COAS Celebrates Christmas With Troops At The War Theater

COAS Celebrates Christmas With Troops At The War TheaterThe Chief of Army Staff has celebrated Christmas with officers and men of the Nigeria Army prosecuting the war in the security threatened northeast states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

In Yobe state, the Military Head of Logistics, Major General Pat Akim, represented the Chief of Army Staff to military locations in Goneri and Buniyadi which are currently prosecuting the war in the state.

He reaffirmed to the troops that the highest military hierarchy and Nigerians appreciate their efforts at the war front and tasked them never to relent as the war would soon be won.

Major General Pat Akim, while at the two battalions was received at the quarter guards by officers and men of the battalions in line with military traditions.

He informed the troops that the war on terror would soon be over courtesy of their resilience, while he praised them for their doggedness in the fight, saying reports from Sambisa forest indicates that the final stronghold of the insurgents have fallen.

“We have just been informed that the strongest place the insurgents are currently claiming ownership (the Sambisa forest) has been captured.

“With this development, the insurgents cannot lay claim to any territory as we speak and all these are courtesy of your dogged efforts which we cannot compromise any longer.

“We are really happy and proud of your achievements and we will do everything possible to make your stay here in rounding off the war a huge success” he said.

Nigeria Army, he said is at the verge of winning the war and there would be no retreat no surrender in the battle until it is won. He then charged them never to take chances.

The Army general took time off to inspect equipment and facilities at the various battalions and praised their sacrifice and commitment to their fatherland.

He noted that the top officers’ decision to celebrate Christmas with them was to give them a sense of belonging and mark of appreciation for their patriotism.

The Commandant of the 27th Taskforce Brigade headquarters in Buniyadi, Brigadier General Emmanuel Ekwesi, thanked the military hierarchy for the initiative saying it would go a long way in boosting the morale of the troops who he said are focused on seeing that the insurgents are woefully defeated.

“This visit will in no small measure boost the morale of the troops who are in the theater of the war and let me at this point thank the COAS for the initiative which has given us a sense of belonging.

“Let me on behalf of the troops assure that we will not relent in anyway in prosecuting the war to its logical conclusion,” Brigadier Ekwesi said.

The troops held a camp fire night and other outdoor activities in observance of the Christmas celebration while troops of the Yobe State Council for Arts and Culture were on hand to add colour to the occasion.

 

Boko Haram Picked Wrong Fight With Wrong Enemy, Army Chief Says

Boko HaramThe Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, on Saturday reassured Nigerians that the army will take every necessary step to restore normalcy across the northeast.

He says the Boko Haram militants that have in the last seven years pushed for the establishment of an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the region ‘picked the wrong fight against the wrong enemy’.

The COAS gave the assurance in Goneri and Buniyadi, two prominent frontline locations the Nigerian Army is currently prosecuting the Boko Haram war in Yobe State.

Represented by the head of Logistics of the military headquarters, Major General Pat Akim, the Buratai said the army would work hard to defeat those undermining the nation’s security.

The highest military hierarchy had deplored very senior officers to celebrate the Christmas with troops fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, with the aim of giving them a sense of belonging while at the battle field.

Nowhere To Hide

The Chief of Army Staff, who tasked officers and men within the theater of the operation on putting an end to every form of terrorism in the region, also praised the soldiers for their gallantry, stressing that although the war is being won, they must stand firm in the fight until the militants are completely defeated.

“We are proud of you for sacrificing your sleep, leisure and working under the sun and in the rain to ensure that those undermining the nation’s security are taught lessons that will serve as deterrent to others.

“Let me seize this opportunity to call on Nigerians to appreciate the role being played by these gallant officers and men who are putting in their best by ensuring peace is maintained across the country so that their labours will never be in vain.

“We are sad that you are spending Christmas in trenches, that is why we are leaving the comfort of our homes to share with you this moments and I can assure you that everything will be done possible to ensure your welfares and logistics needs are taken care of.

“Don’t retreat and don’t give room for any laxity that you are winning the war despite the successes,” Buratai stressed

He assuresd them that more troops would be deployed to increase the manpower needs of the military formations across the theater of war.

The Army Chief’s statement came on the same day Nigeria’s presidency announced that the last Boko Haram Sambisa Forest bulwark had been cleared by troops fighting the terrorists.

President Muhammadu Buhari had said that the sect members have nowhere to hide and would be pursued until they were brought to justice.

Troops Rescue 801 Persons In Heightened Sambisa Forest Operations

Troops rescue children women in Sambisa forestTroops of the “Operation Rescue Finale” have rescued 801 persons in renewed operation to rescue remaining hostages and clear terrorists from the Sambisa Forest stronghold. 

The theatre commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, said since “Operation Rescue Finale” began on November 2, troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have continued to make progress into the heart of the forest.

