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.

Military Pledges Continuous Support To President Buhari

Military Pledges Continuous Support To President BuhariThe Nigerian military has pledged its continuous support to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, made this pledge on Wednesday during a meeting of the Security Chiefs with the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in the Presidential Villa.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, made this pledge on Wednesday during a meeting of the Security Chiefs with the Acting President in the Presidential Villa.

He applauded the administration’s support in the fight against Boko Haram, and the welfare of troops in crisis-ridden areas in the northeast.

Mr Dan Ali disclosed that more equipment have been procured to strengthen the troop in the fight against the terrorists.

He stated further that over 2,000 people held captive by the terrorists have been released, with several high profile Boko Haram Commanders arrested.

The Minister said normalcy has also returned to Southern Kaduna, following the recent killings in Kafanchan.

He added that efforts are ongoing to construct a military barrack in Southern Kaduna area.

Present at the Security Council briefing are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, and the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed.

Also in attendance are other Service Chiefs as well as Directors and Heads of Security Agencies.

Dan-Ali Solicits Chadian President’s Support For MNJTF

Idriss Deby, Mansur Dan-Ali, MNJTFThe Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has urged President Idris Deby of Chad to use his good office as African Union Chairman to support the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

Mr Dan-Ali also asked President Deby to call on countries, organisations and individuals that pledge financial and material support to the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to fulfil their promises, to enable the task force execute its mandate of ending the activities of Boko Haram in the region effectively.

He made the appeal on Wednesday when he led a team of Ministers of Defence and Chiefs of Defence Staff from troops-contributing countries of MNJTF which include Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin Republic, to visit the Chadian leader after LCBC meeting in Njamena.

The Nigerian Defence Minister also appealed to African leaders to provide a better means of livelihood for their people, to prevent the recruitment of youths into terrorist groups across the region.

In his response, President Deby assured the visiting Ministers and Chiefs of Defence Staff of the support of all LCBC Presidents to the MNJTF operations and promised to impress on the donors to fulfil their promise.

He also paid tribute to the MNJTF soldiers and urged them to rid the region of Boko Haram terrorists as soon as possible.

Mr Dan-Ali’s appeal was made public in a statement by his spokesman, Colonel Tukur Gusau.

Defence Minister Insists Terrorists Have Been Largely Degraded

Mansur Dan-Ali, Nigerian Air Force, Boko Haram InsurgentsThe Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, believes the Boko Haram terrorists have been seriously degraded by the military, in spite of the latest attacks by the insurgents that claimed several lives in some states.

The minister reiterates the commitment of the Federal Government in building capacities of the Nigerian Armed Forces to enable them perform their statutory functions.

He made the remarks during the passing out parade of 99 officers of the Direct Short Service Course (DSSC) 25 at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna State.

Addressing the newly commissioned officers, Mr Dan-Ali asked them to be prepared to play their part in defending Nigeria’s territorial integrity, as well as protecting the lives and property of the people.

He also challenged them to live above board and display a high level of competence and patriotism for the support service of the Nigerian Air Force.

Injecting Fresh Hands

The Defence Minister noted that the Air Force operates on a philosophy of zero tolerance for misconduct and cowardice, stressing that the authorities would demand nothing short of the very best from them.

He also implored the graduating officers to respect both military and civil authorities, as well as resist the temptation of taking laws into their hands.

Speaking to reporters after the parade, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the commissioning of the new officers into the service was in line with government’s effort in curbing terrorism by injecting fresh hands into the force.

The DSSC curriculum covers both military and general service subjects, which broadly introduces the cadets to military regimentation, as well as operations and administration of the Nigerian Air Force.

The cadets were drawn from different academic backgrounds such as medicine, engineering, pharmacy, and piloting among other disciplines.

For six months, they were subjected to rigorous physical fitness and weapon training to develop their endurance level, and have also received lectures on counter terrorism operations.

Anti-terror War Successful Despite Fresh Bomb Attacks, Minister Says

Defence Ministry, Mansur Dan-AliIn spite of the latest attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno and Adamawa States that claimed several lives, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, believes terrorists have been seriously degraded by troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

He expressed this optimism during the passing out ceremony of 99 officers of the Direct Short Service Course 25 at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna State.

