The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on security.
Ndume spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, saying the government should prioritise the security of Nigerians.
“The earlier we prioritise this seriously and even declare a kind of state of emergency in the areas of security and welfare of citizens, the better for us because that is what the government is all about,” he said during the show.
“The constitution is very clear that the purpose of government is security and welfare of its citizens. The earlier the government and people of Nigeria in all the arms of government concentrate on making sure that our country is secure and our citizens’ welfare is taken care of, the better for us.”
Nigeria is battling a myriad of security challenges. From banditry in the North-West to terrorism in the North-East, kidnapping for ransom in the South-East to oil bunkering in the South-South, cultism in the South-West to rape, security forces are grappling with securing the lives and properties of over 180 million Nigerians.
While successes have been recorded in the fight against criminal elements, Ndume believes better equipment for the Army will aid their fight against insecurity.
“I will say it again (that) the purpose of government is security and welfare of the citizens. The Nigerian Army doesn’t have the number. They don’t have the equipment; they don’t have the technology that is required to solve or handle these challenges we have,” the lawmaker said.
The Senator representing Borno South Senatorial, is, however, confident that the Armed Forces have all it takes to fight insecurity.
He added, “I will say again that the Nigerian Army I know is up to the task if given what they need. And if they are given what they need, they should be given a timeline.
“As for the action taken by the army, that is an action expected of them but that goes to show in total that if the army has the number, the modern equipment that they require, they can tackle this problem within the shortest possible time.”
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has accused the government of President Muhammadu Buhari of “failing to satisfactorily address the crisis of insecurity in the country, and doing nothing to end the mismanagement of the economy under his watch.”
Falana stated this in a paper titled Good Governance or Misgovernance: The Contract Called Democracy, and delivered yesterday at the 50th anniversary interactive session held by the Abeokuta Club in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Falana said, “In spite of the decentralisation of police powers at the centre the Federal Government has continued to kick against the creation of state police service on the ground that it is unconstitutional!”
He also said, “No doubt, based on the virtual collapse of the security architecture of the neocolonial State, the Federal Government has grudgingly allowed state government to create state or regional security outfits. But they are not allowed to bear arms.”
According to Falana, “the personnel of the regional security outfits who are armed with cutlasses and dane guns are expected to commit suicide by confronting AK 47 bearing terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, herders and robbers.”
The paper, read in part: “In view of the fact that the civilian Joint Task Force operatives are given licences to bear arms and ammunition, I have asked state governments to sue the Federal Government for refusing to grant licences to the personnel of regional security outfits for allowing dangerous criminals to breach the constitutional rights of unarmed citizens to life and dignity.”
“Furthermore, it is discriminatory to deny licences to 5,000 state security personnel to bear arms to protect millions of unarmed citizens while a few individuals are granted licences to acquire weapons to protect themselves and their family members.”
“Curiously, some state governors have also complained about the refusal of the National Security Adviser to approve the applications for End Users Certificates for importation of Drones to monitor and expose terrorists and kidnappers hiding in the forests.”
“With respect, such sabotage of security ought to be challenged in the Federal High Court as the National Security Adviser has not been conferred with the power by any law to grant or reject the requests of governors to acquire equipment to secure the areas that have been exposed to danger by the Federal Government.”
“The governors should have directed the requests to the President Buhari who has publicly challenged them to adopt all necessary measures to secure the states since he has asked them to stop rushing to the Villa to complain about insecurity or killings by criminal gangs.”
“In the Attorney-General of Rivers v Attorney-General of the Federation the Federal High Court has held that it is the sole responsibility of the Federal Government to fund the Nigeria Police Force.”
“Therefore, the executive should submit a supplementary money bill to the National Assembly for the funding of the police since it is the constitutional duty of the police to maintain law and order in the country.”
“It is common knowledge that the wealth with which the democratic process is sabotaged by members of the ruling class has been traced to the coffers of the government.”
“A public officer and his cronies have just been charged with the criminal diversion of N109 billion from the Federation Account and bribes received from Governors, Finance Commissioners and heads of parastatals who had to jump the queue that was artificially erected in the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.”
