Army Says Over 100 Bandits Killed In Zamfara And Katsina

 

 

Troops of operation Hadarin Daji have launched offensive attacks on various hideouts and camps of suspected bandits located in four local government areas of Zamfara and Katsina States.

The troops during the operation, also killed over one hundred bandits, destroyed their camps and recovered assorted dangerous weapons and rescued ten kidnapped victims.

A statement by the acting Force information officer of Operation Hadarin Daji, Captain Ayobami Oni-Orisan, says the kinetic operation was carried out in Anka, Maru, and Bukkuyum in Zamfara while another operation was executed in Jubia in Katsina state following the recent upsurge in activities of unrepentant bandits in both states who have refused to key into the ongoing Peace Initiatives of the Zamfara state government.

According to the statement, between December the 16th 2019 to 9 January 2020, the troops of Operation Haradin Daji, comprising personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services and other security agencies, conducted several clearance operations to smoke out and neutralize the recalcitrant bandits from their enclaves.

READ ALSO: Airman, ‘Several Bandits’ Killed During Gunfight In Kaduna

The statement further says that during the clearance operations, the troops in collaboration with the Defence Forces of Niger Republic apprehended a high-profile gunrunner named “Kunene”, who is responsible for the inflow of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons to the region. In addition, troops also apprehended 3 suspected bandits; Abubakar Kiri Koloma, Abubakar Ibrahim and Haruna Alhaji Yaro, and 2 notorious drug dealers; Kabiru Abubakar Isah and Hamisu Dan-kwanba at various locations in Zamfara state during the period

The statement also adds that
troops during the operation, successfully neutralized about 100 bandits, including 6 key commanders, and rescued no less than 10 kidnapped persons.

It also discloses that the troops recovered assorted dangerous weapons including
500 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 15 AK 47 rifles, 4 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), one PKM Machine Gun, one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bomb, a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) tube, eleven fully loaded magazines, 600 rustled cows and 23 Motorbikes.

While stating that troops of Operation Haradin Daji have succeeded in ensuring that Gusau-Sokoto, Katsina-Jibia-Zamfara, Gusau-Shinkafi-Sokoto, Kajiji-Gummi-Anka-Gusau roads are safe for travellers, the acting force information officer, notes that the onslaught against unrepentant and recalcitrant bandits will continue until banditry is completely crushed and peace is restored in Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto states.

Army Clash With Bandits In Katsina, Kills Many

 

Troops of the 17 Brigade of the Nigerian Army on the 7th of January 2020 decimated some bandits in Magama Jibia Local Government Area of Kastina state.

The troops encountered the bandits while the miscreants were trying to carry out kidnap operations along Mallamawa in Jibia.

A heavy gun battle ensued, with many bandits being neutralized while some escaped with varying degrees of injuries.

Two soldiers were also injured in the exchange of fire.

In a statement by the army spokesman, Captain Kayode Owolabi, troops have dominated the area.

READ ALSO: Four Feared Dead, 21 Reportedly Abducted By Bandits In Niger

The army spokesman, however, revealed that two customs officers had been kidnapped prior to the encounter and invasion of some of the bandits’ hideouts.

He further stated that all other civilians who had been kidnapped within the period have been successfully returned to their respective homes.

According to him, troops are in pursuit of the fleeing bandits, with a view to rescuing the two customs officers.

Captain Owolabi advised the public to report any suspicious movement in their area to the security agencies for prompt action.

Fire-Hit Australia Gets $1.4bn Recovery Fund

Firefighters create a back burn ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was underway in Australia on January 1 after deadly bushfires ripped through popular tourist spots and rural areas leaving at least eight people dead.
PETER PARKS / AFP

 

Reserve troops fanned out across fire-ravaged regions in three Australian states on Monday after a horror weekend, as the government pledged $1.4 billion over two years to help recover from the devastating months-long crisis.

Catastrophic bushfires have turned swathes of land into smouldering, blackened hellscapes and destroyed an area about the size of the island of Ireland, according to official figures, with authorities warning the disaster still has weeks or months to run.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose government has been criticised for its slow response to the emergency, pledged Aus$2 billion ($1.4 billion) of taxpayer money for a national recovery fund.

“It’s a long road ahead and we will be with these communities every step of the way as they rebuild,” Morrison said.

