Ex-Soldiers Picket Defence Ministry Over Unpaid Allowances

Retired members of the Nigerian Armed Forces protests in Abuja over unpaid allowances on September 26, 2022.

 

Retired Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Coalition of Concerned Military Veterans on Monday picketed the Ministry of Defence in Abuja.

The protesters staged the third phase of their protests over the non-payment of their Security Debarment Allowance, among others by the Federal Government.

They displayed banners which read, “Review the wide disparity in pay and pension across the ranks of serving and retired personnel.”

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Among other demands is for President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the immediate payment of pensions to Nigerian civil war veterans that were verified in the 2015 pension payroll.

During their demonstrations, the aggrieved ex-soldiers blocked access to the Ministry of Defence located at Ship House on Olusegun Obasanjo Way in the Federal Capital Territory.

This is not the first time they were call on the Federal Government to pay their allowances. In January, they picketed the ministries of finance, defence, and the National Assembly earlier in pursuit of the same demand.

The National Secretary, REMENAF, Ambassador Roy Okhidievbie said that the demonstration was to demand the payment of their security debarment allowance owed them by the Federal Government.

He accused the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.) of refusing to disburse the allowances despite approval by President Buhari.

“We have had meetings with the Defence Minister, Magashi, but he appears to be headstrong, heartless, and unperturbed concerning the grievances of retired military officers, as he never paid nor showed any interest or concern to pay these allowances, especially the Security Debarment Allowance,” Okhidievbie said.

“Interestingly, President Buhari-led regime has approved the payment of this allowance, but Magashi has refused to make disbursements.”

Police Arrest Suspected Fake Soldiers With Charms In Lagos

The suspected fake soldiers were arrested by police detectives in Lagos. Credit: Lagos State Police Command.

 

The police in Lagos have arrested two suspected fake soldiers in the state.

This was confirmed in a statement on Friday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Benjamin Hundeyin.

One of the suspects, 39-year-old Oluwatosin Gabriel, was apprehended during the enforcement of the total ban on motorcycles in some parts of the state.

Hundeyin stated that an investigation by the detectives led to the arrest of the second suspect, Nurudeen Agboola, 35, who allegedly is a supplier of military uniforms.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest 30 Suspected Cultists In Edo

Items recovered from the fake soldier and his supplier included four pairs of military camouflage uniforms, nine live cartridges, military identity cards, police accoutrements, and charms.

“Investigation is ongoing to establish the extent of their criminality. Suspects would be arraigned after the conclusion of an investigation,” he said.

According to the police spokesman, the Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, commended the detectives for a good job.

Alabi also asked the officers and men of the command to redouble their efforts to sustain the safety and security of the state.

Insecurity: FG Should Recruit More People Into Military, Says Kachikwu

 

The Federal Government should recruit more people into the military as part of measures to tackle insecurity in Nigeria, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) presidential candidate Dumebi Kachikwu has said. 

Kachikwu gave the advice during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.  The ADC presidential flagbearer argued that the country is battling security challenges on multiple fronts.

“The whole country is at war. We have large areas of Nigeria that we now call ungoverned spaces. So, this military is severely challenged and they don’t have enough at this point,” he said on Wednesday.

“So, we have the Civil Defence and the police who are trained in the art of bearing arms but they are not trained the way soldiers are trained. So, we need to give them strategic training for a month or two for them to get to the point where they can react like the soldiers and join that effort.

“If we have 200,000 people join this war, on multi-war fronts, we would chase these people out. But we must understand that this war has been sustained for over a decade now. This is short-term. So, in the medium term, we must start recruiting massively. It takes about seven months to get a civilian to be a soldier, and another two to three years in the art of warfare – bearing different arms and what have you. So, we must start recruiting to get to the point of readiness but we are not doing this.”

RELATED: Troops Arrest Eight Suspected Bandits In Kaduna

The ADC candidate accused the Federal Government of not doing enough to support the military, saying “those who are at the war front, who expect that the country will be solidly behind them” do not get such backing.

“Last year we spent a lot of money buying armament  – serious equipment – but you must understand that equipment needs to be operated,” he added. “It needs professional expenses.”

“So, the military is seriously challenged,” Kachikwu maintained.

Soldiers Beat Police Officer To Death In Lagos State, Army Begins Probe

File photo of a Police patrol van.