“I am also aware that the sum of N4.5 billion has just been found in the bank account of the Surveyor-General of Ogun State.”
“It is not in doubt that misgovernance has replaced good governance in Nigeria while majority of public officers have breached the contract called democracy.”
“Since the acquisition of security equipment alone cannot guarantee peace, law and order the Constitution has prescribed that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”
“As part of the fundamental objectives of the neocolonial State the participation of the people in their government is guaranteed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act. The implication is that elected officials are mandatorily required to have their mandate renewed periodically through fair and free elections.”
“Nigeria is said to be a State that is based on the principles of democracy and social justice, the federal, state and local governments are under a legal obligation to promote the happiness, freedom and prosperity of the people. But in view of the monetisation of the electoral process by the political class, Nigeria cannot be said to be a democratic society.”
“It has become a plutocratic society where only the few rich people can contest and win elections. In other words, democracy is no longer a government of the people but a government of a few rich and powerful individuals.”
“A situation whereby corruption is fought, even though partially, by the Federal Government alone should stop.”
“In view of the duty imposed on the State by section 15(5) of the Constitution to ‘abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power’, the authorities of the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory should establish anti graft agencies to fight the menace of corruption, recover looted fund and prosecute indicted individuals, groups and organisations.”
“In addition to the recovery of looted public fund from all criminal elements, serving l and retired public officers who wish to contest elections should be thoroughly investigated. Those who betrayed the public trust by looting the treasury should not be allowed to pollute the electoral process with stolen money.”
“Nigerians must stop the dangerous culture of of “Owo Abu lafi se Abu lejo” (we used Abu’s money to entertain Abu as a visitor).”
“The National Economic Council (NEC) established pursuant to section 153(1) and Paragraphs 18 & 19 of Part I of the Third Schedule to the Constitution has the mandate to ‘advise the President concerning the economic affairs of the Federation, and in particular on measures necessary for the coordination of the economic planning efforts or economic programmes of the various Governments of the Federation.’”
“The National Economic Council chaired by the Vice- President is comprised of the Governor of each state of the Federation and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
“Notwithstanding the establishment of the NEC by the Constitution, successive regimes have ignored its advice. They prefer to rely on the advice of the Presidential Economic Council on the one hand and the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on the other.”
“As a matter of fact, the Government has swallowed hook, line and sinker the neoliberal economic policies dictated by the Bretton Wood institutions. Even though such policies have turned Nigeria into the headquarters of global poverty the Federal Government has not plucked up the courage to abandon them in the interest of the national economy.”
“I wish to submit without any fear of contradiction that the economic policies of the Government are in conflict with section 16 (3)(d) of the Constitution which provides that the State shall ensure that ‘suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens.’”
“To guarantee adequate resources to meet the basic responsibilities of the Government the Constitutional has prohibited the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of a few people or of a group.”
“It is crystal clear that the economy will soon enter into another recession due to unprecedented importation of fuel and other goods from western countries and China, grand corruption, dollarisation of the economy and implementation of neoliberal economic policies the Nigerian economy.”
“The mismanagement of the economy has been confirmed by top officials of the Buhari administration. While the Comptroller-General of Costoms, Colonel Hamid Ali has accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Directorate of Petroleum Resources of involvement in the smuggling of fuel into neighbouring countries the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has blamed the NNPC for not remitting dollars into the Federation Account.”
“Whereas the sum of N443 billion was provided for fuel subsidy in the 2022 budget the National Assembly has passed the supplementary budget which increased the fund to N4 trillion. Based on the massive devaluation of the Naira through dollarisation the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has disclosed that fuel subsidy may gulp N6.5 trillion this year.”
“Meanwhile, the NNPC has been unbundled in accordance with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act. But President Buhari has singlehandedly reorganised the oil and gas industry by appointing the members of the Boards of the NNPC and the new companies.”
“Although the NNPC, Central Bank of Nigeria, and scores of other parastatals and enterprises were established with fund from the Federation Account they are managed by the Federal Government alone. The investment of Nigeria in the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) was paid from the Federation Account. But the huge return of over $20 billion on the investment of the Federation in the NLNG has been cornered by the Federal Government.”
