UN Security Council Meets With Osinbajo

UN Security Council Meets With OsinbajoNigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the visiting United Nations Security Council mission that steps are being taken to ensure that human rights culture is institutionalised in the Nigerian Military to avoid negative reports of human rights abuse.

Professor Osinbajo said this during a closed door meeting with the UN delegation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, noted that it was time for the international community to take another look at the international legal instruments and conventions that govern warfare and conflicts in the light of the unconventional and brutal operations of terrorists and insurgents around the world.

“We must, on a global scale look again at how to deal with these new challenges.

“We need to look at the governing conventions, as well as what type of legal categories and recognition of law we should give them.

“We need to re-examine how to deal with these individuals according to law,” the Acting President said in a statement issued on Monday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

He also assured the UN team that the Federal Government would progressively review the Rules of Engagement by the military and across the nation’s security system while taking human rights issues into consideration.

Professor Osinbajo added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Social Investment Programmes which include the Conditional Cash Transfer, the GEEP Micro Credit scheme and the N-Power job programme would cater to the developmental needs of the northeast.

He said “we are already disbursing the cash transfers in some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and host communities,” adding that the present administration was implementing a micro-credit scheme while using the Social Investment Programmes to resuscitate the local economies, including through the Anchor Borrowers’ plan for farmers.

The Acting President further urged the international community to support the Federal Government in the area of humanitarian response, describing the challenge as “massive”.

He hinted that the government was also in the process of passing a Northeast Development Commission bill that would deal with some of the long term developmental issues.

The Security Council members were led to the Presidential Villa by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Mathew Rycroft.

The team comprises of all the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council.

Speaking earlier at the meeting, Ambassador Rycroft praised the Nigerian Government for its handling of the humanitarian challenge in the Northeast.

He called for a long term developmental outlook in the region to address the issues of good governance, human rights, women’s participation, economic revival, education and jobs.

The delegation is leaving Nigeria with a pledge that the United Nations Security Council would play its role well in assisting the Nigerian Government to tackle the challenges in the conflict zones.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geofrey Onyeama, said the Federal Government is pleased with the tour of the northeast by the Council.

He assured the team that Nigeria would leverage on it to access all the funds needed for the rehabilitation of the IDPs in region.

The meeting was attended by some members of the Federal Executive Council and top government officials including the Minister of Defence, Major General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.

Others are the Minster of Budget and Planning, Udo Udoma; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubrin; the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin.

Presidency Refutes Story On Replacement Of Olonisakin, Ibas As Service Chiefs

counter terrorism, Olonisakin, ArmyThe Presidency in Nigeria has dismissed claims that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the replacement of Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as Service Chiefs.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Mr Femi Adesina, described the story it said was published by the Telegraph Newspaper as fictitious.

The statement read: “The newspaper, rather than rush to print an unsubstantiated story, would have done better to confirm the information at its disposal, from many available military and government information channels. It then would have avoided the self-inflicted wound of publishing a one-legged story that is not completely true, and damaging its brand in the process”.

The Presidency further explained that General Olonisakin would be retiring from the Army next week, having satisfied the official number of years in service.

“He is yet to be replaced. But the Chief of Naval Staff has a short while more, and President Buhari could, therefore, not have approved his replacement yet.

‘This administration has repeatedly pledged commitment to transparency and accountability, and one of the hallmarks of that is making information available to the media.

“But when some sections of the media would rather speculate, than cross-check and double check information, then it borders on deliberate mischief. That, surely, is not the way to go, for national cohesion and development,” the statement added.

Nigerian Army Releases Third List Of Suspected Boko Haram Members

counter terrorism, Olonisakin, ArmyThe Nigerian Army has released a list of the third batch of 55 persons, declared wanted for their supposed connection with Boko Haram.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, unveiled the list at the Military Command and Control Centre of Operation Lafiya Dole in the Seven Division Headquarters, Maiduguri in Borno State.

“With this launching of additional list of most wanted insurgents, it is hoped that the public will collaborate to identify the 55 wanted Boko Haram suspects. Wherever they are, I urge all of you to participate in tracking them down for the good and development of this country,” Olonisakin noted.