 

Soldiers attached to the 81 Division have beaten a police officer to death in the Ojo area of Lagos State.

The Acting Deputy Director of Public Relations, 81 Division, Major Olaniyi Osoba, confirmed the incident on Friday.

“The attention of the 81 Division has been drawn to a story online over the unfortunate incident that occurred between some soldiers and policemen around Ojo in Lagos resulting in the loss of the life of a police officer,” Major Osoba said in a statement.

“The Division is already in touch with the Lagos State Police Command to resolve the matter. This incident is highly regrettable given the Division’s disposition and zero tolerance for any misconduct.”

READ ALSO: [Insecurity] Air Force Reshuffles Top Hierarchy, Appoints New Chiefs

According to him, the Division has instituted a Board of Inquiry to probe the incident.

“At the end of the investigation, anyone found culpable will be made to face the full wrath of the disciplinary provisions,” he added.

“Consequently, the Division wishes to commiserate with the Ojo Police Division and members of the family of the victim.”

The Lagos State Police Command spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, equally confirmed the incident.

“We are working with the Nigerian army authorities to resolve this issue; and get back our officer, arms, and ammunition still them,” he tweeted Friday. “RIP to our fallen hero. You absolutely did not have to die.”

While details have not been released by either the Police or Army authorities, multiple reports claim that the soldiers were on their way for a programme at the Ojo Military Cantonment on Wednesday when the incident happened.

The soldiers, who were on a bus, reportedly got stuck in traffic around the Trade Fair area of the Lagos Badagry Expressway.  When they realised that the traffic was caused by officers attempting to make a way for a truck driver to link the Expressway, the soldiers came down from the bus and confronted the policemen.

This resulted in a heated argument with the soldiers reportedly taking some of the police officers to the barracks where they beat and tortured one of them to death.

Operation Hadin Kai: Neutralize Terrorists Without Mercy, Maj Gen Musa Charges Troops

The Theatre Commander Joint Task Force (JTF) North East (NE) Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK), Major General Christopher Musa has today Saturday, 03 July 2022 charged troops of Operation HADIN KAI to neutralize all terrorists elements marauding and hibernating in any part of the North East region of the country.

Gen Musa gave this charge while addressing graduands of Train-the-Trainers’ Course Batch 2/2022 at the Theater Training School in Maimalari Military Cantonment, Maiduguri. While rewarding and recognising best graduating students of the course the Theatre Commander also urged course participants to impart the knowledge gained from the course in their subordinates at their various units.

While appreciating the officers, instructors and soldiers of the school for their commitment and dedication, the Theatre Commander also acknowledged the contributions of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service, Centre for Civilians in Conflict, 7 DMSH, 7 Div PT Group and many others who have contributed to the training of the participants.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Theatre Training Officer (TTO), Brigadier General EO Oduyebo disclosed that the 83 participants comprising of 9 officers and 74 soldiers were drawn from various units across the Theatre.

He stated that the two weeks rigorous military training is designed to broaden participant’s knowledge of military operations, civilian harm mitigation, leadership and build a professional, yet physically and mentally fit soldier that can take on and neutralize any adversary anytime, anywhere.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Lt FA Ibrahim on behalf of the entire course expressed immense appreciation to the Theatre Commander for prioritizing training and retraining of troops in the Theatre as well as his unending support to the actualization of the course aim.

He also thanked the TTO for his continuous guidance throughout the period of the course as well as instructors and stakeholders for the knowledge gained during the course.

The hitch free ceremony was attended by Component Commanders, Formations and Unit Commanders, Principal Staff Officers, Instructors and course participants.

Shiroro Attack: Buhari Mourns Slain Soldiers, Says Nigeria Will Know Peace

A file photo of soldiers on a military vehicle. Photo: Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has described Thursday’s attack in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State as a direct assault on Nigeria which will not go unpunished.

He condemned the attack by bandits on a mining site in the state in a statement on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Channels Television had reported that the mining site located at Ajata-Aboki in Gurmana Ward of Shiroro LGA came under attack on Wednesday.

Apart from the attack which reportedly left 13 policemen and civilians killed with several missing, including four Chinese nationals, the terrorists also ambushed a team of soldiers who responded to a distress call.

While sources said nearly 30 bodies of security operatives killed by the bandits were recovered from the bush, the Nigerian Army authorities said: “a number of personnel paid the supreme price in the fierce firefight that ensued”.