“The electricity companies and other parastatals and enterprises owned by the people of Nigeria have privatised, commercialised or con-cessioned by the Federal Government without the consent of the state and local governments. Even the Federation Account is exclusively managed by the Federal Government. Thus, a token of the revenue generated by over 100 public enterprises belonging to Nigeria is remitted to the Federation Account by the Federal Government.”
“In the light of the foregoing, it is suggested that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) should demand for urgent review of the Petroleum Industry Act to ensure the joint management of the natural resources of the nation which has been vested in the Government of the Federation by section 44(3) of the Nigerian Constitution.”
“In the same vein, the NGF and ALGON should demand for the joint management of the NNPC and other parastatals and enterprises which were established with fund from the Federation Account. In order to prevent another economic recession, both NGF and ALGON should demand for the immediate removal of the CBN Governor, Mr. Emefiele.”
“It is indisputable that the monetary policies of the CBN under his watch have ruined the economy while he has failed to resolve the conflict of interest arising from his membership of the ruling party. The CBN should be run by professionals of integrity and supervised by a Board constituted by the representatives of the Federal, State and Local Governments.”
The Leadership of the Senate is meeting with the service chiefs over the security crisis in the country.
Present at the meeting are the Chief of Defense Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval staff, Chief of Air Staff, DG DSS and a representative of the National Security Adviser.
The bi-partisan closed-door meeting with the Service Chiefs is aimed at reviewing the current security strategies and discuss new solutions.
Speaking at the commencement of the meeting, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the security challenges have lingered and the Senate had hoped that the situation would have been better.
Lawan said the situation is frightening, adding that there is nowhere to hide or go. He stressed that it is dire at this time to come up with an effective solution, as the crisis is dislocating where the head of government is situated.
Senator Lawan while noting that security agencies are doing their best, stressed that more can be done.
Responding, the Chief of Defense Staff General Lucky Irabor said a lot is being done to improve security.
General Irabor emphasized that the troops are still committed to the cause, adding that no one is leaving any stone unturned in addressing the problem.
The meeting between the Senate and the Service Chiefs comes few days after members of the National Assembly threatened to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari if he fails to properly tackle the security crisis in the country within six weeks.
In an unexpected move, Senators, mostly those belonging to the opposition parties, staged a walkout following their call to impeach President Muhammadu.
According to them, the laxity with which the security issue is being treated is appalling and as such a steeper measure to correct the anomalies has become imperative.
Joining their counterparts in the Senate, the minority caucus of the House of Representatives also handed President Muhammadu Buhari a six-week ultimatum to fix insecurity or face impeachment in the National Assembly.
Minority leader of the House of Reps, Ndudi Elumelu, while disclosing the caucus’ position on the matter, said signatures will be gathered to impeach the President if the security situation is not addressed.
In his defense, the president has said that his government is doing its best to stem the tide of insecurity threatening to swallow the nation.
According to President Buhari, the Nigerian military are not helpless in the fight against the insurgents and bandits who pose a grave threat to the peace and sovereignty of the nation.
Buhari, however, called for more more international collaborations to tackle insecurity in the country.
The president in a recent interview promised that he will leave no stone unturned in crushing bandits and terrorists, adding that the service chiefs have been kept on their toes to ensure that banditry and terrorism are decisively addressed.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has charged Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational Commanders in the various theatres of operation across the country to ‘show no mercy’ and ensure they employ maximum firepower against terrorists posing security threats in the country.
While commending them for their efforts as well as the improved synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, Air Marshal Amao also underscored the need for effective allocation and utilization of all NAF platforms deployed for operations in the Northwest and Northcentral for enhanced operational effectiveness.
Doing so, according to the CAS, will deny the terrorists freedom of movement while boosting the confidence of the populace and ensuring a peaceful country. Air Marshal Amao made these assertions when he met with frontline Air Officers Commanding (AOC) and Air Component Commanders (ACCs) at the NAF Base yesterday in Kaduna.