The Defence Chief, however, told Nigerians that the military had provided a soft landing platform for repentant Boko Haram fighters through its “Operation Safe Corridors”.

Also at the unveiling was the Chief Of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.

He told the gathering that since the release of the first list in 2015 many of the suspects had been arrested.

“It is very clear that Boko Haram has been defeated but to think otherwise is to encourage the terrorists to evolve, to get them to feel they are around with their wrong ideology,” Buratai stated.

He urged the people to provide useful information to the Military concerning the whereabouts of the wanted persons, promising that the information would be treated with utmost secrecy.

In all, 253 men have been declared wanted while the number of those arrested remains unspecified.

The list is coming at a time that suicide bombing is beginning to recur again in the northeast.

Six persons were killed few days ago in a suicide bomb attack in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, a state that use to be a stronghold of Boko Haram.

Military Intensifies Counter-terrorism Operation In Sambisa Forest

rescued women and children from boko haramCounter-insurgency operations are ongoing in the notorious Sambisa Forest in northeast Nigeria, to clear remaining Boko Haram terrorists in the area, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, said on Sunday.

He says the army is not relenting in its counter-insurgency war.

General Olonisakin gave the assurance during an operational visit to the Theatre Command and headquarters of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The Chief of Defence Staff told journalists in Maiduguri that even though the “Operation Safe Corridor” initiative was open for repentant insurgents to surrender, it would not in any way suspend operations.

“There’s always a room for them to surrender. We put up Operation Safe Corridor initiative to have them surrender. That is the corridor for them to surrender and that corridor is always open.

“However, we would not wait until they surrender. That is why the “Operation Crack Down” now leading to rescue finale is in place to ensure that we take over Sambisa, clear the Boko Haram terrorists in those places and make the place safe for development,” the Defence Chief stated.

During the visit, he inspected vehicles reconfigured by military technicians in the seven Division to give a boost to the counter insurgency operations.

Gun trucks, Operational vehicles and War battle tanks were some the vehicles remodelled by the transport battalion and now set for use.

Expressing delight with the military equipment, he said: “I commend the creative efforts of our troops because most of this vehicles have been re-roled. They were not manufactured for what they are doing but they have re-roled them for operational use.

“I want to commend their efforts and also the initiative of the Chief of Air Staff to encourage this troops to do this in the prosecution of this operation.

“These vehicles are quite important and necessary to get some of them out there. They are quite expensive but the ones here that have been reconfigured to do the same which would have been procured at a very expensive rate is really a commendable effort,” he added.

More efforts to flush out the terrorists are needed in the northeast, something a cleric said should be considered paramount to ensure that Internally Displaced Persons returning to their communities do not face renewed attacks.

The Primate of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh on Sunday called for more efforts from the Nigerian Army in protecting Nigerians living in the volatile north east.

Most Reverend Okoh believes that such intensity in checking the activities of the Boko Haram in the region would quench renewed attacks by the terrorist group.

Over two million persons have been displaced in the region, with UN agencies raising fears of death of children, nursing mothers and pregnant women due to malnutrition.

Counter Terrorism: CDS Says Terrorist Camp Is Weakened

counter terrorism, Olonisakin, ArmyThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, says the cooperation of neighbouring countries on the fringe of the Lake Chad Basin where the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in conjunction with the military waging war against the Boko Haram insurgents has weakened the base of the insurgents.

General Olonisakin said this while addressing journalists after assessing activities of the special task force, Operation Safe Haven in Jos, Plateau State.

He observed that the cooperation and synergy of the joint force has degraded the terrorists to the extent that they cannot carry out any strong offensive any more.

The recent attacks in the northeast where pockets of suicide bombings have been occurring is proof that the operational base of the terrorists has been weakened and dislodged, according to Olonisakin.

The Chief of Defence Staff urged troops to live up to expectation of keeping and maintaining the law and order which is the primary objective of the operations while it lasts.

The visit of the Chief of Defence Staff to the troops was another opportunity to give them assurances that their welfare and other logistics would receive more attention.

He expressed hope that the morale of the troops had been boosted for better performance.

Olonisakin Tasks Army On Contemporary Counter-terrorism Strategies

 counter terrorism, Olonisakin, ArmyThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has asked participants at the ongoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) conference to evolve new and contemporary counter terrorism strategies to combat insecurity in Nigeria.

