Determined to fulfil its mandate, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has built and completed a 30-block of flats, for the II Brigade Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt barracks.
While commending the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) for the completion of the 30 blocks of flat the chief of army staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika said the people –oriented project is completely in line with his vision to build force that can confront contemporary challenges.
It would be recalled that there were complaints in January this year by Army personnel on the lack of accommodation for its personnel which became a major challenge in its effort at providing security for Nigerians in Rivers State.
The Commander of the 2 Brigade, made the remark during the commissioning of a Garrison Standby Hall and a Mess Chalet for officers.
The Army decided to collaborate with the Rivers state government, agencies and companies to build more accommodation for soldiers in the barracks.
According to the II Brigade Commander, five blocks of ten flats each will be constructed by the Rivers State government to support the constructing of a block of 30 flats each by the NDDC and contracts have been awarded also for the renovation of five officers’ quarters; three blocks of 20 rooms each as well as the renovation of the warrant officers and sergeant mess.
Three leaders of the Islamic militant sect Boko Haram have been taken out by member of the Joint Task Force in Sokoto State, northwest Nigeria.
The three sect leaders according to the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Azubike Ihejirika include one As-all Afi who is said to be the Defence Chief of the group; another named Doctor who is a bomb making expert and a Danladi who is the vice president of the group.
General Ihejirka also denied claims of high casualty rate as a result of the activities of the military Joint Task Force group in the various troubled states.
According to him the operations have largely been conducted in such a way that collateral damages are reduced to the barest minimum.
He assured Nigerians that the anti-terrorism war is on course to ensure a secured country for Nigerians.
The Nigerian Army report on the attack at the Armed Forces and Command Staff College in Kaduna in November 2012 has indicted the former commander, Nigerian Army Corps of Infantry, Major General Mohammed Isah.
Major General Isah according to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubike Ihejirika, was found wanting on negligence of duty even after getting reports of the attack at the college.
The chief of army staff reiterated that the former commander was not retired because of the attack but as a result of his attaining his retirement age, which is a fact in the army records that is also known to the general.
Two suicide bombs in November 2012 hit a church inside a military barracks of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, in Jaji, Kaduna state, killing 11 people and injuring 30 others.
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) subsequently removed two top military officials from their posts at the college. The affected officials were Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Kure, the Commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, and Major General Mohammed Isa, Commander, Nigerian Army Corps of Infantry, Jaji.
The Nigerian army has rejected allegations of favouritism in recruitment, promotion and retirement in the military. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubike Ihejirika told a news conference in Abuja that officers and men of the Nigerian army have enjoyed a steady rise under his leadership.
He said contrary to claims in some quarters promotion exercise in the army have never been based on ethno-religious consideration but in line with laid down principles of merit, federal character approval from the army council which includes the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A faceless group had accused General Ihejirika, of putting Igbo officers in key army positions even when they were not qualified for such positions, in addition to providing details of such postings and affected officers.
The group alleged that “there is a new dangerous trend in promotions and recruitment in the Nigerian Army, which should be firmly and promptly checked before it destroys the military and the country.
“This trend is clearly visible in the manner in which the current Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika, is handling these two important aspects of running an effective army institution, which is very critical to the survival of any state.
“It appears that the Chief of Army Staff is on a specific mission, most probably, sponsored by some sinister dark forces bent on destroying the army and setting the country on the path of serious conflagration. From all indications, General Ihejirika is deliberately and recklessly pursuing a plan to destroy the career of senior non-Igbo officers, while at the same time embarking on a massive recruitment of soldiers of Igbo stock in order to eclipse all other ethnic groups in the Nigerian Army. This is raising serious concern within the army,” the group alleged, among other things.
One hundred and eighty three cadet officers of the direct short service course have been commissioned into the Nigerian army.
Addressing the new officers at the passing out and piping ceremony, the chief of army staff Lieutenant General Azubike Ihejirka observed that global security challenges that has continued to manifest itself in kidnapping ,suicide bombings and terrorism made it mandatory for military around the world to adopt new strategies and tactics to combat these adversaries.
The army chief said the course curriculum of the various training institutes of the Nigerian army has been packaged to ensure that it produces officers and men that are able to confront contemporary security challenges.
He urged the new officers to be disciplined and loyal to their fatherland.
The arrival of the chief of army staff, who is also the reviewing officer kick-started the passing out parade for the direct short service course 19, first was the dexterity display by the officers to be commissioned.
This was shortly followed by a review of the parade by the graduates by the chief of army staff.
And in line with military tradition the graduates started with the slow march and then the quick steps.
As expected the chief of army staff had some words for the newly commissioned officers as he reminded them of what is expected of them in the military.
The army chief also touched on the current security challenges in the country and what the army is doing to combat the challenges.
The chief of army staff announced that the curriculum of military institutions of the army has been tailored to produce officers that able to confront contemporary security challenges.
The event saw the presentation of awards to the best four graduating cadets.
As they depart from the parade ground as officers of the Nigerian army, it is expected that they will use their new skills to tackle the insecurity in the country.