Speaking further, the CAS noted that though the security environment remains fluid and uncertain with terrorists moving between the northeast, northwest and north central, the need to continually modify NAF’s air power strategies to stay ahead of the asymmetric and unconventional nature of terrorists’ activities is of paramount importance.
According to him, ‘We have a responsibility to secure our nation and give our citizens a sense of hope, trust and belonging. Therefore, we must ensure that we stay ahead of the enemy and envisage his next line of action.’ He then charged them to show no mercy against any terrorist and their accomplices while also denying them the freedom of movement and ease to cause mayhem against innocent Nigerians.
Air Marshal Amao then assured them that training of more combat pilots, imagery analysts and other specialties in the NAF would continue to be of utmost priority so as to address the manpower challenges within the operation areas.
He went on to state that efforts were at an advanced stage to procure more combat platforms for the NAF to meet the ever-increasing demands of air assets in various theatres of operations across the nation.
Other issues addressed during the interface included the need to ensure a speedy procurement circle of aircraft spares to minimise aircraft downtime amongst other issues.
The Nigerian Army has said it found and rescued two women who were part of the female students abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibiok, Borno State, more than eight years ago.
In a statement on Wednesday, the army disclosed that troops of 202 battalion during clearance operations on 25 July 2022 intercepted four abducted women including two girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from GGSS Chibok on 14 April 2014.
According to the brief statement, the military said the intercepted Chibok girls and their children are currently in a military medical facility.
On the night of the attack in April 2014, 276 female students mostly Christians aged from 16 to 18 were kidnapped by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram from the Government Girls Secondary School at the town of Chibok in Borno State.
About 57 of the schoolgirls escaped immediately following the incident by jumping from the trucks on which they were being transported, while some others have been rescued by the Nigerian Armed Forces on various occasions.
The outrageous event has stirred global outcry with hopes being raised that the over 200 remaining girls might be released, however there are fears that some girls might have already died while in captivity.
The Chibok Girls abduction is one of several such tragedies that the nation has witnessed in the course of the Boko Haram insurgency.
An investigation by the human rights group, Amnesty International, suggests that since the abduction of the schoolgirls, over 1,500 school children have been kidnapped by armed groups in Nigeria.
“Nigerian is failing to protect vulnerable children. By refusing to respond to alerts of impending attacks on schools across the north of the country, the Nigerian authorities have failed to prevent mass abductions of thousands of school children,” Amnesty International’s Nigeria Director, Osai Ojigho adduced.
According to Amnesty International, the Nigerian government failed to learn from the Chibok incident as to how further crimes of this nature could be curbed.
All hope is not yet lost, at least not in the Chibok community where parents and relatives of the kidnapped girls continue to call for an end to the attacks within the area, as well as a return of the schoolgirls believed to still be in Boko Haram captivity.
In its last press conference in Abuja, the Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA), an association of people from Chibok, lamented that since the outbreak of the insurgency well-over a decade now, the area has been attacked more than 72 times, with over 407 persons killed.
Spokesman for Kada, Dauda Iliya, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue the Chibok community from total annihilation by the Boko Haram terrorists.
Iliya advised the Federal Government to seek support and effectively synergise with the Armed Forces in tackling insecurity within the region.
As the nation battles insurgency in the North-East, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya has charged troops participating in ongoing operations to remain dogged and unrelenting in routing out criminal elements.
Yahaya, who gave the charge on Sunday during a routine operational visit to the headquarters of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State to assess the level of successes recorded thus far, called on troops to be more decisive in routing the criminal elements from their enclaves.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu.
“General Yahaya enjoined troops to continue to decimate the insurgents and deny them freedom of action. This he said, will provide a safe environment and opportunity for other elements of national power to play their statutory roles in the fight against terrorism and insurgency in the theatre,” the statement partly read.
The army chief arrived at the theatre of operations in the company of some principal staff officers, where he was given an update on the ongoing Operation Desert Sanity and Operation Lake Sanity.
He equally expressed satisfaction with the successes so far, urging them to remain vigilant and proactive during the Sallah celebration.
