National Security: Nigerian Army Recruits 5,000 Soldiers

 

As part of its efforts to improve national security, the Nigerian Army has recruited 5,000 soldiers.

Speaking at the passing out ceremony of the new soldiers, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, assured Nigerians that the military will not rest on its oars until the country is safe from the threats of Boko Haram terrorists, armed bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements.

He also gave an assurance that the security challenges the country is currently facing will soon be a thing of the past as the military is working hard to finally defeat the insurgents.

“Nigeria is currently facing numerous security challenges occasioned by activities of Boko Haram terrorists, armed bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements… but I wish to state that these security challenges will soon come to an end as we will not rest on our oars,” he said.

Read Also: With Helicopters, Army Will End Boko Haram In Three Months – Theatre Commander

“Today marks yet another chapter in the history of this great institution and the country in general.

“I am glad that depot Nigerian Army has continued to evolve innovative ways of improving the standard in the training of personnel for the Nigerian Army.

“These realistic and result oriented trainings that are being impacted in young recruits here have been yielding positive results and this has been evident by the robust fighting spirit displayed by our soldiers in various theatres of operations,” he added.

While congratulating the soldiers on the successful completion of the training, General Olonisakin urged them to uphold the values of loyalty, discipline and selfless service, adding that a lot is expected from them.

The event which took place at the Nigerian Army depot, Zaria in Kaduna State, saw a display of silent drills, unarmed combat and a special combat March by the recruits to prove their operational proficiency.

With Helicopters, Army Will End Boko Haram In Three Months – Theatre Commander

 

The Theatre Commander of the Army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi is calling for an army aviation to boost security operations in the North East.

Adeniyi who received a National Assembly Joint Committee on the Army operations on Thursday, told the lawmakers that if military imbedded helicopters are provided, the Boko Haram insurgency would be over in the next three months.

“The only thing that I know needs to be given to the army now is the Nigerian Army Aviation. There’s a way we’ll solve a problem it’ll change the game. Army needs combat helicopters to end Boko Haram war. If we have it, it will not be deployed like the Airforce assets,” he said.

“Airforce assets are for bigger strategic goals. The helicopters will sleep with us at the trench.

“They’ll stay in the frontlines, so the helicopters and the rifles and the tanks will be together. I know this has been on the table for years and when this is done, Nigeria can go to sleep and the Army will end Boko Haram in three months”.

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Adeniyi further stressed that Boko Haram, is not a formidable force that the military cannot defeat.

Speaking with journalists after a closed door session with the Army, the Chairman Senate committee on the army operations, Senator Ali Ndume, said the visit would give the National Assembly better insight as deliberations on the budget for the 2020 fiscal year begins.

Army Restates Commitment To War Against Insurgency

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai

The Nigerian Army has said it would continue to sustain efforts towards fighting insecurity in the nation.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai made this known while in Yola for the Combat Support Arms Training Week.

He stated that the Force is making efforts to become adequately equipped and enhance capacity to meet residual and emerging security threats.

Among other issues, Buratai further stated that security agencies are collaborating with each other to tackle the security challenges facing the nation.

Meanwhile, the United States Department of State has expressed worried over what is describes as Nigeria’s inability to effectively secure and hold onto territories recaptured from Boko Haram terrorists despite the successes recorded by the Multi-National joint task force.

This assertion was contained in the United States country report on terrorism for the year 2016 submitted to the US Congress in compliance with the title 22 of the US Code.

The report, published on July 19, highlights the successes and failings of the Nigerian Army in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists.

It indicates that the Federal government’s progress report on the fight against terror is merely a duplication of failed efforts carried over from the end of last year’s fighting season.

The Nigerian Army Director of  Defence Information, Major General John Eneche, however, disagreed with the report.

According to him, the content of the report submitted to the U.S. Congress is misleading and does not portray the reality of things in Nigeria’s fight against insurgents in the north east.

Boko Haram Is Not Defeated – Fayose

Fayose Underscores Benefits Of Quality Education
File Photo: Ayodele Fayose

The Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has debunked the claim of the Federal Government that it has defeated Boko Haram.

“Boko Haram is not defeated. It has not even been degraded”, Fayose asserted in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi.

“The brutal killings by Boko Haram all over the place gives the lie to the APC-led Federal Government’s assertion that it has won the battle against insurgency.

