highly placed that will jeopardize the apolitical stand of the Nigerian Army.

Commanders must ensure troops under their command remain apolitical, neutral and should deal ruthlessly with electoral lawbreakers as well as avoid compromise with any politician and political party.

Finally, I want to seize this opportunity to thank all well-meaning Nigerians for their support to the Nigerian Army. Our Situation Room and hotline contact numbers are open for timely passage of information. We urge them to take advantage of the facilities. I want to assure Nigerians that we are more than committed to ensuring the successful conduct of the election. In the words of Sun Tzu I quote “The general is the safeguard of the state. If the safeguard is flawed, the State is surely weak”. The Nigerian Army must, therefore, work to keep the promise to our nation and make it strong by ensuring that the election is free of all forms of violence. We must, therefore, strive to make a difference. On this note, I want to also most sincerely thank His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, for giving the Nigerian Army the opportunity to exercise its constitutional role without any bias or interference. We must, therefore, remain totally committed to the defence of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I wish you all a successful conduct of Operation SAFE CONDUCT and a violence-free election.

Thank you all and God bless.”

General Elections: No Military Escorts For Politicians, Says Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said that there would be no military escorts for politicians especially retired military officers during the general elections.

He directed Commanders to ensure the restrictions of movement within their commands and also carry out a stop and search, anyone found culpable should be handed over to the police.

The Army Chief stated this at a meeting with principal officers and commanders of the Nigerian Army.

He said the Army is taking a proactive approach to stop election crimes such as ballot box snatching and violence.

He further directed Commanders to deal decisively with anyone caught doing anything that will be inimical to the success of the election.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier ordered security operatives to “deal ruthlessly” with anyone who attempts to snatch ballot box during the rescheduled general elections on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

READ ALSOBuhari Orders Security Agencies ‘To Be Ruthless’ With Ballot Box Snatchers

The President said he had ordered security agencies to prepare to crack down on potential trouble makers during the rescheduled elections.

He said that he had briefed the law enforcement agencies and the military, who have identified the hot spots and flashpoints.

Gen. Buratai, however, warned that should any officer have any doubt as to his or her loyalty to the Nigerian state such a person has until February 22, 2019, to resign.

‘How We Spent Funds For Military Operations’, Buratai Replies SERAP, EiE, BudgIT

 

Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has responded to the joint Freedom of Information request by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE), and BudgIT requesting him to use his “good offices and leadership position to provide information on spending on military operations across the country, particularly in the Northeast.”

This development was disclosed today in a statement on behalf of the civil society groups by SERAP senior legal adviser Bamisope Adeyanju.

According to her, “the bulky photographic and textual documentation with a cover letter dated 24 December 2018 was delivered to SERAP’s office last Friday by a military officer at around 11:40am.”

The letter with reference number AHQDCMA/G4/100/4 and signed on Mr Buratai’s behalf by Brigadier-General S.B. Kumapayi read in part: “The Nigerian Army (NA) has in recent time come under unrelenting public scrutiny by both private individuals and Non-governmental organizations over issues of appropriation of funds. The most recent being a call from your organization for the Nigerian Army to explain how funds appropriated for the NA under the administration of the Chief of Army Staff were utilized.”

“In view of the above, I am directed to forward the above-mentioned document to your office for your perusal and retention. Please accept the esteemed regards and assurance of the Chief of Army Staff.”

Bamisope Adeyanju, on behalf of the civil society groups, said: “This is a joint FOI request involving EiE and BudgIT and not just SERAP. Therefore, our groups will carefully study the letter and documentation by Mr Buratai to see if details of the information provided meet the requirements of our request and then promptly respond to him, as appropriate.”

READ ALSO: Army Arrests Wanted Boko Haram Terrorist In Borno State

“While we ascertain the level of compliance of the information provided, we welcome Mr Buratai’s demonstrated commitment to the Freedom of Information Act by responding to our request, especially at a time when high-ranking government officials including the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbeh and Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola continue to exhibit blatant disregard for FOI requests by refusing to even acknowledge several of such requests.”

“The National Assembly, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), ministries, agencies and departments should also learn from the good example shown by Mr Buratai by at least honouring and responding to FOI requests from Nigerians, NGOs and others if they are ever to contribute to the efforts to achieve greater level of transparency and accountability in Nigeria.”

