Army Lays To Rest Remains Of Officer, Two Soldiers Killed On Duty

 

The Nigerian Army on Tuesday laid to rest the remains of an officer and two soldiers who were killed while on clearance operations along Mauli-Borgozo axis on Monday, May 13. 

Prominent among those who were laid to rest was Lieutenant Colonel Yusuf Ibrahim Aminu who was the Commanding Officer (CO), of 154 Task Force Battalion Borgozo.

According to a statement by army spokesman, Colonel Sagir Musa, the officer was on a clearance operation along Mauli- Borgozo when his vehicle climbed on a buried Improvised Explosive Device which detonated resulting in losing his life and that of two other soldiers while others were wounded in action.

At the Maimalari Military Cantonment Cemetery in Maiduguri Borno State, where the funeral ceremony held, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commiserated with the family of the deceased.

READ ALSO: Buratai Blames Zamfara Violence, Others On Aggrieved Politicians

General Buratai used the opportunity to also commend the efforts of the entire troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the war on terror and charged them to remain steadfast, more committed and professional for the sake of Nigeria.

The COAS emphatically stated that Nigerian Army personnel, under his leadership, despite occasional hitches, – will never be deterred in the ongoing just war against terrorism in Nigeria.

While laying to rest the remains of the patriotic soldiers, Buratai said the sacrifices of all the deceased officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army is no doubt painful to all, but that will further ginger the serving gallant troops to do more to ensure that the nation remains secure and peaceful.

Present at the solemn occasion were the Chief of Training and Operations ‘Army’, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, Theatre Commander OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, Corp Commander Engineers, Major General John Malu, Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Brig Gen Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, Corps Commander Supply and Transport, Major General Victor Offiong, Principal Staff Officers from Army Headquarters, Theatre Command and HQ 7 Division amongst others.

Nigerian Army Clears Air On Whereabouts Of Zakzaky, Wife

Army_SpokesmanThe Nigerian Army on Wednesday said the the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife are not dead but in protective custody.

“I want you to understand that the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and his wife, Contrary to rumours going on is alive”, the Army Spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, said on Sunrise daily.

The Army Spokesman, however, noted that there “was no procession” by the Islamic group on Saturday and maintained that “around 2:30PM along Sokoto Road, just shortly by the railway clinic, a group of youths started springing up all over the place, coming from the PZ end and the Hussainiyya Bakiya, which is the spiritual headquarters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and started encircling the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

“We came down and pleaded with them and made them to see reason”, alleging that youths refused to pay heed to them and they started pelting stones (on the convoy of the COAS) and there were loud bangs here and there, so the people responsible for the safety and security of the Chief of Army Staff had to clear the way.

“They were burning tires, pelting stones and no amount of that could get them to do otherwise and insisted that they have done it to several other people and the Chief of Army Staff is not an exception”, he said.

He accused the Islamic movement of planning the attack, quoting the leader from an interview he granted the Hausa service of the BBC, Col. Usman said “he said they were hoisting a flag” adding that “this is the Federal Republic of Nigeria and there is no other flag that is sacred than the national flag.

“All these things were premeditated, they were planned. The reception party that went to SYS Dogarawa from Depot Nigerian Army passed the same place barely 20 minutes and there wasn’t anything.

“The arrival of the Chief of Army Staff was widely publicised and it was his they decided to ambush, for reasons known to them. So for anybody to think or say otherwise, it begs for more questions on that side”, he said.

He also mentioned instances in the past where the movement have acted in ways that have put residents of Zaria City and motorists that ply the Zaria-Kaduna and Zaria-Kano routes in discomfort and warned “anyone who is not ready to operate within the ambit of the Nigerian law” to be ready to face the consequences of his/her action.

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.

Army Begins Massive Recruitment To Curb Insecurity – Ihejirika

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, said the army has commenced massive recruitment to tackle the security challenge in the country.

Ihejirika said this while opening a five-day seminar organised by the army’s Department of Civil-Military Affairs at the 2 Div. Odogbo, Ibadan on Monday.

“I have commenced the recruitment of 9,000 persons in our various training institutions’’, Ihejirika said.

The COAS, represented by Maj. Gen. John Ewansiha, said the objective of the seminar was to foster better working relations with civil society organisations toward winning hearts and minds.

Ihejirika reiterated the intention of the army to train and retrain its officers in order to meet the security challenge of the country.