The Defence Minister, who reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to building capacities of the Nigerian Armed Forces to enable them perform their statutory functions, asked the graduating cadets to live above board.

They were 99 graduating cadets of the 25 Direct Short Service Course of the Nigerian Air Force drawn from different academic background such as medicine, engineering, pharmacy, piloting among other disciplines.

For six months, the officers were subjected to rigorous physical fitness and weapon training to develop their endurance level, and also received lectures on counter-terrorism operations.

The aim is to transform civilian graduates into proud gentlemen officers of the Nigerian Air Force.

The occasion opened with a colourful parade after the Minister of Defence, who was also the reviewing officer of the parade, arrived.

The officers marched in slow and quick time before awards were presented to deserving cadets.

Addressing the newly commissioned officers, Mr Dan-Ali told them to be prepared to play their part in defending the territorial integrity of the nation and protecting the lives and property of citizens.

“You must display a high level of competence and patriotism for the support service of the Nigerian Air Force,” he told them.

While reminding the officers that the Nigerian Air Force operates on a philosophy of zero tolerance for misconduct and cowardice, the minister told them that the authorities would demand nothing short of the very best from them. He also implored them to respect both military and civil authorities as well as resist the temptation of taking laws into their hands.

“When this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came on board, our goal was mainly to build capacities in all areas to enable the Nigerian Armed Forces adequately perform their statutory tasks. Ever since, we have remained focused, as evidenced in the overall performance of the Nigerian Armed Forces in our effort in tackling the enormous security challenges confronting our dear nation.

“For the passing out cadets, while you may have every reason to be proud for what you have achieved, it is important to bear in mind that this is yet the beginning of another journey. I am confident that, armed with the quality of training you have just received, you will confidently face the task ahead with great commitment and due diligence.

“You are aware that the military profession requires absolute discipline, loyalty, perseverance and sacrifice especially at this crucial point in our history.

“Let me state here that you may be called at all times to make sacrifices to ensure the peace and stability of the nation. This call will require you to exhibit courage, commitment and patriotism in the discharge of your duties.

“As you are aware, the Armed Forces of Nigeria has made tremendous effort to stamp out terrorism and insurgency perpetrated by Boko Haram insurgents in the North East,” he told the cadets.

The minister further emphasised that their efforts were needed in addressing issues of cattle rustling, renewed militancy in Niger Delta, kidnapping and other acts of criminality across the country.

He pointed out that the Nigerian Air Force, together with other sister services, was currently at the forefront of the efforts to rid the nation of these criminal elements and restore normalcy, stressing that it was gratifying to see the capacity of the insurgents to launch coordinated massive attacks had been sufficiently degraded through the coordinated effort of the armed forces and other security agencies.

“Therefore, as you pass out today, I urge all of you to be prepared to play your part in defending the territorial integrity of our great nation and protecting lives and properties. You must remember that as commissioned officers of the Nigerian Air Force, you will be expected to add value to our society, to respect the dignity of all law abiding Nigerians and to be decisive in dealing with those elements that are undermining our national security and sovereignty.

“Your initial training was designed to prepare you for the challenging career in the Nigerian Air Force. As specialists in your various fields, you are now expected to bring to bear your expertise on the overall service delivery, knowing full well that the Air Force, as a highly technical service, requires very knowledgeable and highly skilled manpower to operate and maintain its array of sophisticated equipment,” he highlighted.

On the prevailing economic recession, the minister told the gathering that the government, through appropriate policies, had re-ordered its priorities to optimise the use of available resources.

After the parade of the new cadets, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, told reporters that the commissioning of the new officers into the service was part of the Federal Government’s effort in curbing terrorism through injection of fresh hands into the force.

”These gentlemen and ladies came into Air Force about six months ago as civilians. As professionals, doctors, engineers , lawyers and so on. But today, they are leaving not only as professionals but as professional airmen and women who stripple and assemble rifle, who can put on the rifle to defend this nation And also ensure that Nigerians go about their normal business without fear.