According to SERAP, “a quick look at the documentation shows a list of several projects reportedly implemented by the Nigerian Army. Among those listed and displayed, which appeared to show certain projects the Nigerian Army said it carried out with budgeted funds, include: places where operations were carried out; renovation of barracks and military hospitals, spending to honour late soldiers; trainings and workshops; repairs of some old military equipment; and completion of offices and housing projects. Others are feeding of soldiers; building of new barracks and schools; acquisition of arms and ammunition and vehicles for military operations; as well as provision of welfare for soldiers.”

It would be recalled that SERAP, EiE and BudgIT had in a joint FOI request asked Mr Buratai to use his good offices and leadership position to “urgently provide information on the 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army, including the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the various operations the Army carried out.”

The groups also urged Mr Buratai to furnish them with “the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for: Operation Lafiya Dole, Operation Safe Haven, Operation Python Dance, Operation Ruwan Wuta, Operation Delta Safe, Operation Mesa, Operation Harbin Kunama, Operation Awatse, Operation Tsera Teku and Operation Crocodile Smile.”

The FOI request sent December 2018 and signed by Bamisope Adeyanju of SERAP, Seun Akinyemi of EiE and Atiku Samuel of BudgIT, read in part: “Transparency of the budget process and its implementation is an essential condition to achieve good governance. The reports, if provided and published, will shed light on military spending and put to rest once and for all the perceived lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of military budgets, which has been a subject of intense public debate and concern.”

“If the requested information is not provided within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, our organizations shall take all appropriate legal action under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.”

“Several billions of naira allocated to the military to defend the country and protect its people have neither contributed to improving the ability of Nigerian soldiers to fight Boko Haram and other armed groups nor provided the much-needed security especially for Nigerians in the North-east of the country.”

“The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act. The information requested for, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, would serve the national interest, public welfare, public interest and peace, human rights, good governance, transparency and accountability.”

“By virtue of Section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, we are entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army, and the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the various operations listed, which have yielded no tangible result.”

“Also, by virtue of Section 4(a) of the FOI Act, when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or agency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within 7 days after the application is received.”

‘Victory Is Near’: Buratai Commends Troops For Dislodging Boko Haram From Baga

The Army announced on Thursday that, through its newly formed Nigerian Army Special Forces Command (NASFC), “given the terrorists that attacked troops location in Baga a bloody nose”.

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, has showered praises on soldiers for dislodging terrorists from Baga and some other areas in Borno State.

Buratai’s statement followed the announcement by the army that troops had killed several insurgents and displaced them from Baga and other places such as Cross Kauwa, Zare and Gudumbali.

“I am very delighted to receive the good news of your triumphant entry, clearing of the strategic town of Baga and neutralising the Boko Haram terrorists that tested our might some days back,” Buratai said in the statement, dated January 10.

“Your efforts and open display of gallantry, as well as patriotism that brought about this unprecedented feat, gladdened my heart, all Nigerians and indeed, peace-loving people around the world. I am very proud of you all.”

READ ALSO: Troops Dislodge Boko Haram From Baga, Other Areas

The Chief of Army Staff also commended the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General BA Akinroluyo and Major General MG Alli who is the Commander of the newly created Nigerian Army Special Forces Command, a command he described as game-changing.

While commending the troops for their gallantry, Buratai urged them to consolidate on the progress made by relentlessly pursuing fleeing terrorists, and assured them that the authorities would play their part in the war against terror.

He said, “I would like to enjoin you to consolidate on these gains by continuous pursuit of these criminal terrorists and neutralise them to eternity. You should be more proactive and continue with the clearance operations on any known Boko Haram terrorists’ hideouts in your respective areas of responsibilities. The Nigerian Army will continue to provide all the needed support to ensure that you succeed in this noble task.

“I have directed for more replenishment and special welfare packages for you all which will be made known by your various Commanders. I want you to invoke the spirit of courage and bravery that the Nigerian military is noted for, the world over. Victory is very near. Definitely, you are the ones that will make it nearer and sweeter.”

In the last days of 2018, terrorists had launched an attack on Baga in Borno State starting a battle that lasted for days and prompting the military to start a major operation involving aerial bombardment of terrorist locations on December 28.