General Olonisakin gave the directive on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the COAS conference holding in Makurdi, Benue State’s capital.

The conference was organised to review military counter terrorism approach and the operational competence of the Nigerian Army.

The Defence Chief also set new intelligence and operational targets for the army to meet before the next conference.

The COAS, Lieutenant General Tukur Burutai, consequently ordered a new phase of military training.

He said the training would enhance the capacity and operations of troops engaged in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists, militants in the Niger Delta and armed herdsmen.

On his part, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who was represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, thanked the Service Chiefs for defending the state.

He expressed delight that residents could now go about their lawful activities after they had suffered many security breaches by armed herdsmen.

Besides the review of military intelligence and counter-terrorism operations, the Service Chiefs also commissioned the NASME/ Host Community Link Bridge, the NASME Water Works and a free medical outreach for the public to ascertain their health status.

Defence Chief Advocates Stronger Military And Media Synergy

Defence Chief, Gabriel OlonisakinThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has called for a better synergy between the military and the media in the interest of national security.

General Olonisakin made the appeal on Thursday in Abuja while giving a speech on “constructive reportage as an important ingredient for national security and integration”.

He advocated more cordial relationship between the military and the media, as a panacea to building the bridge between the civilian populace and the military to strengthen national security.

The Defence Chief said that although the military and the media play different roles and may see things differently, all parties must be responsive to the overriding task of nation building and security.

He also touched on the ongoing war against terror in northeast Nigeria, which he said is being won, but requires more commitment from all Nigerians.

The Minister of Defence, Mr Mansur Dan-Ali, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Danjuma Sheni, also solicited for increased support for the military from the civil populace.

Terror Fight: Olonisakin Attributes Military Success To Leadership Change

Military, Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel OlonisakinThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, says that the change of leadership style by the current crop of military has contributed largely to the success of the fight against terrorism and internal aggression.

The Military Chief said this on Wednesday at a lecture series on military leadership at the National Defence College in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said that no amount of equipment or technological superiority would ensure military success against any form of aggression without effective leadership at the operational, strategic and tactical level of the military.

General Olonisakin noted that all military level must interact effectively if the war against both internal and external aggression is to be won.

He added that the military is also working on improving the welfare of personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces to sustain the new style of leadership.

Jordan Collaborates With Nigeria On Terrorism

Nigeria-Jordan-Collaborate-On-terrorismThe Republic of Jordan and Nigeria are exploring areas of collaboration to bring an end to the threats posed by the Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria’s northeast.

A delegation led by the Special Adviser to the King of Jordan on Political Affairs, Mr Manas Dabbas, were in Nigeria on Wednesday.

The delegation congratulated the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Nigerian Armed Forces for their persistence at reducing the activities of the Boko Haram Terrorists.

Jordan sought closer collaboration in the area of intelligence gathering, regional cooperation and capacity building to enhance total eradication of extremist groups in Africa.

Mr Dabbas stated that the world was experiencing serious security threats from assorted radical groups like Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda and Al Shabbab among others.

He called for combined efforts by affected countries to provide mechanisms to under study conflicts and crisis occasioned by terrorist organisations with the aim of defeating such terrorist groups.

The spokesman for His Royal Majesty King Abdullah II praised the efforts of the CDS in piloting the affairs of the Nigerian Armed Forces and promised his country’s commitment to assisting Nigeria in combating the threat posed by Boko Haram.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, thanked the Jordanian envoy for the visit and told the delegation about the operations of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the synergy between regional troops to degrade the Boko Haram terrorists.

The CDS solicited for cooperation in the area of training and provisions of counter Improved Explosive Devices (IEDs) and emphasised the need to interface with regional forces and security agencies to eliminate the threat of terrorism.

He was accompanied by some Principal Staff Officers from Defence Headquarters to receive the Jordanian delegation.

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.

Nigeria’s Defence Chief Visits Niger, Cameroun To Deepen Military Ties

CDS Olonisakin Defence ChiefNigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has sought ways of strengthening the existing bi-lateral cooperation between Nigeria, Niger Republic and Republic of Cameroun.