Mali’s ruling junta on Monday announced the delivery of two more combat helicopters and surveillance radars from Russia as the West African nation tackles a bloody jihadist insurgency.
Photographs of the equipment being unloaded from a Russian cargo flight at Bamako international airport were posted on the official Twitter account of Mali’s presidency.
“We are receiving this second batch of military equipment from Russia,” said army chief of staff General Oumar Diarra.
“It’s a sign of a very fruitful partnership with the Russian state,” he said in a statement.
The delivery brings to eight the known number of helicopters that Moscow has provided under closer ties forged by rebel colonels who seized power in 2020.
Russia has also supplied what are officially described as military instructors — personnel that former colonial power France and the United States say are operatives from Russia’s Wagner security group.
They have been helping the impoverished Sahel nation fight a decade-old jihadist campaign that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.
Le Chef d’État-major général des armées , le général de division Oumar Diarra a réceptionné ce lundi au nom du ministre de la défense et des anciens combattants, 2 hélicoptères de combat et des radars de surveillance. pic.twitter.com/V0lh931vZ0
Three years after incessant attacks in the Lake Chad area, the Borno State government alongside the military has reopened the 137-kilometer Maiduguri-Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru Ngala Road for motorists.
During the tape cutting event held on Friday, Governor Babagana Zulum commended the military and local vigilantes for securing the region and urged the road users to be law-abiding as well cooperate with security agencies for the full return of economic activities in the area.
The symbolic reopening of the road was done at Muna before the governor proceeded to Dikwa town to ensure that the road has been formally reopened.
The governor alongside the Theatre Commander of the Joint Taskforce Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Christopher Musa cut the tape signifying the official reopening of the road.
Maiduguri-Gamboru Ngala Federal Highway is one of the busiest and most popular commercial roads linking the northeast sub-region to Cameroon, Chad, and the Niger Republic.
Three years ago, the road was shut down as a result of several attacks on the major towns of Dikwa, Mafa, and Gamboru Ngala, crippling economic activities.
Goni Bura, a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in the state during the event told Channels Television that the reopening of the highway will benefit not only Nigerian citizens but those in Cameroon and Niger Republic.
He also appreciated the state government for donating patrol vehicles to the security agents.
Before the reopening, the military has been escorting passengers and travellers to and fro on the highway to protect them from insurgency attacks.
“We lost a total of about 900,000 to the insurgency. We lost about 5,000 classrooms in Borno State, 800 municipal buildings comprising police stations, traditional ruler houses, and local government secretariats. These are official figures, unofficial figures are more than this,” he said.
Responding, Governor Matawalle commended Zulum for the concern and finding the time to visit Zamfara despite his own problems in Borno state.
“Borno and Zamfara share a similar problem of terrorists’ attacks. I know how we share information, intelligence and the commitment of how to end these problems we inherited,” he said.
“With this commitment and prayer and the support of our people, we shall triumph.”
He said that just like in Borno State, Zamfara has recorded losses in human and material form with no fewer than 25,000 orphans, 27,000 widows and over 3,000 houses destroyed with nearly 400,000 livestock rustled in the first eight years of the menace.
Zulum also used the opportunity to present a cheque of N20 million to the Zamfara State Governor.
He was accompanied to the North-Western state by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army Senator Ali Ndume; Chief Whip of House of Representatives, Honorable Tahir Monguno among others.
The leaders of Mozambique and Tanzania met Friday to discuss the Islamist insurgency that Maputo has called in regional forces to help suppress.
The fighting in northern Mozambique has occasionally spilled across the border with Tanzania, which has deployed troops in the country under the umbrella of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“Tanzania has always been on our side, has always offered to help Mozambique within the scope of SAMIM,” Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said, referring to the SADC mission.
“In our talks, we looked at how our cooperating is evolving, because we are two countries and we have a common problem,” he said in remarks broadcast on national radio.
Nyusi met with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan in the northern town of Pemba, the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado, which SADC and Rwandan forces helped Mozambique reclaim from the insurgents in August.
