Operatives of the 72 Special Forces Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Makurdi the Benue State capital, have apprehended 73 men all from Nasarawa State at the Agan Toll Gate, Makurdi, while on their way to Imo State.
Briefing journalists on Tuesday, the brigades commandant, AD Alhassan said, the operation was based on an intelligence report they received on Monday night
According to him, the young men were intercepted with 47 motorcycles loaded in five trucks conveying some minerals like Led and Zinc from Plateau State to a Port Harcourt-based company.
Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Benson Abounu, who was also present, commended the Special Forces for their diligence and professional conduct.
He noted that despite the attempts to evade arrest, the soldiers were able to apprehend the trucks and arrest the men who alleged that they were heading to Imo state to ply the trade as motorcycle operators in a state that has since banned motorcycles and tricycles from operating.
The House Of Representatives Joint Committees on Army and Defence has screened President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominee for the position of Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya.
The screening took place on Tuesday behind closed doors in the National Assembly chambers in Abuja.
Speaking earlier, Major General Farouk Yahaya in his introductory remarks, stated that contrary to public perception, there has been synergy among security agencies to tackle insurgency, especially since the emergence of the new service chiefs.
He also asked Nigerians to support the military in tackling the insecurity problem.
President Buhari appointed Major General Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff on May 27.
Prior to his appointment, he was the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and the incumbent Theatre Commander of the Counterterrorism, Counter-Insurgency military outfit in the North East code-named Operation Hadin Kai.
The appointment came days after the immediate past army chief, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru died in an air crash in Kaduna along with 10 other military officials.
There’s been a major shake-up in the Nigerian Army following the new postings and appointments of senior officers.
The Nigerian Army released the list of the appointees in a statement signed on Thursday, by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General, MM Yerima.
This, according to the statement is in line with the vision of the Chief of Army Staff to have a professional Nigerian Army ready to accomplish assigned missions within a Joint Environment in Defence of Nigeria.
All posting and appointments are to take effect immediately.
The shake-up comes days after President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Major-General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff following the death of Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru.
Those affected in the reorganisation include; Major General FO Omoigui from Headquarters Theatre Command Operation Hadin Kai to Land Forces Simulation Centre Nigeria and appointed Director-General, Major General CG Musa from Nigerian Army Resource Centre to Headquarters Theatre Command Operation Hadin Kai and appointed Theatre Commander, Major General OR Aiyenigba from Defence Headquarters to Headquarters Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police and appointed Provost Marshal(Army) and Major General IM Jallo from Defence Space Administration to Headquarters Theatre Command Operation HADIN KAI and appointed Deputy Theatre Commander 1.
Others affected in the posting include; Brigadier General NU Muktar from Nigeria High Commission Islamabad to Office of the Chief of Army Staff and appointed Director of Procurement, Brigadier General O Nwachukwu from Defence Headquarters ( Director Defence Information) to Headquarters Directorate of Army Public Relations and appointed Director, Brigadier General AE Abubakar from Department of Training and Operations( Defunct) to Headquarters 22 Brigade and appointed Commander, Brigadier General KO Ukandu from Office of the Chief of Army Staff (Director Procurement) to National Defence College and appointed Directing Staff, Brigadier General IB Abubakar from Nigerian Army Armour School to Army Headquarters Department of Army Operations and appointed Deputy Director Operations, Brigadier General AM Umar from Army War College Nigeria to Office of the Chief of Army Staff and appointed Chief of Staff to the Chief of Army Staff and Brigadier General AJS Gulani from Nigerian Army Armour School to Headquarters 24 Task Force Brigade and appointed Commander.
Others are; Colonel KE Inyang from Headquarters Department of Army Logistics to Office of the Chief of Army Staff and appointed Military Assistant to the Chief of Army Staff, Colonel OO Braimah from Headquarters Theatre Command Operation HADIN KAI to Nigeria High Commission Islamabad and appointed Defence Attachee and Colonel IP Omoke from Office of the Chief of Army Staff to Defence Intelligence Agency and appointed Assistor Director Foreign Liaison/ Liaison Officer(Army).
General Yahaya urged all the affected senior officers to justify the confidence reposed on them.
Troops of the Nigerian Army under the Operation Hadin Kai have killed several ISWAP Terrorists in Dikwa town, Borno State.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, the gallant troops decisively dealt with the terrorists who were attempting to infiltrate the town on Tuesday.