“The battle is not over yet. In fact, it is raging fiercer than ever before. The gory killing of the oil workers confirms this. The wanton destruction of lives and property all over the place by Boko Haram also testifies to this fact.

“Like the ostrich, this government is trying hard to cover what cannot be covered. Boko Haram ambushes and kills soldiers at will.

“Gallant officers and men continue to fall in battle to the superior fire-power and higher morale of the insurgents.

“Boko Haram invades and sacks communities at will, carting away human beings and other resources.

“The insurgents throw bombs with reckless abandon. Is this the evidence of a degraded or defeated Boko Haram?

Gov. Fayose said it was a matter for regret that corruption in the military, under the very nose of a government which claims to be fighting corruption, “has degraded the military and defeated our gallant soldiers that they are no longer able to stand before Boko Haram, not to talk of defeating the insurgents.

“Transparency International’s revelation that the military inflate military contracts to siphon money meant for the war efforts explains why the insurgents are waxing stronger and remain undefeatable.

“The war against insurgency has become a conduit for the siphoning of the resources of this country. Boko Haram is now the pot of soup or “amnesty” largesse of the APC government.”

Governor Fayose also decried what he described as the unbridled corruption of members of the ruling party, which the government is sweeping under the carpet.

“They keep pulling the wool over the eyes of the gullible with their lip-service commitment to the war against corruption and insurgency. But come 2019, they will know that the people are not deceived”, he added.

Federal Government Admits Shekau Is Alive

boko haram, shekau, videoThe Federal Government has finally admitted that the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, is not dead but alive and hiding somewhere in the Sambisa forest.

Addressing journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister Of Defence, Mr Mansur Dan-Ali, explained that it has been difficult to arrest the sect leader because the insurgents normally wear masks to conceal their identities and divert attention.

Mr Dan-Ali however said the military has taken over the Sambisa forest and will soon capture the leader of the sect.

Fatally Injured

In August 2016, the Nigerian Air Force had said it killed some key members of the group and wounded many others, including the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, during an airstrike in Taye Village, Borno State.

However, in September, a video purportedly released by the factional leader of the insurgent group, debunked the military’s claims.

A man claiming to be Shekau appeared healthy in the video, speaking in Arabic, Hausa and Kanuri languages.

Running Smoothly

More recently, Shekau, reportedly reappeared in a new video in which he dismissed claims that many of his members have been killed.

According to the AFP, Shekau released a 27-minute video in which he spoke for about 20 minutes in Hausa and Kanuri, criticising the countries in the Lake Chad area fighting the group under the Multinational Joint Task Force.

He was said to have singled out Cameroon which reportedly announced that its soldiers killed about 60 Boko Haram members and arrested scores of others, while freeing about 5,000 hostages.

Speaking in the video, Shekau reportedly described the claim as a lie, insisting that his so-called caliphate was ‘running smoothly‘.

Seven Soldiers Killed, 19 Injured In Boko Haram Ambush

Seven Soldiers Killed, 19 Injured In Boko Haram AmbushTroops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have reportedly killed scores of Boko Haram militants, following an ambush staged by the terrorists.

In a statement by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations 7 division, Lieutenant Colonel Kingsley Samuel, the army says the troops fought their way through the ambush along Ajiri-Dikwa road, but lost seven of their colleagues in the process, with 19 others injured.

The soldiers were said to have been conducting routine rotation of troops on Thursday night when the incident occurred.

Meanwhile, the wounded soldiers have been reportedly evacuated and are currently receiving treatment at the military hospital in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

The troops recovered an AK-47 rifle and ammunition from the insurgents.

Additional troops have however been mobilised and are still on aggressive pursuit of the fleeing Boko Haram terrorists.

Foiled Attack: Troops Kill 10 Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno

nigerin-armyThe Nigerian Army (119 Battalion and 133 Special Forces Battalion of 7 Brigade), of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Kangarwa LGA of Borno State, have killed 10 Boko Haram Terrorists who attempted to attack their location on Friday.

This was revealed in a statement signed by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman.

The futile attack which was launched by the terrorists group from the shores of the Lake Chad in the evening, was said to have lasted till late at night.

With the assistance of the Nigerian Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance planes, the planned attacks were however foiled.

 

“The resilient troops repelled the incursion and in the process, killed 10 insurgents and wounded several others,” the statement said.