READ ALSO: Unconfirmed Number Of Soldiers Killed As Bandits Ambush Troops In Niger

Two days after the incident, President Buhari paid tributes to the gallant men of the security forces who lost their lives in the process of repelling the attack.

“We honour our security forces, and particularly those brave souls who have given their lives fighting against the evil that is terrorism,” he said. “They constitute the best that Nigeria has to offer, and we remember each of them.

“Sadly, Nigeria’s fight against terrorism continues. It is a battle that is taking its toll on all of us. But we shall not relent, nor shall we surrender. We say it again that we have reduced Boko Haram to a shell of its former self. But terrorists are parasites. They thrive when the world is suffering.”

The President added, “This atrocity only serves to further strengthen us against them. Nigeria is united in obliterating these demons. Each day we grow closer to that goal. When they lash out during times of global suffering it is the act of a cornered animal, an act of desperation.

“As always, their goal is the same: to sow fear and division amongst us. We will not let them. Instead let us pray for the families and loved ones of those who sacrificed their lives in the fight against evil, and let us pray for the safe and speedy return of those abducted. We will do everything possible to ensure their return.

“And to the sadists, I say this: we are coming. No matter what rock you crawl under, what hole you sink into, what lie you hide behind, we are coming, and we will find you. Shiroro will see justice. Nigeria will know peace,” the President assured.”

Six Soldiers, Police Officer Killed As Terrorists Invade Taraba Community

A file photo of soldiers on a military vehicle. Photo: Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

No fewer than six soldiers and a police officer have been reported killed in an ambush by gunmen in Tati, a community in Takum Local Government Area (LGA) of Taraba State.

Chairman of Takum LGA, Shiban Tikari, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Narrating how the killings occurred, Tikari said the first victim was the police officer who sighted the terrorists approaching his checking point on foot and opened fire.

Several minutes after he opened fire, his magazine got exhausted and took to his heels. But the gunmen went after him and killed the policeman.

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders FEC Members With Political Ambitions To Resign

The council boss explained that moments later, a convoy of the Commanding Officer 93 Battalion, Takum was passing by while gunshots were fired, so decided to stop and engage the terrorists.

In the process, the commanding officer was abducted and six other soldiers in the convoy were killed with their bodies recovered.

“These terrorists are well trained,” said Tikari. “If you hear of their mode of withdrawal and attacks, you will know that they are well trained. When the army got to Tati community, they heard the sporadic gunshots and because the terrain is a difficult one, they followed them up with motorcycles.

“The commanding officer is still at large and that is why the soldiers went into the bush in search of him. We recovered six corpses of the army personnel with the exception of the commanding officer. We are still waiting for them to come out so as to know more.”

Although the Commissioner of Police in Taraba, Abimbola Sokoya, has confirmed the incident, he said cannot speak for the Nigerian Army.

In addition to Tikari’s account, Sokoya revealed that the slain policeman was attached to the 67 Police Mobile Force (PMF) team in Takum.

He added that the incident left an unconfirmed number of locals killed and several houses razed, while a reinforcement had been sent to Takum to ensure a robust joint operation.

“There is a joint operation going on right now – i.e between the military and other security agencies and normalcy is being restored,” the police commissioner stated.

He explained that there has been an existing communal crisis between the Fulani herdsmen and the Kuteb-speaking tribe before the advent of the terrorists.

Sokoya also confirmed the bomb explosion that hit the 6 Army Brigade Headquarters in Jalingo on Tuesday night.

According to him, the Police Anti-Bomb Squad is investigating the incident and will soon update him on its findings.

11 Persons Dead In Burkina Faso Ambush – Army 

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa that covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres and is bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and the Ivory Coast to the southwest.
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa that covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres and is bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and the Ivory Coast to the southwest.

 

Seven soldiers and four backup troops have been killed in two ambushes in Burkina Faso’s troubled north, the army said. 

The first attack near the town of Solle on Thursday led to the deaths of two soldiers and four civilian volunteers helping the army while five paramilitary troops perished in another raid the same day at Ouanobe, the army said in a statement received Friday.

The ambushes were staged by “terrorists,” according to the army, using a term to signify jihadist groups active in Burkina Faso’s north.

Nine people were wounded, it said, adding that the bodies of some 20 attackers had been found during clean-up operations.