Neither leader revealed much of the substance of their talks, but Nyusi signalled that he wanted continued support from the region.
“The terrorists cross the common border between Mozambique and Tanzania,” he said.
“We are interested in a more dedicated approach to the problem.”
“We have seen that the enemy is improving its techniques. We want to study how our forces can deal with the enemy, with terrorism. We will soon improve our combat forces,” he added.
Hassan said that she came “to reaffirm our commitment to Mozambique.”
“Tanzania is here to work together with Mozambique in our developmental and our peace and security affairs.”
The unrest erupted in 2017, leaving at least 3,500 dead and around 820,000 homeless. The insurgents’ brutal tactics — including beheadings, mass abductions, and the torching of homes — rattled the region.
International energy companies stopped their multi-billion-dollar natural gas projects in Cabo Delgado and evacuated their staff.
Cabo Delgado is home to the largest-ever foreign investment in Africa: a $20-billion development by France’s Total.
But residents in the mostly Muslim province have yet to see many tangible benefits from the investments, which they feel flow to the government of the largely Christian country.
Hassan is trying to jump-start Tanzania’s own natural gas project, estimated at $30 billion.
As in Mozambique, the scheme would involve building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near vast offshore gas deposits.
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Maiduguri, Borno State, urged troops of Operation Hadin Kai to remain steadfast as they go into the final phase of the campaign against insurgency and other forms of criminalities.
The President, who addressed the troops at the Airforce Base in Maiduguri, said the nation remains grateful for the gallantry displayed in ensuring the gradual return of peace to the North East, while condoling with families that have lost loved ones, and the wounded.
“I urge you also to stay focused to achieve our strategic end-state which is the defeat of all adversaries and restoration of an economically viable North East Geo-Political Zone and other parts of the country where Nigerians are free to go about their activities without fear or harassment,” he said.
President Buhari assured families of soldiers who paid the supreme price for the nation and the injured that the Federal Government will cater for their needs, recognizing their sacrifices for all Nigerians.
“I am delighted to be with you today and to convey my gratitude and that of the entire nation to you all, as you continuously strive to secure our dear country.
“Your career is like no other because it is a conscious commitment and preparedness to give your best for the sake of others.
“I am therefore here on behalf of a grateful nation to thank and commend you for your service and sacrifices.
“Let me start by commiserating with you all on the unfortunate loss of Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkushu and other personnel of 25 and 28 Task Force Brigades, who died on 13 November 2021.
“I do this mindful of the fact that we have lost others in this Theatre of Operation as well as other operational areas across the country.
“We pray for the repose of their souls and for the Almighty God to comfort the families that they left behind. The people of Borno State and indeed the entire country owe a debt of gratitude to our serving men in uniform for the huge sacrifices in the pursuit of peace,” he said.
According to President Buhari, the Government would continue to ensure that the widows and children of fallen heroes were well catered for to help them fully realize their potentials.
The President noted that the response exhibited across the theatre had shown extraordinary resilience and steadfastness in the face of adversity.
“That is the spirit, tenacity and resolve that the Nigerian Armed Forces is known for. Well done.
“Our country, just like all the others in the Sahel region, is faced with several security challenges that are largely characterized by the violent activities of non-state actors. This has necessitated several interventions aimed at ensuring the security of persons and property across the numerous hot spots.
“Further improvements in the security situation in Operation Hadin Kai have led to a corresponding rise in the confidence of our people who are now returning in significant numbers to their homes.
“Further to the reorganizations in the military leadership, concerted efforts are being made to improve your equipment holding. I am aware that you have started receiving some of the platforms procured by our administration while others would be received in the weeks ahead,” the President added.
While noting threats posed by criminals through the employment of Improvised Explosive Devices, he said substantial resources have also been directed at procuring equipment for explosive ordnance disposal.
According to President Buhari, similar attention is being given to Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance Assets.
“These measures and the platforms being received would accord you the necessary reach, firepower and protection to project force across the Theatre and bring the fight to a logical and successful end,” Buhari added.