Some items recovered from the armed terrorists include: 1 Pulemyot Kalashnkova Machine (PKM) Gun, with 67 rounds of ammunition, 1 AK-47 Riffle with 18 rounds of ammunition, 2 AK-Rifle top covers and 3 Dane Guns with 1 cartridge.

Others include: 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade Tube with 3 bombs, 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade charger and smoke grenade, 1 Hand Held (HH) Motorola Radio an antenna, 1 copy of a holy book and Boko Haram terrorists flag.

Unfortunately, three soldiers paid the supreme price in the course of the encounter, while 27 soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries.

The bodies of the gallant soldiers and those injured have since been evacuated for treatment.

Meanwhile, the troops have continued to trail those terrorists that escaped with gunshot wounds.

They have also intensified vigilance and high level of alertness as they make concerted efforts to clear the remnants of the terrorists in various nooks and crannies.

Gaidam Advocates More Surveillance To End Insurgence

Ibrahim-GaidamThe Yobe state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has advocated intense surveillance as a measure to assist in ending the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents.

He said this during a meeting with the General Officer Commanding 3 Division of the Nigeria Army, Major General Peter Dauke, at the government House Damaturu.

Gaidam said, sequel to the capture of the camp zero in the heart of the Sambisa forest, there have been pockets of attacks by the dreaded Boko Haram group, hence the need for more vigilance.

“Following the recent attack on a military formation in Buniyadi, there is the need for intense surveillance and proactive measures to further allay fears in the minds of the people and fully restore socio-economic activities” the governor said.

He also called for maintenance of military presence at strategic locations, while stating that more military equipment should be provided even as the mop up exercise to clear the remnants of the insurgents is ongoing.

“The military need to provide adequate security at strategic locations, provide adequate military equipment, to help build the confidence of the people at this period of mop up, to clear the remnant of the terrorists group”the governor said.

While paying glorious tribute to officers and men who died in the course of ensuring peaceful co-existence, the governor thanked the military for their patriotism and dedication to the cooperate existence of the country.

He assured that his administration would continue to support the military with necessary assistance to achieve the desired objectives.

“I wish to assure the GOC of our resolve to continue to support and cooperate with relevant security agencies, to ensure a crime-free state and completely bring to an end the activities of the Boko Haram”.

While noting the receptive nature of the people of the state, the GOC also urged them to be more vigilant as the militants are presently on the run sequel to the capture of their stronghold.

Furthermore, he asked residents to report anyone with suspicious character to security agents.

“Yobe people are well known for hospitality but I wish to state clearly that people must be extra vigilant and ensure that strange and suspicious people are reported to security agents for prompt action.

“The runaway insurgents must not capitalized on your reception. The GOC said.

The military hierarchy has since moved the headquarters of the 3 Division of the Nigeria Army from Rukuba barracks in Jos the Plateau state capital to Damaturu, Yobe state, to add impetus to the fight against the activities of the terrorists in the troubled northeast.

National Development: Soyinka Advocates Religious Tolerance

Wole Soyinka on BBOG activitiesNobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has condemned the killings in some parts of the country, which he believes have occurred in the name of religion.

Soyinka made this comments in Abuja on Thursday at a book presentation on religion and the making of Nigeria, written by Professor Olufemi Vaughan.

The event which was also attended by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, attracted a lot of other dignitaries.

Soyinka believes that in order for Nigeria to move on, and to ensure national development, there must be religious tolerance.

In the last few years, Nigeria has witnessed an upsurge in the level of insurgency with the likes of Niger Delta militants, armed herdsmen and Boko Haram Terrorists especially, whose activities were believed to have a strong religious undertone.

The abduction of over 200 girls, from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, a town in Borno state, on April 14, 2014, appears to have been one of the most disheartening acts carried out by the insurgents.

Also, herdsmen attacks in the southern Kaduna region, terrorist explosions in the northeast, as well as attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta are all events that have continued to threaten the peace of the nation.

Army Clears Air On Video Clip Of Alleged Maltreatment Of Soldiers

Army, Video Clip, Maltreatment of SoldiersThe attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a video clip which went viral on social media of soldiers alleging lack of food and water.

In a statement signed by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, the force said:

“We wish to state that the video clip was shot more than six months ago by some mischievous and disgruntled elements when 29 Task Force Brigade captured Alagarno Forest and environs in Borno State.

“It is disheartening that some mischievous elements have decided to circulate it now, creating the false impression that it is a recent occurrence.