The operations had started in Zare, Gudumbali, Kukawa, and Cross Kauwa all in Borno.

SERAP, EiE, BudgIT Ask Buratai To Account For Money Spent Fighting Boko Haram, Others

Army To Be Self-Reliant In Combat Vehicle Production By 2025
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE), and BudgIT have demanded details of spending on Operation Lafiya Dole and Operation Crocodile smile from the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai.

To ensure their demand is met, the three groups have sent a joint Freedom of Information request to the army chief.

Specifically, they want General Buratai to “urgently provide information on the 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army”.

The information demanded includes “the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in the fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017 for various operations the army carried out”.

All three civil society organisations disclosed their demands in a joint statement on Sunday. The statement was signed by Bamisope Adeyanju for SERAP, Seun Akinyemi for EiE Nigeria, and Atiku Samuel for BudgIT.

Other army operations for which they demanded information on the amount released and expended in 2015, 2016 and 2017 are Operation Safe Haven, Operation Python Dance, Operation Ruwan Wuta, Operation Delta Safe, Operation Mesa, Operation Harbin Kunama, Operation Awatse, and Operation Tsera Teku.

According to the statement, the FoI request was sent to the Army last week.
“Transparency of the budget process and its implementation is an essential condition to achieve good governance,” the groups said in defence of their request.

“The reports, if provided and published, will shed light on military spending and put to rest once and for all the perceived lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of military budgets, which has been a subject of intense public debate and concern.”

The groups intend to follow the FoI request up with legal action if it is not successful.

“If the requested information is not provided within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, our organizations shall take all appropriate legal action under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request,” they said.

As far as the groups are concerned, the funds allocated to the military have not yielded the desired results, hence the request.

They said, “Several billions of naira allocated to the military to defend the country and protect its people have neither contributed to improving the ability of Nigerian soldiers to fight Boko Haram and other armed groups nor provided the much-needed security especially for Nigerians in the North-east of the country.”

While they noted that the FoI Act exempted the disclosure of some classes of information, they stressed that they took that into consideration and stressed that in their request.

The FOI request read in part: “The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act.

“The information requested for, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, would serve the national interest, public welfare, public interest and peace, human rights, good governance, transparency and accountability.

“By virtue of Section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, we are entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army, and the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the various operations listed, which have yielded no tangible result.

“Also, by virtue of Section 4(a) of the FOI Act, when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or agency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within 7 days after the application is received.”

You Have What It Takes To Flush Out Remnants Of Terrorists, Buratai Tells Troops

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General T.Y. Buratai, says troops of the Nigerian Army deployed in the northeast have what it takes to flush out the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they are hibernating.

He added that the troops were deployed in the North East to fill in observed gaps and make a difference in the fight against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria.

According to a statement signed by the Director of Army Public Relations, Sani Kukasheka Usman, Buratai said this on Saturday while addressing Armed Forces Special Forces Battalion at their base in Borno State.

READ ALSO: Cross-Border Crimes: Interior Minister Asks NIS To Improve Service Delivery

Buratai also urged the troops to work together as a team, adding that the Nigerian Armed Forces have done a great job in the North East in terms of degrading the Boko Haram terrorists.

“The attained success must be consolidated as they are adequately equipped, trained and with superior tactics than the terrorists.

“Dominate everywhere in the theatre and deny the terrorists freedom of action and movement,” he said.

The Chief of Army Staff also paid a visit to Army Headquarters Strike Group.

Buratai’s visit to the troops is coming at the end of the Chief of Army Staff’s annual conference 2018 which was between 28-30th November 2018 in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.

Buratai’s Vehicle Involved In Accident

COAS’ official staff car which was involved in the accident

 

The official staff vehicle of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, was on Sunday involved in an accident at Jere town en route to Kaduna.

The staff car was in a convoy along with other vehicles when a lone civilian vehicle veered off its lane and rammed into the staff car.

Although the Army boss was not in the car, his ADC sustained minor injuries and has been evacuated to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

The driver of the civilian car that rammed into the convoy of the COAS is presently receiving medical attention at a Medical facility.

The case has been reported to Police and Investigation has commenced.

