Anti-Terror War: Olonisakin Seeks Collaboration Among ECOWAS Member States

General Abayomi Olonishakin at the 39th Ordinary Meeting of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff


The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin has called for collaboration and intelligence gathering among members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the war against terrorism.

He made the call on Wednesday at the 39th Ordinary Meeting of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff at the regional body’s parliament in Abuja.

“The growing trend of local terrorist organisations affiliating with and receiving support from well known international terrorist organisations has also become very worrisome.

“In this regard, we need to intensify intelligence gathering, joint and combined operations to combat this menace,” he said.

READ ALSO: Troops Destroy Boko Haram Camps In Borno, Rescue Two Children, Women

The defence chief believes that tackling insecurity in Africa will require a new approach which will include not just land but maritime security.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Nuratu Batagarawa, said the Naval chiefs in attendance at the meeting would also strengthen the fight against maritime crimes.

“Attention will also be paid to security issues in the maritime domain. Accordingly, the Chief of Naval Staffs are attending and expected to make contributions on issues of maritime security and safety, fight against terrorism and status of small arms stockpile management in the region amongst other issues,” he stated.

The meeting is to assess the commitment of member countries to the resolutions of the 38th meeting and proffer solutions to collective regional security problems.

Budgetary Provisions ‘Cannot Adequately Fund Armed Forces’ – Chief Of Defence Staff

Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, says the annual budgetary provisions cannot fund the Armed Forces with its statutory responsibilities of safeguarding the nation.

Olonisakin made the statement when he received the Senate Committee on Defence during an operation review session on Tuesday at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

He said, “We have followed due process in implementing these projects some of which were completed in the year 2017. Budgetary provisions alone cannot adequately fund the requirements of the Armed Forces. Thus, alternative funding options need to be given serious consideration.”

READ ALSO: Saraki, Dogara, Others React To Murder Of Alex Badeh

The Defence Chief appealed to the National Assembly to formulate legislation that will address the funding challenge in the armed forces particularly at a time when the nation’s security architecture is under review by the presidency.

In response, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Abubakar Kyari, commended the Defence Headquarters in its role in fighting terrorism despite the funding challenges.

He said, “You are all aware that normal appropriation is not enough to sustain military operations especially the type that we have found ourselves in today.

“There is no doubt that the Defence Headquarters plays a crucial role in the coordination of the Armed Forces which has successfully sustained troops in the various operations across the country.

The appeal by the CDS comes during a period of intense engagement of the Armed Forces in the Lake Chad Basin just as other operations occupying various services continue in other parts of the country.

Buhari Meets With Service Chiefs Before Leaving On Vacation

Buhari Meets With Service Chiefs Before Leaving On VacationNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday held a meeting with his service chiefs behind closed doors at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

This was before proceeding on his ten-day vacation.

On his official Twitter handle, the President tweeted: “Before leaving I met with the Security Chiefs. We will continue to work to fulfill our promise to confront all security challenges head-on.”

The Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Olanishakin, who spoke to journalists, said that the meeting was to give the President an update on the movement of a stand-by troop to The Gambia.

The president has been a mediator in the political crisis in the West African country and the briefing lasted for about one hour.

Also speaking, presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, gave the assurance that there is nothing to worry about the President’s routine medical checkup while on his vacation.

The President himself also made it clear that there is nothing wrong with going on vacation, just before stepping into the presidential jet.

The President is expected to resume work on February 6, 2017.

While away, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, will perform the functions of the Office of the President.

Boko Haram Attacks ‘Operation Crack Down’ Troops At Izza

Boko HaramBoko Haram terrorists on Wednesday evening attacked Nigerian troops involved in the clearance and rescue operations in Sambisa forest nicknamed ‘Operation Crack Down’, while on harbour.

According to Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, the terrorists came in five Toyota Hilux vehicles mounted with Anti-Aircraft guns which they fired along with 81mm mortar.

The battle ready troops rose to the occasion and repelled the attack and pursued the terrorists as they withdrew in disarray towards the river line of Izza-Mainyakare axis.

The attack lasted for about 40 minutes without any casualty on Nigerian troops while an unconfirmed number of Boko Haram terrorists were killed. The troops recovered an 81mm mortar tube from the terrorists.

The Army says its troops have maintained highest level alertness and vigilance at the harbour area and they would further exploit and continue with the clearance operation.

Military Ready To Liberate Sambisa, CDS Olonisakin Says

SambisaThe Nigerian Army is presently conducting operations in the Sambisa forest to finally clear the area of insurgents.

Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, told journalists in Maiduguri, that the major clearance operation is already five days gone with remarkable success.

Olonisakin, who is meeting with the Chief of Army Staff as well as the Chief of Air Staff in the Military Command and Control Center also said that they were appraising the level of troops’ performance in the operation with a view to re-strategise.