READ ALSO: UN Chief Urges Swift Return To Civilian Rule In Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali

Weapons, ammunition, transport, and communication equipment were also seized or destroyed.

Jihadist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have regularly carried out attacks in northern and eastern Burkina Faso since 2015, killing more than 2,000 people and displacing almost two million.

Unrest linked to jihadist groups also plagues Burkina Faso’s West African neighbours Mali and Niger.

The three land-locked countries rank among the poorest in the world and their armed forces are ill-equipped against a foe skilled at hit-and-run raids, ambushes and planting roadside bombs.

In December 2019, Burkina set up an auxiliary force called the Volunteers for the Defence of the Motherland (VDP), which is among the units that has suffered most losses.

Recruits are given two weeks’ military training and then work alongside the army, typically carrying out surveillance, information-gathering or escort duties.

On January 24, anger at the security forces’ casualties sparked a mutiny in the army, leading to the overthrow of elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

The new strongman, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, has declared security to be a priority.

But bloody attacks continue, despite the creation of “dialogue committees” — a bridge-building experiment in which community leaders talk with local jihadists to try to end the violence.

On April 8, 12 soldiers and four VDP members were hit in an attack in northern Burkina.

On April 24, 15 people were killed, including nine soldiers, in a coordinated assault on two units, also in the north, according to army figures.

AFP

Six Soldiers Killed In Colombia Ambush

Colombia on the world map. Photo: Google Earth.

 

At least six soldiers died in an explosives attack perpetrated by suspected drug traffickers in northeastern Colombia, the army said on Wednesday.

Another five soldiers were injured and one remains missing after the attack blamed on the Clan del Golfo cartel, the most powerful in the country but whose leader Dario Antonio Usuga was captured in October.

“Unfortunately the murder of six of our soldiers is confirmed,” said the army in a statement.

The five injured soldiers from the Fourth Brigade “were evacuated by airplane” to a hospital.

“Troops on the ground are continuing to look for one of our soldiers,” added the army.

The attack took place around midnight Tuesday in the Antioquia department.

General Juvenal Diaz told Blu Radio that the Clan del Golfo was responsible for detonating “an improvised explosive device” as a military vehicle was passing.

Antioquia is a key corridor for the transport of cocaine to Colombia’s Pacific coast and on to Panama.

Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine, much of which is smuggled into the United States and Europe.

The Clan del Golfo has increased its attacks on the armed forces since the detention of Usuga, who is known by the alias Otoniel.

Colombia’s government has approved the extradition of Usuga to the United States to face charges of drug trafficking.

Before his capture, the Clan del Golfo used to export 300 of the 1,010 tons of cocaine that leaves Colombia every year, according to authorities.

AFP

10 Soldiers Killed As Bandits Attack Military Base In Kaduna

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

At least 10 soldiers have been killed and some others injured by bandits proscribed as terrorists who attacked a military base in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The incident happened at about 6:30pm on Monday, security sources told Channels Television. However, the military authorities have yet to confirm the attack.

Birnin-Gwari is one of the hotspots of banditry in Kaduna, where many people were killed, thousands were kidnapped, and socioeconomic activities were disrupted in the past five years.

A security source in the area told Channels Television on Tuesday that the soldiers were attacked at an Army Forward Operational Base located around the Polwire area close to Mikati Farm along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road.

This photo shows a damaged military vehicle.

 

He explained that the soldiers, who were few in number, were taken unaware by the terrorists who stormed the base in large numbers on motorcycles with sophisticated weapons and immediately opened fire on the soldiers.

According to the source, the bandits monitored the movement of the soldiers and when some of them went out to the headquarters of the Forward Operational Base located inside Birnin-Gwari town, they immediately launched an attack on the few soldiers at the FOB extension.

The superior firepower of the bandits led to the death of about 10 soldiers, while a patrol vehicle was also destroyed during the attack.

This photo shows a damaged military vehicle.

 

Monday’s attack followed the abduction of 11 persons by bandits who attacked Angwar Maji community at Jere town in Kagarko Local Government Area of the state.

The attack occurred on Sunday night at the community located close to the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and the Kaduna- Bwari Road.

Residents said the terrorists struck barely a day after the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, announced the deployment of additional troops to the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and surrounding communities.