“So, we are really happy to have them. We are expecting another 105 very soon in another six months, making a total of 210 and then in 2017, we are expecting that we could have more again.

“Some are coming from NDA while we are training some locally here especially the professionals,” he stated.

The Chief of Air Staff also told reporters that the northeast operation was going on very well, saying that the military is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that Nigerians are secured.

“Isolated cases of bombings like I told you last time are things that cannot be totally eradicated. What is important is that we all have a role to play as Nigerians. We need intelligence. There is no way a fighter aircraft can dictate a 13 year old girl carrying bomb,” he added.

The Direct Short Service course is designed for graduates from approved tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

Its curriculum covers both military and general service subjects, which broadly introduces the cadets to military regimentation as well as Nigerian Air Force operations and administration.

Osinbajo Launches Armed Forces Remembrance Fund

Osinbajo Tasks Nigerians On Water Sanitation And HygieneThe Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Buhari administration will do all it can to support the Nigerian military, and ensure terrorism and hate is stamped out of the Nigerian territory.

The Vice President made this known at the launch of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem Appeal Fund at the Presidential Villa.

Where he donated 10 million Naira on behalf of the Federal Government and urged all Nigerians to donate to the fund for the upkeep, of the families of the fallen heroes.

The event was designed to honour members of the Armed Forces, especially those who have passed on in the service of their fatherland.

The Vice President who presided over the event promised that the administration will do all they can to appreciate them for ensuring that terrorism and hate do not prevail in our land.

The Minister of Defence says this occasion is unique coming at a time when Nigeria is winning the war against Boko Haram.

He urged all to adorn the emblem as a show of appreciation of what the fallen heroes have done.

Defence Ministry To Eradicate Ghost Pensioners In Military

Nigerian_MilitaryNigeria’s Ministry of Defence says it is committed to eradicating ghost pensioners in the military in order to ensure improved welfare for veterans and other war heroes.

To achieve the eradication, a Military Pension Retiree Identification Card has been launched.

The Minister of Defence, Mr Manusr Dan Ali, who launched the initiative in Abuja on Tuesday said it had been introduced to ease verification of retirees, eliminate ghost workers and also serve as a debit card to access pension accounts.

“Considering the successes recorded by our own troops in spite of the economic recession in the country, there is no doubt that this calls for the need to appreciate the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies that are paying the supreme price so that we can live in peace, reassuring our citizens of the armed forces’ commitment to doing all within its powers to maintain oneness of their country,” he stressed.

According to Mr Dan Ali, the ministry is set to provide other services to include health insurance scheme, military cemeteries and loan schemes for ex-service men to appreciate the officers of the armed forces and other security agencies.

“The ministry will continue to engage pensioners through relevant organs like Nigerian legion, the Patrons Affairs Division of the Military Pension Board to ensure that government obligation at all times are being met and to ensure that our pensioners are identified and ghost pensioners’ syndrome eradicated,” he stated.

Buhari Commends Nigerian Army’s Contribution To Sports Development

Buhari Says Nigerian Army Contributes Hugely To Sports DevelopmentPresident Muhammadu Buhari says that the Nigerian Army has contributed immensely to sports development in Nigeria.

President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, made the remark on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the 6th Nigerian Army Sports Festival at the National Stadium in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He expressed hope that sports activities would further enrich the mental alertness of the personnel of the Army.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces commended the Army and the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, for their commitment and resilience in the discharge of their primary assignment.

He added that despite their professional commitment, they still found time to organise the sports festival this year.

The President noted that both serving and retired officers have contributed their quotas and brought glory to the nation.

He commended the organisers of the game whom he asked to sustain their efforts and urged the Army to continue to make sports a priority.

President Buhari said his administration remains favorably disposed to sports activities by making sure that Nigeria excels in international tournaments.

FG Releases Two Presidential Aircraft To Nigerian Air Force

Babagana-MungunuThe Federal Government has fulfilled its promise of reducing the number of aircraft in the presidential fleet as officials released two Agusta Westland helicopters to the Nigerian Air Force.

