Amnesty Asks FG To Make Report On Probe Into Alleged Rights Abuses By Military Public

Don Waney's CSO Killed In Delta

An international human rights group, Amnesty International, on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to publish the report by the presidential panel which investigated alleged human rights violations by the military.

Amnesty International in a statement signed by the Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said today marks a year after the panel started its work of reviewing compliance of the armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement.

They noted that a judicial commission was raised in August 2017 by then-Acting President Yemi Osinbajo while President Buhari was on a medical trip to London, into the alleged human rights violations by the military.

“The Nigerian government’s delay to make public the report by the Presidential Investigative Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement is an appalling affront to victims who are still waiting for justice

“The presidential investigative panel submitted its report in February 2018 and since then Nigerians have been waiting for the full report and fulfilment of the promise made by President Buhari in June 2015 to end impunity and ensure justice for the victims of crimes under international law committed by the armed forces.

“When the panel finally commenced a year ago, many Nigerians took the brave step to testify, driven by their yearning for the truth to come out. Their efforts must not be in vain. It is time the victims see the result of the investigations,” the statement read in part.

During the course of its investigations, the panel held public sittings in Abuja, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos where it heard from victims and witnesses, who described a range of alleged violations by security forces, including extra-judicial executions, torture, rape, enforced disappearances and the burning down of villages.

Amnesty International said the Federal government must make good on its promise and show its commitment to transparency and accountability by publishing the report and revealing how they will ensure justice for the victims.

They claimed that “Far too many previous investigative panels and inquiries set up by the government in the past ended nowhere, with no reports published to the public.”

Military Veterans Threaten Protest Over Non-Payment of Pension

nairaThe Coalition of Concerned Veterans are threatening to embark on a protest to draw attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to the non-payment of their pension.

The veterans are from various pressure groups within military retirees.

They say the demonstration has become necessary in view of high cost of living due to the current economic recession.

Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, the spokesman for the group, Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts, appealed to President Buhari to bring the veterans back on the pension payroll of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

“We are not unaware of the dwindling economic fortunes of the country and the far reaching effect in addressing numerous challenges in a country like ours.

“However, the welfare and wellbeing of military veterans is top priority because of their sacrifice in nation building and sustainable democracy .

“Therefore, if democracy must continue to thrive, concerted efforts by government must be geared towards not sending wrong signals to those still serving and would soon join us.

“Doing otherwise would definitely dampen their morales towards their primary responsibility of protecting territorial integrity of our country on land, sea and air. We the retired, remain their beacon of hope,” he told reporters.

Durowaiye-Herberts said the veterans that served up to 10 years in active capacity, either retired by military or left service voluntarily, were not catered for in the present military pension policy, but lamented that their Biafran comrades were taken care of.

He, however, acknowledge the efforts of the President Buhari over his concern towards addressing the plight of the veterans, the retired military personnel’s spokesman said were inherited from previous administration.

“We also commend the efforts of the Minister of Defense and Chief of Defense Staff as well as management of military pension boards for organising an interactive session, where stakeholders bare the minds,” he added.

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.

IBB Reacts To Chibok Girls Release

IBBA former military president in Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida, has rejoiced with the families, people of Nigeria and indeed Nigerian government over the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok Girls.

In a statement through Mahmud Abdullahi, the Former Military President popularly known as IBB, said it was a thing of joy for the girls to have been reunited with their families after being taken away in such painfully and abrupt manner for over two and half years.

He noted that the release of the 21 girls signalled a hope, after such moments of despair that the abduction of over 200 Schools girls brought to their families, the entire country and the global community.

Hasten Negotiations

General Babangida stated that it was gratifying to see the release of 21 of the girls, after delicate negotiations with the Boko Haram saying that “it is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is committed to ensuring safe release of the girls”.

He further applauded the effort of President Buhari and the resilience showed thus far on the release of abducted Chibok school girls despite the general lethargy and dampening spirit caused by the mode of operation of the deadly group.

He also, urged the, Federal Government, security agents and other partners to hasten negotiations to free the remaining girls and rehabilitate them from psychological trauma they might have encountered in the last two and half years.

The former military President reaffirmed his belief in the professional capability of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies in ensuring that they put an end to the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the northeast completely.