Nine Dead In Airstrike On Military Base Near Lviv

This handout picture taken and released by the Ukrainian State Emergency Service on March 7, 2022, shows rescuers dismantling the rubble of a destroyed school after Russian troops shelled the city of Chernihiv.  STR / Ukrainian State Emergency Service / AFP

 

Russian airstrikes killed 35 people at a military base outside Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, the regional governor said Sunday, updating the toll from nine previously.

“I have to announce that, unfortunately, we have lost more heroes: 35 people died as a result of the shelling of the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre,” the governor of Lviv region Maxim Kozitsky wrote on Telegram.

Some of the injured have been taken to Lviv hospitals, he said.

READ ALSO: Russian Troops Abduct Ukrainian Mayor

The military base in Yavoriv, located some 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of the city, was a training centre for Ukrainian forces with foreign instructors, including from the United States and Canada.

It was also a hub for joint exercises of Ukrainian soldiers with NATO allies.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said “foreign instructors work here,” although it was unclear whether any were present during the attacks.

Foreign troops left Ukraine shortly before Russia launched an invasion of its pro-Western neighbour on February 24.

The United States said on February 12 that it withdrew 150 of its instructors from Ukraine.

Reznikov condemned the bombardment as a “new terrorist attack on peace & security near the EU-NATO border”, calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone.

“Action must be taken to stop this. Close the sky!” he wrote.

According to preliminary information, around 30 cruise missiles were fired from Russian planes located over the Black Sea, which had flown out from the southern Russian city of Saratov, Lviv’s mayor said.

Ukraine’s Air Force Command West said on Facebook two cruise missiles were destroyed by air defence systems.

They said the missiles were fired “probably from the waters of the Sea of Azov or the Black Sea”.

Washington on Saturday authorised $200 million in additional military equipment for Ukraine.

Russia the same day warned that its troops could target supplies of Western weapons to Ukraine.

Many Ukrainians have fled to relative safety in Lviv since the launch of Russia’s invasion.

A short drive from EU member Poland, the city is also a transit hub for those leaving Ukraine.

Separately, the mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine said the city’s airport was targeted in a strike.

“Our morning in Frankivsk began with explosions. This is already the third strike on Frankivsk. They hit the airport,” mayor Ruslan Martsinkiv said on Facebook.

AFP

Ukraine Launches Website For Russians To Find Killed Soldiers

Servicemen ride atop a Russian armored vehicle in Armyansk, Crimea, on February 25, 2022.  AFP

 

Ukrainian authorities on Sunday launched a website to help Russian families track down soldiers who have been killed or captured fighting in Moscow’s invasion of the pro-Western country. 

The site — 200rf.com — contains pictures of the documents and corpses of Russian soldiers Ukraine said had been killed since President Vladimir Putin launched the attack.

It also has videos of soldiers Ukraine says it has captured.

“I am talking to you in Russian because this site was created for you,” Viktor Andrusiv, an adviser to the interior minister, said in a video posted on the site.

“I know that many Russians are worried about how and where their children, sons, husbands are and what is happening to them — so we decided to put this online so that each of you could search for your loved one who Putin sent to fight in Ukraine.”

READ ALSO: Thousands Flee As Fighting Breaks Out In Ukraine’s Second-Biggest City

Andrusiv said that over the past three days Ukrainian forces had captured almost 200 Russian soldiers and more than 3,000 Russian troops had died.

“We have documents, photos and videos of all of these people,” Andrusiv said.

The name of the site references the well-known term Gruz-200 (Cargo-200) that was used by Soviet military for corpses being flown back from the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Russia’s defence ministry has so far given no details of any military losses in Ukraine since launching a multi-pronged attack Putin called a “special operation” to protect two separatist regions.

The head of the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, Sergei Melikov, on Saturday became the first official to report the death of a Russian soldier in Ukraine.

He posted a tribute on his official Instagram page, paying homage to an officer he said had been killed during the “special operation to defend Donbas”.

The Kremlin has launched a major propaganda campaign to control coverage of the war in Ukraine and has ordered media to use only Russia’s official versions of events.

Moscow has long been accused of covering up losses suffered by its forces as they backed pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and fought in Syria.

Lev Shlosberg, a prominent liberal politician, has suggested Russia’s military was using mobile crematoriums to destroy evidence of those killed in Ukraine.

“There is no war. No dead. No tombs. People will just be no more. Forever,” he wrote on his blog.

AFP