The terrorist elements were said to have mounted five gun trucks, others mounted motorcycles, while others moved by foot.
They were, however, met with superior fire power by troops in conjunction with air bombardment by Air Task Force.
“The marauding terrorists were thoroughly vanquished forcing them to withdraw in high state of confusion abandoning their truck, guns and ammunition,” the statement read.
“During the encounter, six members of the terrorists groups were neutralized, several others were severely injured while the survivors withdrew in total disarray leaving behind their deceased colleagues”.
Three soldiers, however, sustained various degrees of injuries but have now been stabilised.
Items recovered during the encounter included one gun truck, eight AK 47 rifles, 40 rounds of 7.62mm Special, 39 special ammo, three motorcycles and six magazines.
To mop up the area, troops conducted exploitation in the early hours of Wednesday in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters along the terrorists’ withdrawal routes and recovered 90 rounds of 7.62 mm x 54 on links belonging to the fleeing terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya, has commended the gallant troops over the feat and charged them to remain resolute and steadfast.
He urged them to maintain the tempo in order to ensure total obliteration of terrorist groups within the North East region.
French President Emmanuel Macron will continue to greet crowds during his travels despite a security scare that saw him slapped by a man in the south of France, a government spokesman said Wednesday.
Macron shrugged off his assault on Tuesday in the village of Tain l’Hermitage, calling it an “isolated event” and “stupidity”, and he went to chat with and fistbump onlookers later in the day in the nearby town of Valence.
“Obviously his trips are going to continue: the president will remain in contact with the French public,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.
“It would be completely incomprensible for people to be deprived of contact with the president because of an isolated individual who wanted to challenge” him, Attal added.
Macron’s assailant, a 28-year-old man identified as Damien T., remained in police custody on Wednesday and is expected to be charged with assaulting a public figure, which carries a maximum three-year prison term.
He has been described as a fan of medieval martial arts and board games, while the French media raked over his social media activity looking for clues to his political sympathies.
He is a subscriber to several far-right YouTube channels.
Popular evening talkshow Le Quotidien aired footage of one of its journalists meeting Damien T. and friends earlier in the day on Tuesday.
One of the friends, who says he identifies with the anarchist movement, explains that they have come to speak to Macron about the “decline of France”.
Police sources said that Damien T. had no criminal record and friends and acquaintances who spoke to AFP expressed surprise at his actions, describing him as a shy and placid character.
– Safety debate –
The slap has led to debate about whether it is safe for Macron to continue spontaneous meetings with members of the public.
The centrist began a nationwide tour of France last week, promising to “take the pulse” of the country a fortnight before regional elections and 10 months before a presidential vote.
He is widely expected to seek a second term in April and May next year, with polls giving him a narrow lead over far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
The 43-year-old former investment banker decided to get out of his car to greet onlookers on Tuesday who were calling his name after a visit to a school in Tain l’Hermitage.
In footage of the incident, he can be seen striding over to a barrier, with his security detail behind him, before greeting Damien T., who grabs him with his left hand and strikes with his right.
Experts highlighted on Wednesday how French security services advise French presidents on their safety, but do not have authority or powers to prevent them putting themselves in danger.
“In the United States it’s the opposite: the Secret Service decides if a trip is seen as too dangerous and no one opposes them, not the people in charge of protocol or even the president,” Jean-Pierre Diot, a former member of France’s specialist VIP police protection force, told Le Parisien.
“The Americans have a history of attacks,” he added.
Macron has been regularly booed and heckled in the street since coming to power in 2017, above all by anti-government “yellow vest” protesters, but he had never been physically assaulted before Tuesday.
The country has faced a string of Islamist attacks in recent years and Macron has been personally targeted during demonstrations in Muslim countries over his defence of French secularism and the right to blaspheme.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met with the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya and the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor at the State House.
During the meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari said that there is a lot of pressure on security in the country and therefore stressed the need for synergy among security agencies.
The Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), who was also present at the meeting, told journalists afterwards that the President proffered advice and direction to the new Chief of Army staff, while undoubtedly expressing confidence in the new set of security chiefs.
On the issue of securing the Northwestern part of the country, the defense minister affirmed that issues of banditry, kidnapping and criminality have remained a pivotal concern.
He maintained that even though it is the constitutional responsibility of the police, the military would provide greater support to tackle the protracted menace in the northwest region.
The meeting is taking place days after the President appointed Major-General Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff following the death of Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru.