“Indeed, the Nigerian army is currently occupied with domestic challenges in several parts of the country, especially in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States’’, he said.

The Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Maj. Gen. Bola Koleoso, said the seminar was part of the quests to resolve the crisis currently facing the nation.

“As we all know, the civil society organisations stand for the defence of human rights everywhere as well as in crisis situations.

“The military aims at defeating insurgents as well as protecting law-abiding citizens’’, he said.

Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, who was the guest of honour, stressed the need for constant engagement and discussion between the civil and military public.

“The modus operandi of the military is force; obedience to order and immediacy of that obedience. The modus operandi of the civil public is persuasion and constant engagement, which takes time“, he said.

Ajimobi said the task of such relationship should thus be how to bring the two together to pursue same agenda for the democratic vision of the nation.

“The Nigerian civil public cannot afford to stand aloof from the military.

“Since independence, the military has fought wars toward the sustenance of Nigeria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“It has lost thousands of its men who are martyrs of the peace and nationhood we enjoy today.

“We cannot but support the military in its quest to protect the nation and her territorial borders’’, the governor said.

The theme of the seminar is: “Consolidating Civil Society Organisations/Military Relations for Improved National Security.’’

Army Chief Commends Use Of Police Dogs In Fight Against Terror

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Azubuike Ihejirika has commended the contribution of military police dogs in the fight against terrorism in the north eastern part of Nigeria.

Addressing top army officers at the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police Law Enforcement Seminar in Zaria, Kaduna state, north west Nigeria, General Ihejirika emphasized the need for officers to exhibit adequate professional knowledge and demonstrate high sense of discipline in order to confront the present security challenges, adding that the international recognition accorded the Nigerian Army as a highly disciplined force owes much to the quality of modern policing strategy of the corps.

Represented by the Commander Training and Doctrine Command, Major General Shehu Abdulkadir, the COAS disclosed that the employment of military police dogs has contributed immensely to the success recorded so far in military operations in the north east and urged the officers and men of the Nigerian Army to continue to place high premium on training and discipline especially in the face of the current security challenges.

Provost Marshal, Nigerian Army, Major General Raphael Isa said the law enforcement seminar was part of training for the officers of the corps to key into the chief of army staff’s vision of transforming the army into a better force able to meet the current security challenges.

He said the seminar would also assess the performance of its officers as it relates to the counter terrorist and counter-insurgency operations of the Nigerian Army and appealed to the COAS to upgrade the corps into a combat arms unit just like its counterparts in the United States.

Speakers at the event examined the major impediments to the performance of military police as well as the nature of its personnel and other soldiers.

This was to increase the understanding of the nature of policing in military setting and working with civil security agencies.

Since its inception, the Nigerian Army Military Police has been able to effectively carry out this role by collaborating with other security agencies towards enhancing collective performance in order to promote peace and security in the country.

Army Officers Demand Prosecutorial Power For Lawyers

The members of the Nigerian Armed Forces have asked that prosecutorial powers be given to lawyers among them in order to save the cost of procuring external solicitors.

At a training course on military law held in Lagos, one of the officers in attendance put the figure approved for payment to external solicitors at N153 million.

Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces, legal practitioners and some experts from the human rights sector gathered for a training on military law which was aimed at building the capacity and expanding the skills of the officers in the performance of their lawful duty.

The rights of military lawyers to appear in civilian courts especially on cases that concern them and their activities was extensively debated.

Men of the Nigerian Armed Forces are of the opinion that a lot of money will saved when the lawyers among them are given prosecutorial powers in court.

An officer at the event said the Chief of Army Staff recently approved the sum of N153m to pay external solicitors, an amount which could have been saved if the cases are assigned to the military lawyers.

Nigeria Army seek retirement age of 70years for its officers

The Nigerian Army has commenced the process of reviewing upward the retirement age for its officers to 70 years old.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika made the announcement at the commissioning of the Nigerian Army Transformation and Innovation Centre in Abuja.

Lieutenant General Ihejirika noted that the review is necessary for the army to save some experience and resources, which are being lost on the basis of regular retirement.

He enjoined the officers to be up and doing in the discharge of their duties because Nigerians look up to them for their security.

Speaking on the centre that was being commissioned, the Chief of Army Staff stated that the centre will serve as a think-tank for the Nigerian army security strategies.

The Army Transformation and Innovation Centre is a place designed to assist the army to strategize on how to combat contemporary challenges using latest innovations and strategy.