At the handing over ceremony, the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), reaffirmed the government’s commitment to enhancing the capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

He advised the Air Force to make judicious use of the helicopters in the overall interest of Nigeria’s national security.

Speaking at the event on Monday in Abuja, the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), applauded the gesture of the Federal Government to support the Nigerian Air Force with the two aircraft.

He expressed optimism that the helicopters would aid the air power of the force to respond to national security threats.Presidential-jet-helicopters-Air-Force

In his remarks, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, pledged the commitment of the force to double its effort in the fight against terror.

He pointed out that the Agusta Westland 101 and 102 helicopters are rugged helicopters used in civil and military ‎applications.

The Air Chief added that aircraft have ballistic defence capabilities and are equipped with defensive aid against some forms of missile attacks.

NHRC Summons Navy Chief Over Alleged Rights Abuse

Ibok-Ete Ibas, NHRC, Rights Abuse, NavyThe National Human ‎Rights Commission (NHRC) has summoned the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, to appear before it on September 26.

He has been invited to answer to allegations of human rights violation levelled against him and the Managing Director of Naval Building and Construction Company Limited, Commodore Abdul Adamu.

In the summons made available to Channels Television on Wednesday, the Commission said it was in receipt of a complaint by the Managing Director of Lexy Nigeria Limited, Prince Leye Adetipe, against Vice Admiral Ibas and some staff of the Navy whom allegedly violated the rights of the complainant.

The NHRC implored the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, to direct the Navy Chief and the senior officers of the Nigerian Navy to appear before the Commission on the said date by 12 noon.

Prince Adetipe had in a petition, alleged that the Navy had terminated the company’s contract and engaged other building contractors at a construction site at the command of the Naval Building and Construction Company Ltd.

He also claimed that the Navy reneged on their joint venture agreement by refusing to declare the proceeds of the sale of the housing units and other developments, contrary to earlier signed agreement on May 19, 2015.

Adetipe accused the Navy of beating up some of their staff and other persons lawfully engaged by his company on February 19, 2016 and expressed worries that his life was in danger, as some naval ratings allegedly trailed his car on one occasion.

He has demanded for 10 billion Naira damages and asked the NHRC to grant him an injunction restraining the alleged violators from “tampering with me and members of the staff of the company and those legally engaged by my company at the site”.

Defence Ministry Considers Giving Civilian Staff Military Training

Defence Ministry on Civilian staff military training Civilian staff of Nigeria’s Defence Ministry are to receive military training, an official of the ministry said on Tuesday. 

The Minister of Defence, Mr Mansur Dan-Ali, told reporters that the training would build staff capacity.

Mr Dan-Ali said that the training was part of a plan already on ground to restructure the armed forces.

The Minister is also recommending a complete review of the nation’s defence policy to enable it tackle domestic security challenges the nation currently faces.

He made the recommendation after he received the 2015 National Defence Policy Committee’s report in Abuja.

Mr Adn-Ali further stated that the existing National Defence Policy had not been reviewed in the last 10 years.

According to him, the lack of review over the years has made it difficult for the armed forces to effectively tackle emerging threats to national security.

Defence Minister Inspects ‘Operation Delta Safe’

Defence Ministry, Mansur Dan-AliThe Minister of Defence says the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the security agencies are the power house that has kept this nation afloat and they will do all that is necessary to protect the continued unity of the country.

He made this statement while on an assessment tour of the facilities of the Operation Delta Safe.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, began his visit by paying a visit to the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah.

During the visit, he explained that he was in the state for an operational assessment of Operation Delta Safe which is headquartered in Yenagoa.

He also revealed that there were plans underway to absorb the graduates of the federal amnesty programme into the security architecture of the nation.

For John Jonah, the task of keeping Nigeria safe is a task for all Nigerians.

He applauded the plan to incorporate locals into the fight to bring lasting peace to the Niger Delta.

The Minister, in an interview with journalists, revealed that the federal government has begun talks with the militants.

The Minister then proceeded to visit the officers of the Operation Delta Safe. Thereafter he had a closed door meeting with the heads of the operation.