The Defence Chief made several requests during official trips to both countries.

In Niger Republic, General Olonisakin met with the President of the country, Mahamadou Issoufou and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Seyni Garba and discussions on issues that concern the two countries were highlighted.

General Olonisakin thanked the Niger President for the role his country was playing in counter-terrorism operations in Lake Chad Basin and the country’s role in the formation of Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

Nigeria’s CDS expressed delight that Boko Haram had been significantly decimated, a feat, he stressed, called for stronger ties between Nigeria and its neighbours to ensure that no safe haven was provided for the retreating Boko Haram terrorists in the sub-region.

A statement by the Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, said General Olonisakin solicited for improved intelligence gathering and sharing, air asset operations and counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) operations within the Lake Chad Basin countries and across ECOWAS States.

While in Cameroun, Nigeria’s CDS was received by the Camerounian Honourable Minister of Defence, Edgard Allain Mebe Ngo’o and the country’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Rene-Claude Meka where similar discussions, as in Niger Republic, were held.

One of the highlights of the discussion in Cameroun, however, was in the area of stronger cooperation in maritime environment, especially in the Gulf of Guinea, to tackle the incessant case of bunkering, oil theft and piracy. General Olonisakin has since returned to Nigeria.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, had on Thursday in Abuja said a Multinational Task Force would soon be established to patrol the waters of the Gulf of Guinea.

At a meeting with the French Minister of Defence, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, President Buhari said that patrols by the task force would augment and boost ongoing efforts to improve security in the Gulf, and curb crude oil theft and piracy.

Nigerian Army Floats First Fuel Service Station In Minna

Yusuf-Buratai-Army-ChiefThe Nigerian Army has commissioned its first mega fuel service station built by the Nigerian Army Properties Limited and located along Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe Road in Western Bypass, Minna.

At the opening ceremony held on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari commended the Nigerian armed Forces’ leadership for their commitment and zeal in tackling security issues across Nigeria.

He also applauded the successes of the Armed Forces in the counter-Insurgency Operations in the north eastern part of Nigeria while urging them to sustain the tempo.

The president was represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin.

He assured the military that his administration would continue to provide the much needed support to the Armed Forces for efficient service delivery and effective discharge of their responsibilities.

The Chief of Defence Staff stated that the noble relationship behind the establishment of the project was quite commendable and legendary, adding that it was part of the current efforts to reposition the Nigerian Army to meet with the contemporary realities.

He said that the establishment of the Nigerian Army Properties Limited projects had made the Service optimum utilisation of its human and material assets into profitable business ventures towards improving the welfare and well beings of the Nigerian Armed Forces at large and their families as well as the general populace.

He stressed that the Company could also afford the Nigerian Army the opportunity to effectively engage all the arms and services in their various areas of specialisations to enhance service delivery.

General Olonisakin also told the gathering that one of the few priorities of the Buhari’s administration was the enhancement of the capacity of the Armed Forces to discharge their duties effectively.

“I am therefore particularly glad that this project which is being commissioned today is a step in the right direction. I therefore congratulate the Nigerian Army for this giant stride which is in line with the policy direction of the present administration,” he stated.

The President’s representative further assured the military that the government would not relent in providing the much needed support to the Armed Forces for efficient service delivery and effective discharge of their responsibilities.

Also, in his remarks at the occasion, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, said the newly commissioned mega fuel service station was pacesetter in the current drive to reposition the Nigerian Army for contemporary realities.

He explained that the project was in line with his vision of having a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles, emphasising that the Service had also diversified attention into areas that would improve the welfare and well-being of the Nigerian Armed Forces personnel, their families and the civil populace.

He also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his continuous support and for standing solidly behind the Nigerian Armed Forces in combating the insecurity in the northeast.

Lt. Gen. Buratai also told the gathering that the Nigerian Armed Forces had made appreciable progress in the fight against terror and implored Nigerian Army personnel to continue to remain professionally responsive and loyal to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The fuel service station has four pumps for petrol and one each for Diesel and Kerosene including a Supermarket and a Mechanic Workshop.

It will operate a 24-hour service daily and the military plans to replicate the project in Enugu, Ibadan, Kaduna, Lagos, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt and Abuja among others.