He maintained that the Nigerian Armed Forces had the training and the professional background to end all forms of security threat to the nation such as kidnappings, armed robbery, cattle rustling, farmers-herders clashes and other forms of vandalism.

The former Nigerian leader also called on all Nigerians to offer all forms of assistance to the released Chibok girls in order to overcome the mental, physical and psychological trauma they have gone through over the past two and half.

The Nigerian government had promised to immediately rehabilitate the released girls.

Buhari Tasks Military Officers on Professionalism

Muhammadu Buhari, NigeriansThe President, Muhammadu Buhari, has tasked the newly commissioned military officers to support the Federal Government’s effort in the war against Boko Haram insurgency and militancy, in the Niger Delta region as well as other emerging security challenges confronting the nation.

President Buhari made this declaration while addressing graduating military cadets of the 63rd Regular Course during their passing out parade from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna State on Saturday.

While congratulating the graduating cadets on their enlistment as military officers, the President charged them to exhibit high sense of professionalism, patriotism and loyalty which the NDA is known for, in the course of their military career, warning them to always operate by the rule of engagement and in accordance with the nation’s constitution.

The President also gave assurances of the Federal Government’s commitment to improving the welfare of military officers who laid down their lives for the security of the nation.

A total of 129 Cadets of 63rd Regular Course comprising of the Army, Navy, Air Force were commissioned as officers. The Passing Out Parade is significant because this is the first time that the NDA is graduating female cadets after 52 years

Addressing the new officers, President Buhari reminded them that some would be deployed to crisis areas. He restated that the government is determined to confront the current resurgence of militants’ attacks on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta with military onslaught if the agitators fail to embrace dialogue.

He commended the NDA for churning out highly disciplined military officers, who have contributed immensely to the security of the nation since its establishment in 1964. He urged the new officers to be prepared to play their roles as junior military officers in tackling the prevailing security challenges confronting the nation.

The Nigerian Defence Academy was established in 1964 to provide primary military officer training for the Nigerian Armed Forces. Since its inception, the academy has graduated over 18,000 military officers including those from neigbouring African countries.

Army Trains NSCDC Officers On Weapons Handling

NSCDC, Army, WeaponsAt least 400 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been trained on how to handle various types of weapons.

The training comes as part of measures to complement the effort of the Nigerian Armed Forces in tackling insecurity in Nigeria.

The exercise was conducted by the 22 Armoured Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Sobi in Ilorin, the Kwara State’s capital.

Speaking on Wednesday at the passing out ceremony of the second batch of the 200 officers, the Brigade’s Chief of Staff, Colonel Ola Falade, who represented the Commandant, sought more roles for the NSCDC, especially in the area of Nigeria’s internal security.

He said the corps were trained in weapons handling and expressed the confidence that they could now handle the weapons professionally.

Colonel Falade noted that the NSCDC could complement in tackling insecurity, saying they could take over most of the internal security operations while the military would focus on more serious challenges.

He pointed out that Nigeria could emulate other developed countries where the military deals with major challenges facing the country.

The Kwara State Commandant of NSCDC, Awili Pedro, said the training would be a continuous process for the officers of the NSCDC.

Some of the graduating participants expressed their gratitude to the Federal Government and the NSCDC for giving them the opportunity to take part in such training.

They expressed hope that it would make them more disciplined in all ramifications.

Heads Of ‘Operation Delta Safe’ Meet To Restrategise

Nigerian NavyHeads of all the components of the Nigerian Armed Forces that make up operation “Delta Safe” have held an extensive closed-door meeting.

The meeting, which lasted for six hours, took place on Tuesday at the headquarters of the task force in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital to assess their work so far and synergise their operations.

The extensive meeting afforded the officers an opportunity to synergize their operations so that their action would be mission-oriented.

The Commandant of the operation, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, told newsmen after the meeting, “Since Operation Delta Safe was activated on the 24th of June, 2016 we have not met with the various component commanders.

“As you are aware it is a multi-agency task force and it is necessary for us to view what we have achieved so far and to know ourselves properly.”