“That operation is actually to clear Sambisa and that’s operation “Crack Down”. That’s the operation we are engaged in right now; the operation is on course.

“It’s five days gone now and the little issues that are being encountered by the troops would be addressed so that the momentum of the operation can be sustained,” he stated.

On the Chibok school girls still in captivity and the rescue plan, the CDS said, “Fundamentally there are five little operations within that big operation. Rescue operation is also one of the operations and anyone that has been abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists would be rescued in that operation including the Chibok girls if they are there.”

He pledged the Army’s determination to wipe out insurgents from the Sambisa forest and within Nigeria’s territories.

Recently ambushed General Officer Commanding, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Major General Victor Ezugwu, is on the fore of the latest onslaught on the Sambisa forest.

Defence Chief Promises To Rebuild Destroyed Public Utilities In Agatu

Agatu-IDPsThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has pledge to rebuild destroyed public utilities in Agatu and other local government areas affected by the herdsmen attacks in Benue State.

General Olonisakin made the pledge in Agatu while on a fact finding visit to communities and other local government areas like Buruku and Tarka where many lives were lost in the wake of the herdsmen attacks.

Represented by Major General Edward Nze and a crack military team, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) promised more deployment of both the Navy and Air Force to support the troops on ground to enable the locals take statistics of their losses.

The military team deployed by the CDS to investigate the three months long attacks on Benue communities at a meeting with the Deputy Governor of the State, Benson Abounu.

Mr Abounu, who did not hold back details of the attacks by the herdsmen, called on the Federal Government to tackle the security threat he described as worse than Boko Haram.

The CDS team visited Tarka and Buruku Local Government Areas in company of some government officials where 10 persons have so far been killed.

The Council Chairman, Gowin Iorsue, who received the team, also spoke on the attacks.

When the team arrived Agatu to investigate the herdsmen atrocities, they were confronted with rear humanitarian crisis, ruin and total despair.

The team leader, Major General  Nze, promised that the crisis would end and also pledged to ensure that the Federal Government included rehabilitation of the affected Benue communities, after meeting with the leadership of Agatu communities.

The CDS team is expected to submit a report of its finding on the herdsmen attacks on local farmers in Benue State, but survivors and victims left behind to face the harsh reality, need urgent help to move on with their lives.

Boko Haram Deadline: Army Chiefs Hold Critical Meeting

Boko Haram-armyNigerian Army Chiefs have met in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to strategise in a desperate attempt to meet up with the December 31 deadline set by President Muhammadu Buhari to stamp out Boko Haram in the northern part of Nigeria.

The meeting took place at the Military Command and Control Centre in Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonishakin; Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tukur Buratai, and the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Abubakar Yusha’u, were also present at the meeting.

The CDS expressed regret over the loss of lives recently recorded in the front lines. He described it as a setback to the operations, but expressed optimism owing to the successes so far recorded in the operations.

President Buhari had expressed confidence that Boko Haram’s ability to attack, seize, ravage and hold any Nigerian territory would be completely wiped out by the end of December 2015.

He said that the Nigerian Armed Forces are well positioned to meet the December deadline which they have been given to end the insurgency.

CDS, Service Chiefs Meet To Re-strategise Military Operations

CDS, Others Meet To Re-strategise Military OperationsThe Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, has met with top military officers to re-strategise the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

The CDS, in company with the Chiefs of Air and Naval Staff as well as other senior military officers converged on 97 Special Operation Group of the Nigerian Air Force on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

General Olonishakin told journalists that the service chiefs were meeting to re-strategise on military operations in the fight against terror.

The CDS expressed optimism that in spite of the recent resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in parts of the country and the recent explosions in Damaturu, Yobe State, the military is poised to meet President Buhari’s deadline to end insurgency by the end of the year.

The Nigerian Army also reiterated its willingness to continue to collaborate with the Republic of Korean Army in building capacity of its military for efficient performance.

Olonisakin condoled with families of seven soldiers who lost their lives during a gun battle with members of Boko Haram on Tuesday in Damaturu, Yobe State, promising that the military was on top of the situation to forestall any recurrence of the incident.

“The essence of our visit to Port Harcourt is to look at the operational readiness and preparedness of the troops and to see how we can enhance their performances. We are working on the December deadline by Mr. President. We are re-addressing our strategies to ensure we comply with the order.

“I must say that we sympathise with the families of those that have lost their loved ones in that incident. The military is on top of it to ensure that we checkmate such reoccurrences,” Olonisakin said.

Olonisakin was also at the 97 Special Operations Group, Airforce Base, Port Harcourt, with the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and other security chiefs, where he had a meeting with security personnel.

Buhari Submits Service Chiefs’ Names To Senate For Confirmation

service chiefs
L-R: The CDS, Maj Gen AG Olonisakin, COAS, Maj Gen Gen TY Buratai, CNS, R Adm IE Ibas and CAS, AVM SB Abubakar

President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate, requesting the upper chamber to screen and confirm the service chiefs.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at plenary, read the letter from President Buhari, naming the service chiefs to be screened and confirmed.