“We wish to state further that the matter was conclusively investigated at the time, several months ago. The Board of Inquiry actually showed that, as at the time of the incident, the unit’s water tanker still contained water, but a soldier mischievously concealed it. That soldier was charged and punished accordingly.

“In addition to the unit’s water tanker, a borehole was subsequently drilled at the location and it is still serving both the military and adjoining communities.

“We wish to restate with utmost concern the continued commitment of the Nigerian Army to the total welfare of all its personnel,” the statement read.

 

Military To Defeat Boko Haram By End Of 2016

Military To Defeat Boko Haram By The End Of 2016The era of insecurity, especially the Boko Haram insurgence would be a thing of the past before the end of December 2016, a military official said on Monday.

At meeting with the kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, the out-gone Commandant of the 22 Armoured Brigades of the Nigerian Army in Sobi Ilorin, Brigadier General Benjamin Sawyer, said, that the military was determined to end the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in the region.

Military onslaught had heightened in the region, with focus on Sambisa Forest, to flush out the terrorists from the area seen as their safe haven.

Brigadier General Sawyer was at the meeting with his successor, Brigadier Sulyman Idris.

Addressing the governor on the purpose of the visit, Mr Sawyer explained that having been transferred from the state to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, one of the volatile states in the northeast, there is the need to inform and introduce the new helmsman to the governor.

He also noted that initially, there were lots of worries with the choice of 22 Brigade being deployed to the northeast, but however assured the governor that the personnel were capable of providing the needed security to keep the state safe and secure.

The Army Chief then stressed the military’s determination to tackle the issue of Boko Haram.

He added that with the directive from the Chief of Army Staff, the insurgents “would be a thing of the past by the end of this month”.

In response to this, the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, commended the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for their bravery in the fight against insurgents in the country and reiterated his readiness to continue to strengthen the relationship with security organisations in the state.

According to Ahmed, the Nigerian Army is a pride to the nation and has demonstrated sufficient competence to secure the nation against internal and external aggression.

He added that given the enabling environment, the army had the capacity to protect and secure Nigeria.

The new commandant, Brigadier Idris, equally gave assurance of his readiness to ensure that security of lives and property are maintained in the state, while he sought the state government’s co-operation and support.

Security Consultant Insists Chibok Girls’ Release Was An ‘Exchange’ Deal

sunday-adobaSecurity consultant, Sunday Adoba, has expressed belief that the Nigerian government made an exchange deal with members of the Boko Haram group for the release of the 21 Chibok girls.

The Federal government has insisted that there was no exchange agreement reached prior to the girls’ release but the statement has been greeted with varying opinions from Nigerians.

Mr Adoba holds the belief that the government “works in a mysterious way” and explained why he had this belief.

He said that it was a surprise to him that “there were other rescue operations ongoing somewhere else while the Chibok girls were released at another angle, within that same period”.

“I don’t think the entire actors within the operational area were carried along,” he said, and this, to him, shows that there was a special arrangement involved.

He insisted that the known face of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau had gone broke and would not miss the chance of using the Chibok girls’ release to raise funds.

‘Money Has Changed Hands’

Mr Adoba opined that since there has been no record of prisoners released, then the exchange would have involved cash.

He further questioned: “Can any right thinking man sit down and say the Chibok girls were released by Shekau of all people, without a price?”

“There was a conflict between Shekau and Mahmoud Mamman, which was as a result of money.

“Shekau had given him money to go and procure equipment and they took off. So definitely he is in need of hard currency.

“Money has definitely changed hands because nobody was returned to the Boko Haram group,” he insisted.

‘Hope For Others’

He, however, stated that the most important thing was the successful release of the girls, which he believes the government has made significant progress with.

“For me the girls are out, no matter what procedure was carried out to get them, all I am interested in is that we have saved lives.

“For the girls to come out of the bondage, it means at least there is hope for others. And I believe with the efforts of the government, more of them will be rescued,” he stated.

On April 14, 2014, over 270 school girls were abducted from their hostel, in Chibok town, Maiduguri borno state.

While some of them have managed to escape, and the additional 21 were recently released on October 14, 2016, a larger number still remain in the terrorists’ captivity.

The insurgence brought Boko Haram into international spotlight, with many using the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag to raise awareness for the campaign to find the abductees.

Convener of the movement, Oby Ezekwesili, however praised the military for its efforts so far, while also promising to join efforts with government to help in the quick recuperation and rehabilitation of the girls.