The Initial findings showed the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

See photos below:

 

Buratai, Others Attend Burial Of Murdered General Alkali

Remains of General Idris Alkali

 

The Chief of Army Staff, LT Gen Tukur Buratai has led Senior Officers and other dignitaries to the burial of the murdered General, Idris Alkali.

The Army held the Jana-Iza prayers for the late General at the National Mosque in Abuja.

The body of the General was found on October 31, 2018, after he was declared missing since September 3, 2018, on his way from Abuja to Bauchi en route Jos.

Following his reported disappearance, the Plateau State Police Command on October 25, declared the District Head of Dura Du Village in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State and seven others wanted.

See Photos Below:

Birnin Gwari Attacks: Military Vows To Track Down Perpetrators

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai addresses State House Correspondents on Thursday after briefing President Buhari on the nation’s security situation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

 

The Nigerian Army has vowed to track down the perpetrators of Birnin Gwari attacks that left at least seven dead and five others injured.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai said the army would collaborate with other security agencies in dislodging miscreant believed to be hiding.

Buratai stated this in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Thursday after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on the state of security in the country.

“We will continue to operate with other security agencies that have been charged with the responsibility of securing our country,” he said.

The COAS further expressed the optimism of the gradual return of the Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) to their respective communities.

He added, “And the deployment of the unit there is quite strategic. It is in line with the Nigerian Army Order of Battle that was approved in 2016 and we are going to implement all of them to achieve the strategic objectives of the government.

“That is essentially why we have to put the battalion there and they will work along with other security agencies and be rest assured that Operation Last Hold will further consolidate on the achievements so far in the North East.”

Buratai’s comments come less than 24 hours after reported attacks on the affected community in Kaduna State by armed bandits.

The attacks follow the COAS inauguration of a two Battalion Forward Operation Base (FOB) in the state to complement the efforts of the police.

The spokesman for the State Police Command, Muktar Aliyu, had told Channels Television on Wednesday that the armed bandits invaded Mashigi, Dakwaro, Sabon Gida villages and started shooting sporadically, burning down houses and farmlands in an operation which the residents said lasted for over three hours.

Hundreds of people including security operatives have been killed and several others abducted in Birnin-Gwari in the past one year in series of attacks by armed bandits.

These repeated attacks which seem unabated is now giving the residents of the area sleepless nights as they are worried about their safety.

Senate Summons Buratai, IGP Over Dapchi Schoolgirls’ Abduction

The Senate has summoned the Chief of Army Staff, LT General Tukur Buratai and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over the abduction of 101 secondary schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe state.

They are both expected to appear before the Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence as well as Police Affairs to brief lawmakers on the actual situation of the kidnap, and their strategies to rescue the girls.

The secondary school girls were abducted on February 19, 2018, from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, in Yobe State.

However, there has been several calls by the President Muhammadu Buhari, the United Nations and other arms of government for the unconditional release of the girls.

To this effort, the  Federal Government on Friday said it has extended the search for the girls.

Top military and security officials on traveled to the North-east to add more urgency to the search, which has now been extended beyond the North-east region.

READ ALSO: FG Extends Search For Dapchi Schoolgirls To Neighbouring Countries

This was revealed in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi.

The statement listed the officials to include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Army Staff; Lieutenant – General Tukur Buratai and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Alhaji Lawal Daura.

“They joined the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who had earlier relocated to the North-east, as well as the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, who has also visited the theatre,” Mohamed said in the statement.

Also, in order to supervise and coordinate the search for the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has relocated to Yobe State.

This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

READ ALSO: Dapchi Attack: Chief of Air Staff Has Relocated To Yobe – Lai Mohammed

He said Abubakar has relocated to the troubled community to “personally superintend the search for the girls.”

Mohammed in the statement said further that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had earlier deployed more platforms to the North east for the search, as the security agencies increase efforts to locate and rescue the girls.

However, the summon of the both men by the Senate followed a motion by Senator Biodun Olujimi in commemoration of 2018 International Women’s Day.

Buratai At Launch Of Operation Cat Race

Operation Cat Race, the military exercise aimed at curbing conflicts and other criminal activities in the north central is set to take off today in Benue state.

Ahead of the formal inauguration of the operation, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, has visited Governor Samuel Ortom at the Government House in Makurdi the state capital.