They are:

Major-General Abayomi Olonishakin – Chief Of Defence Staff

General T.Y. Buratai – Chief Of Army Staff

Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas – Chief Of Naval Staff

Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar – Chief Of Air Staff

The Senate has not fixed a date for the screening of the service chiefs.

New Chief Of Defence Staff, Other Service Chiefs Resume

service chiefs
L-R: The CDS, Maj Gen AG Olonisakin; COAS, Maj Gen Gen TY Buratai; CNS, R Adm IE Ibas and CAS, AVM SB Abubakar

The former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, has officially handed over to his successor, Major General Abayomi Olonisakin.

The handing over ceremony for the outgoing and incoming Chief of Defence Staff held on Tuesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The Defence Headquarters had earlier shared images from the event via its Twitter account.

Major-General Abayomi Olonishakin completed his resumption formality by receiving the Defence Flag from the outgoing CDS.Service Chiefs

Addressing a news conference after the hand over ceremony, the new Chief of Defence Staff said that it was time for the Nigerian military to re-double its efforts in curbing terrorism in the country, especially in the north east.

The new Defence Chief also stressed the need to strengthen the just relocated military command base in Maiduguri.

At a separate ceremony to hand over the leadership of the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy to their new leaders, the two service chiefs also identified security as top in their priorities.

While the Chief of Naval Staff stressed the need to step up the fight against crude oil theft, his counterpart at the Air Force promised prudent use of resources to motivate officers and men for the counter insurgency operations.

The change of batons by the Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and the new Chief of Defence Staff climaxes all the transfer of powers from the former service chiefs to their successors.

The new Chief of Army Staff, Major-General T.Y. Buratai, had resumed on Thursday, July 16.

The new service chiefs take over from the former military leaders who were relieved of their duties by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier in the month.

As it stands, all new service chiefs recently appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari have officially resumed their offices as leaders of their various services.

We Have Information On Chibok Girls – Chief Of Defence Staff

Alex Badeh CDSHope is not lost on the missing Chibok schoolgirls, as the Chief of Defence Staff on Monday assured Nigerians that the search was in progress.

Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh told some protesters at the Defense Headquarters in Abuja, that the military was, however, not using force to rescue the kidnapped girls.

He said that the military had information on the location of the girls but would tread softly to get the students out.

“If we go with force, what will happen, they will kill them. Nobody should come and say the Nigerian military does not know what it is doing.

“We know what we are doing; we can’t go and kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back”, he said.

Badeh further explained that the fight against the insurgents could not be likened to a full scale war.

“If we are fighting an external war, they would have been begging us to withdraw”, he said, adding that the Nigerian Military has shown its abilities in civil war situations, making reference to its role in restoring democracy in Liberia and Sierra-Leone.

He also referred to the war on terror as an unfortunate one for the country. “We are not happy at all, because we are killing our own kinsmen and we are killing mostly the youths.

“We cannot afford to eliminate our youths, who are we going to hand over Nigeria to, we can’t kill them.”

The CDS refused to give details of his statement that the military would not use force in its efforts to secure the release of the abducted girls but gave assurances that the war on terror would be won by the Nigerian military. “The President has empowered us to do the work”, he said.

On April 14 over 200 girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok Borno State by members of the Boko Haram.

While the Nigerian Government makes efforts to secure the release of the schoolgirls, the Boko Haram sect has continued to carry out deadly attacks in the northern part of the country.

An explosion ripped through a drinking centre in Kano, Northern Nigeria on Sunday, May 18 with the Police averting what could have been another devastating bomb blast in the ancient city a day after.

At least 76 persons were killed in two bomb blasts in the central area of Jos, the Plateau State capital on Tuesday, May 20, with another bomb blast on Saturday night along Bauchi road, close to a football viewing centre by University of Jos in which about three people died.

Your days are numbered, army chief tells terrorists

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, on Wednesday warned perpetrators of terrorist activities to have a rethink, warning that “nobody can bomb us into submission.”

Petinrin made this declaration at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja during the presentation of entitlement cheques to the Next of Kins of the military personnel killed in action in 2012.

He said in any country there are those whose stock in trade is to constitute a nuisance and use acts of intimidation to get power.
He, however, urged Nigerians, especially families of those who died in the line of duty while defending the territorial integrity of the country, to be resolute as “the days of trouble makers are numbered.”

“We must be resolute, not only we in the armed forces but our families and children must be as resolute as we are,” he said.
The CDS advised those harbouring ambitions of ruling the country to do so through the proper channels rather than through the back-door of violence.

“Nobody will bomb us into submission or kill us into submission. If you want to rule people you don’t rule them by killing, you rule them by appealing to them, by forming your party, and by running elections,” he said.