Aside meeting with fellow officers attached to the “Operation Delta Safe” taskforce, the Commandant used the opportunity to explain the recent increase of military personnel in the Niger Delta with special reference to Kiama town, which is the hometown of celebrated Ijaw freedom fighter, Isaac Boro.

He appealed to the people to go about their everyday activities in spite of the presence of armed officers as they are in the Niger Delta to ensure continued peace in the region.

Terror Fight: Olonisakin Attributes Military Success To Leadership Change

Military, Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel OlonisakinThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, says that the change of leadership style by the current crop of military has contributed largely to the success of the fight against terrorism and internal aggression.

The Military Chief said this on Wednesday at a lecture series on military leadership at the National Defence College in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said that no amount of equipment or technological superiority would ensure military success against any form of aggression without effective leadership at the operational, strategic and tactical level of the military.

General Olonisakin noted that all military level must interact effectively if the war against both internal and external aggression is to be won.

He added that the military is also working on improving the welfare of personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces to sustain the new style of leadership.

Buhari Blames Corruption For Boko Haram’s Late Defeat

Muhammadu Buhari, Corruption, Boko Haram,President Muhammadu Buhari said Wednesday in Abuja that corruption was largely responsible for the inability of the Nigerian military to quickly defeat Boko Haram.

Speaking at an audience with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb, President Buhari said that the loss of 14 local government areas to Boko Haram had greatly tarnished the reputation of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

The President noted, however, that with measures taken by his administration to curb corruption and provide better weaponry, logistics, training and welfare for soldiers on the front lines, the Nigerian military has now almost totally incapacitated Boko Haram as a fighting force and recovered all territories that were lost to the terrorist sect.

“When we curbed corruption and removed the injustice in the military, we began to make progress,” he said in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu.

Welcoming the support of Muslims across the world for Nigeria’s war against the dreaded sect, the President said that the war against terrorism was also a war against injustice, which is not condoned by Islam and all the major religions.

“You can’t kill the innocent in churches or in mosques and shout Allahu Akbar,” President Buhari said, adding that the visit of Dr. El-Tayeb and his expression of solidarity with Nigeria in the war against terrorism was a clear indication of global Muslim support for Nigeria against the unjust killing of the innocent by terrorists.

Reaffirming the Federal Government’s determination to resettle all persons who were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, he thanked the Grand Imam for the donation of scholarships, educational and medical supplies to Nigeria’s Internally Displaced Persons.

In his words, Dr. El-Tayeb told President Buhari that Muslims all over the world share Nigeria’s pains from terrorism and would continue to support efforts to ensure the return of peace and unity amongst all faiths in the country.

Military Reiterates Need For Intelligence Gathering Strategy Review

intelligence gathering-Nigerian Armed ForcesThe Nigerian Armed Forces have emphasised the need to review intelligence gathering strategy to make it practical.

The Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Sarduna John-Davies, made the disclosure on Monday during a one-week training for Deputy Defence Attaches in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He explained that the growing sophistication of the society, coupled with increasing violence and attendant losses of lives and property requires a continuous appraisal of operational tactics.

General John-Davies called for better intelligence gathering mechanisms to appropriately deal with marching security environments.

He hinted that the defence intelligence agency was designing a new template for intelligence gathering.

The Army officer added that the agency had reviewed the kind of briefing given to defence attache, all of which was in a bid to ensure that information gathering is reduced to usable intelligence.

Military In Last Phase Of Ending Boko Haram Activities – Air Chief

Boko-Haram-terrorists-in-north-east-NigeriaThe Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, says the Nigerian military is in the last phase of ending the issue of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Air Marshal Abubakar gave the assurance while addressing reporters in Benin on Wednesday.

It was the commissioning of some projects at the Air Force Medical Centre of the 81 Maritime Group of the Nigerian Air Force in Benin City the capital of Edo State.

He said that apart from equipping the military with the necessary logistics, the government was also taking the welfare of its soldier and their dependents as a top priority in its bid to end terrorism and properly secure the country and this citizens.

His statement is coming hours after the Air Force signed an agreement with a vehicle manufacturing company in Anambra State, Innoson, to provide the force with necessary parts for its aircraft.

The Nigerian Air Force said the agreement would help address challenges faced in acquiring parts from foreign countries and also boost its counter-terrorism operations.