Twenty-three suspected cultists have been arrested by the police in Edo State.
The spokesman of the police command in the state, Superintendent Bello Kontongs, who confirmed this said the arrest took place on Saturday ahead of a planned procession to celebrate one of their leaders’ birthday.
Kontongs explained that the command had set out to investigate the situation after it received information from a member of the public that some young men, armed and dressed in white and black attires were seen gathered around Sapele road in Benin City the Edo State capital.
According to him, on sighting the police, the young men opened fire and destroyed vehicles around the scene.
The Federal Government is concerned about Nigeria’s security challenges and doing all it can to restore peace in every part of the country.
Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this on Monday when received the President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations NIPR, Muktar Sirajo, and other members of the Governing Council of the body in Abuja.
He called on the institute, as a stakeholder on national issues, to speak out against those fanning the embers of disunity and discord in Nigeria.
“Each of us in our respective positions has a role to play to tone down the rhetoric and reduce the tension (in the polity), and I am glad that NIPR is lending its platform to work with the government to ensure that we have a country, which is peaceful and which is secured,” the minister was quoted as saying in a statement by his aide, Segun Adeyemi.
He added, “Without security, there can be no development and that’s why this administration is doing everything possible to return peace and security across the country.
“This is where I think you can come in as a body of NIPR that we must put the nation first.”
Mohammed welcomed the NIPR’s offer to make available its platform for a national engagement on national unity, peace and security, saying it falls into the template of the town hall meetings on topical issues which have been institutionalised by the Federal Government.
He also urged the institution to join the government in the fight against fake news, saying the NIPR needed to rein in members fond of throwing professional ethics to the wind for pecuniary gains.
“You have a powerful platform to actually ensure that the menace of fake news is confronted squarely.
“Regrettably, however, members of the Institute have been found waiting. They most times place pecuniary interests and motives above professional ethics and patriotism,” the minister said.
In his remarks, Sirajo decried the politicisation of the security situation in the country by politicians, saying the issue of security was beyond politics.
He said the NIPR was ready to provide a platform for a national dialogue on peace and security in order to secure a consensus on the unity of the country.
Others include Bala Muhammed (Bauchi), Duoye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Benedict Ayade (Cross River), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara).
The governors are expected to discuss issues of party politics and the state of the nation with focus on security and economy among other concerns.
Earlier, Governor Makinde announced their arrival via Twitter.
“Pleased to receive and host my brother Governors – Governors Aminu Tambuwal, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Samuel Ortom, Douye Diri, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi – all of our great party, PDP, in Ibadan tonight.
“We are meeting in Ibadan tomorrow, as members of the PDP Governors’ Forum, to discuss party issues as well as issues of national importance including security and the economy.”
As Nigerians celebrate the 2021 Eid-el-Fitr across the country, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba has ordered tight security.
Baba also approved the deployment of Police officers and other operational assets of the Force to beef up security even beyond the Sallah holiday.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, adding that the IGP’s order was contained in a directive to Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs) and other strategic commanders of the Force.
He explained that the order was part of efforts by the police leadership toward stabilising security, improving public safety and making the country a safer place for all citizens.
While noting that the nation’s security ecosystem is challenged, the police boss assured that these challenges are not insurmountable.
He reassured the citizens that the Force under his new policing vision is already implementing new, improved, tailored-to-suit and robust security solutions aimed at tackling crimes and neutralizing both existing and emerging security threats in the country.
“The IGP, while restating his belief that the nation will soon overcome its security challenges, further noted that the Force is equally upscaling its collaboration with the military and other law enforcement agencies in both intelligence sharing and other target-oriented missions and operations,” the statement partly read.
“He enjoined citizens to support the Police to stage a common front in tackling the challenges. The IGP reminded the citizens of the newly introduced Phase-4 National Response on COVID-19 Health Protection Regulation and called for voluntary compliance with the protocols.”
He equally directed Commissioners of Police in all the States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to ensure full enforcement of the Protocols. He, however, warned that Police officers deployed for such enforcement must do so with utmost professionalism while exhibiting compassion, decorum, and due respect for the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Meanwhile, the IGP, on behalf of the entire officers of the Nigeria Police Force, congratulated all Muslim faithful in the country as they join the Muslim Ummah across the globe to mark this year’s Eid-el-Fitr. He urged them to internalize the virtues and teachings of Ramadan in their day-to-day endeavours and admonished all Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of obedience to the laws of the land and the pursuit of the common good.