Irabor made the statement on Wednesday in a live press conference in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

He said: “On 30th November 2016 the troops cleared Goneri before harbouring at Goni Kurmi. While at harbour at Goni Kurmi the troops were attacked by the Boko Haram terrorists with the hope of slowing down their push.

“The attack was successfully repelled with the Boko Haram terrorists suffering casualties. The troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, different calibres of ammunitions and magazines”.

According to him, the troops advanced and cleared all Boko Haram terrorists camps on their axis in the forest seen as their safe haven before harbouring at Amdaga on the first day.

He further explained that “at Amdaga the Boko Haram terrorists carried out a probing attack on the troops which was swiftly dealt with before the Boko Haram terrorists retreated.

“The following day, troops cleared and occupied Dure and have been operating in the general area to intercept fleeing Boko Haram terrorists”.

According to him, in all the operations between November 23 to December 5, a total of 801 persons were rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists.

Irabor warned the Boko Haram elements to give up their ignoble adventure, advising them to surrender to the military or other security agencies without further delay.

He said further cautioned that failure to surrender would be unpalatable for them.

Nigerian Army Honours Officers In Yobe

armyThe 27 Task Force Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Yobe State, north-east Nigeria, has honoured its officers and men for their gallantry in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.

At a ‘Medal Parade’ in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, all the officers and men involved in the operation “Zaman Lafiya” for a period of six months, were honoured with the medals.

Another category of the awards is the Nigerian Army Purple Heart Medal Award meant for those killed or injured while in active service.

At the ceremony in Damaturu, the State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, applauded the officers and men for giving their all, for the restoration of peace and stability in the troubled state.

‘Never Be Forgotten’

The Governor said the awards symbolise the expression of government’s gratitude and assurances that the sacrifices and services rendered to their fatherland shall ‘never be forgotten’.

Ibrahim Gaidam also said that apart from the proactive role his administration had been playing since the beginning of the insurgency, the provision of logistic support and giving wrap attention to welfare of officers and men would continue to receive the needed priority.

He said: “In addition to providing logistic support, we have been according priority attention to the welfare of the officers and men who prosecute the insurgency campaign through the provision of drugs to the brigade clinic, payment of allowances, payment of medical bills of those who sustained injuries and assistance to the families of our heroes who lost their lives while combating insurgency in the state”.

He paid glorious tribute to those killed in the various operations saying “they have not died in vain as their patriotic act will forever remain green in the memories of well-meaning Nigerians”.

The Army Spokesman of the 27 Brigade, Captain Eli Lazarus, while reading out the citation of “Operation Zaman Lafiya” and the Purple Heart Medals Awards, said the awards were approved by the Chief of Army Staff for the gallantry exhibited by the officers and men of the brigade in the various operation against the insurgency which has of recent liberated Gulani and Gujba from the terrorists.

He said the brigade had deployed personnel in Nguru, Damaturu, Geidam, Gashua, Katarko, Goneri/Buni Yadi and would continue to work assiduously towards restoration of peace in the affected areas.

Boko Haram Takes Over One End Of Bombed Yobe Bridge

boko-haram-blows-Bridge-in-YobeTen days after suspected members of the Boko Haram sect blew off the Katarko Bridge linking Yobe state to Borno and Adamawa state, in north-east Nigeria,the sect members have taken over one end of the bombed bridge.

After killing eight people in the town, residents of Buni-Yadi and environs have alleged that the insurgents now operate freely without fear of being arrested or attacked by security forces.

Some of the military bases, according to the residents, have been occupied by the insurgents who carry out their onslaught without molestation.

Movement of people, goods and services accros the bridge has been seriously curtailed as very few villagers with severe needs take risks to ply the Damaturu-Biu Road which has been taken over by the insurgents who operate at will.

“We are facing a pathetic situation here as these boys have partially taken over the entire local government at the moment. There are no single security personnel in the whole of Buni-Yadi, the headquarters of Gujba Local Government Area as well as neighbouring Gulani and surrounding environments as the destroyed bridge has given them the impetus to operate freely”, said a resident who pleaded anonymity.

On why the important bridge has not been reconstructed ten days after destruction by the militants, a senior officer with the state Ministry of Works, who also pleaded anonymity, told Channels Television that the staff of the ministry deployed on an assessment visit to the bridge for immediate reconstruction, narrowly escaped being lynched by the insurgents who had laid ambush.

Channels Television was also informed that courageous travelers to the troubled area have to cross over the Katarko River before joining a waiting vehicle at the other end to reach their destinations.

Security forces in the state have however, declined to comment on the issue saying “it’s only the defense headquarters that can respond to such matter”

However a top security agent told Channels Television that “security men are no longer visible in Buni-Yadi, Buni-Gari, Goneri or Gulani Local Government areas”, while people hitherto residing in these areas have relocated to Damaturu, the state capital, for fear of being killed by the insurgents.

It would be recalled that eight people were killed 10 days ago by suspected members of the radical Boko Haram sect in Katarko town, loacted about 22 kilometers south of Damaturu the Yobe state capital.