President Buhari told the troops that at the onset of the administration he emphasized the need to rejuvenate the Multinational Joint Task Force, which was in realization of the fluid and transnational nature of current threats and their propensity to hibernate in neighbouring countries.
“I, therefore, urge you to continue to further strengthen your cooperation with the militaries of the other countries under the auspices of the Multinational Joint Task Force in order to further optimize the mutual gains for our respective national security.
“As we step up the military efforts, our administration has remained conscious of the efficacy of the employments of other lines of effort in our drive to ensure the return of lasting peace to the North East Region.
“The North East Development Commission continues to make giant strides at improving the economic and social welfare of Nigerians in the region,” he added.
“I am also happy with the increased level of cooperation between the good people of Borno State, other stakeholders and the security agencies. I urge you to continue to cooperate with other security agencies with a view to ensuring a full return to normalcy.”
He assured that the administration would continue to work with all well-meaning stakeholders including friendly nations, civil society organizations as well as other credible non-governmental organizations to bring peace to all troubled areas across the nation.
President Buhari expressed deep appreciation to the Government of Borno State for its continuous cooperation with the Federal Government in multiple spheres.
He said: “This has been critical to the furtherance of our mutual efforts at restoring peace to the State.
“I particularly commend Your Excellency, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, for your untiring commitment and cherished collaboration with my administration for the overall good of the people of Borno. Yours is a good example of the inherent benefits that are accruable from conscious positive interaction between the Federal Government and states.”
He also commended the Minister of Defence as well as the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs and the heads of all other security agencies for forging a common front of collaboration and cooperation which continues to enhance operations.
“It was gratifying to observe some of these examples of collaboration during the Research and Development Exhibition at the recently concluded Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference and the launch of locally constructed Seaward Defence Ship at the Naval Dockyard.
“I urge you all to stay the course towards ensuring that we become self-sufficient in the production of our defence equipment in no distant future.
‘To my dear troops, as your Commander in Chief, I am mindful of your selfless sacrifices which in some cases have entailed paying the supreme price. The nation owes you a debt of gratitude for your commitment, dedication and unalloyed loyalty to the Constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Our Government will continue to work with your respective heads to ensure that your welfare receives priority attention and that our wounded comrades are given the best medical care possible,” the President assured.
The President said the manpower challenges which have limited the rotation of some units from the Theatre would be addressed by concerted efforts to increase recruitment and ensure that the remaining units due for rotation were relieved as soon as practicable.
The Force Commander of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Major General Abdul Khalifah Ibrahim, has met with the President of Niger Republic, Mohammed Bazoum and the country’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Major General Salifou Mody.
During the meeting on Sunday, discussions centred mainly on improving the synergy and cooperation between MNJTF and national forces with the aim of generally confronting the scourge of the BokoHaram and ISWAP terrorists in the Lake Chad region.
A statement issued by the Spokesman of Multinational Joint Task Force, Colonel Muhammad Dole, quotes the commander as saying that the “restoration of peace and security in the region will surely enhance the socio-economic activities of the people”.
The commander also disclosed that 64 Battlefield First Aid troops have been trained and impacted with the skills and knowledge to help save lives and ultimately reduce the rate of avoidable deaths on the field.
He explained that the personnel were exposed to acquiring good aquatic skills, operational navigation, Rules of Engagement in nautical environment and requirement of the crew work, among others.
On his part, President Bazoum reiterated his total commitment to support the MNJTF to achieve its mandates.
Similarly, the headquarters of the MNJTF also hosted a French military delegation comprised of students and their directing staff from the Centre of Advanced Military Studies Paris France.
The delegation was led by the Director of the Centre, Rear Admiral François Xavier Polderman and they were received by the Deputy Force Commander MNJTF Brig Gen Abduo Harouna Assoumane on behalf of the Force Commander.
Gen Assoumane highlighted the various kinetic and non-kinetic measures conducted which have contributed to operational successes.
The Team leader, Rear Admiral François Polderman commended MNJTF for the recorded operational successes and explained that, they were on tour of Sahel region, because of its strategic importance to France and their desire to have a peaceful Sahel region adding that the MNJTF presented a perfect model of study.