The army is hoping to engage retired officers in the centre and believes that if the retirement age of officers is increased, it will offer the force more experiences.

Explaining the reason the Nigerian Army must harness the resources in its old officers, the Chief of Army Transformation and Innovation; Major General Ibrahim Sani argued that judges in Nigeria have a mandatory 70 years retirement age and until recently, university lecturers have a similar retirement age.

The minimum age for enlisting into the Nigerian Armed Forces is put at 18 years old for voluntary service and at 55 years or after putting in 35 years of service according to the Federal Civil Service; public servants are expected to retire.

However, analysts view the plan for an upward review of the retirement age for the armed forces to 70 as needless.

In other countries, such as the United States, military officers are expected to put a minimum of 20 years of service and a maximum of 30 years, according to the department of defense directive. An officer can be enlisted in the force at the age of 17.

In Britain, officers are enlisted into the force at the age of 16 and are expected to put in at least 18 years of service.

In Africa, Ghana enlists officers at the age of 18 and retires officers at 50 years while in South Africa, officers stay in active service until they are 60 years and could be enlisted at the age of 18.

Deployment of soldiers to Edo causes commotion in House

A motion which seeks to recall the 3500 soldiers deployed to Edo state for this weekend’s governorship elections has divided lawmakers of the House of Representatives.

The motion was raised by opposition lawmaker Hon. Bimbo Daramola (ACN, Ekiti State), the bill sought to challenge the deployment of 3500 soldiers to Edo state for the forthcoming governorship elections in the state.

The matter appeared to have been settled only for the speaker to halt proceedings to admit to have made an error.

The motion, which came as a point of Constitutional Order, was defeated in a voice vote but the decision  was challenged by the House Minority Leader, Femi Gbajiamila and this led  to an apology by the speaker of the House, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal .

The speaker then ruled that a physical vote will be taken on the matter during plenary on Thursday. The vote will however be to determine if the motion should be considered or not.

A total of 3,500 soldiers have been deployed to ensure adequate security for the governorship election in Edo State.

Commander, 4 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. Obi Umahi said it was part of the decisions of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika, to make the election peaceful.

60 vehicles have also been taken to the state to aid movement of the soldiers who will be positioned in different locations during the election to curtail any breakdown of law, order and electioneering rules.

Brig.-Gen.Umahi said the patrol trucks would be distributed to various local governments and constituencies in the state.

Dogs to hunt for Boko Haram members

Members of Boko Haram sect are now to be hunted by military trained dogs with a specially trained squad.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika made this known  at a workshop on “Enhancing Military Professionalism in the Nigerian Army to Meet Contemporary Challenges,” in Kaduna state, on Tuesday at the One Division of the Nigerian Army.

The Army chief noted that  the Army would  train a special squad in the art of using dogs to fight Boko Haram, a fundamentalist group which has been staging violent insurgency against government and security establishments.

“I’m glad to inform you that our second batch of our trainees on the use of dogs in the fight against terrorism have just completed their training and will soon be launched to join you to further make your work easier” the COAS said.

While criticizing the failure of the military in engaging the sect members in battle, Ihejiraka urged officers of the Joint Military Task Force combating the fundamentalist group in the North to be “alive to their duties” as he charged the soldiers to consider themselves at war with the sect.

All soldiers must be combat ready at all times he said, adding that it is unacceptable for members of the Boko Haram sect to engage troops at checkpoints without much resistance.

Ihejirika said, “It is high time for you and your men to be in war mood to be able to deal with the current challenges. Otherwise, how do you explain that troops at checkpoint duty would be attacked by these decadence? And they sometimes do that and get away with it. This is an area you must work on.

“As you are out in the field at every point in time, make sure you are either conducting an operation or you are gathering intelligence. You must be doing any of the two at any point in time. If your area is too quiet, you have a reason to get worried.”

He also enjoined the need for Commanding Officers to be innovative in tackling the worsening state of insecurity across the country.

“We believe that how your troops performance is a direct reflection of the qualities of their Commanding Officers. That is why you are assembled here for the next four days to brainstorm on matters of service interest in order to improve and sharpen your professional skills.”

He however, commended the troops for the recent respite in what he called terrorist attacks in the North-West and North-East regions of the country.

He also hinted that the Army would inaugurate 14 speed boats to be used in checking militancy in Niger Delta, in a bid to stop what he described as terrorism in the entire country.