Firefighters joined by fresh teams from the US and Canada were taking advantage of rainy and cooler conditions to tackle out-of-control blazes ahead of rising temperatures forecast later this week.

In the biggest-ever call up of reserves, military teams were deployed across eastern Australia to help emergency services assess the damage, restore power and deliver supplies of food, water and fuel to cut-off communities.

For the first time in Australian history the government also deployed its medical assistance team — normally sent to other nations to lend support in the aftermath of their disasters — to help evacuees.

“There is no room for complacency, especially as we have over 130 fires burning across (New South Wales) state still,” Premier of New South Wales state Gladys Berejiklian said on Monday.

‘New Normal’

Almost five million hectares (50,000 square kilometres) have been razed across New South Wales and more than 1.2 million hectares in Victoria since late September, officials said.

That took the total amount of land burnt close to eight million hectares — around the size of the island of Ireland or South Carolina.

Twenty-four people have lost their lives so far, with over 1,800 homes damaged.

Two people are missing in New South Wales, the nation’s most populous state.

In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews established a bushfire recovery agency to help devastated towns. It will be a permanent body, he said, as intense fires will become commonplace.

“We should just be honest about the fact that we’re going to see more and more fires, more and more damage as each fire season comes… this is the new normal,” Andrews told reporters.

The chair of the newly established Victoria state’s bushfire appeal fund, Pat McNamara, added that this year’s summer bushfire season was a “creeping disaster”.

“We’re still not even into what we would regard as the peak of the fire season,” McNamara told national broadcaster ABC.

In the usually picturesque southeastern town of Eden, Holly Spence said she spent more than 12 hours defending her family’s farm on Saturday, less than a week after saving it on New Year’s Eve.

“We don’t want to go through this for a third time,” the 28-year-old told AFP.

Fiona Kennelly, 50, who evacuated with 24 members of her extended family to a motel outside Eden, said she was relieved the easing conditions allowed them to get some respite from the crisis.

“It’s good to see daylight at the right time again,” she told AFP, adding that the skies had been turning pitch-black in the afternoons.

Public Anger

The impact of the bushfires has spread beyond affected communities, with heavy smoke engulfing the country’s second-largest city Melbourne and the national capital Canberra.

Some government departments were shut in Canberra as the city’s air quality was once-again ranked the world’s poorest, according to independent online air-quality index monitor Air Visual.

The disaster has sparked growing public anger with Morrison. Rallies are planned on Friday to call on his government to step up efforts to tackle climate change, which experts say have helped fuel the fires.

In Los Angeles, Hollywood superstar Russell Crowe said he was back home fighting the fires and that the disaster was “climate change-based”.

“We need to act on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way, we all have a future,” he said in a message read out by Jennifer Aniston.

Australian actress Cate Blanchett praised the volunteer firefighters battling the blazes, adding: “When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster. We’re in it together.”

Britain Will Not lament Death Of Soleimani, Says Boris Johnson

 

Britain will not lament the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday, though he warned that reprisals would lead to greater violence.

The United States killed top military leader Soleimani outside Baghdad airport in a drone strike on Friday.

In his first intervention on the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, Johnson said he had spoken Sunday with US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He said he would speak to other leaders in the coming days.

“General Qasem Soleimani posed a threat to all our interests and was responsible for a pattern of disruptive, destabilising behaviour in the region,” Johnson said in a statement.

“Given the leading role he has played in actions that have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and Western personnel, we will not lament his death.

“It is clear however that all calls for retaliation or reprisals will simply lead to more violence in the region and they are in no one’s interest.”

Johnson said that following ministerial meetings and further international calls, MPs would be updated on the situation on Tuesday.

Meanwhile London has urged Baghdad to allow international coalition soldiers to stay in Iraq, where the parliament on Sunday pressed the government to oust foreign troops.

The cabinet would have to approve any such decision.

British troops are part of an international coalition of forces stationed in Iraq — invited by the government in Baghdad in 2014 — to help fight against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

A British government spokesman said: “The coalition is in Iraq to help protect Iraqis and others from the threat from Daesh (IS), at the request of the Iraqi government.

“We urge the Iraqi government to ensure the coalition is able to continue our vital work countering this shared threat.”

Some 5,200 US soldiers are stationed across Iraqi bases to support local troops preventing an IS resurgence.

Iraq Parliament Demands US Troop Ouster After Soleimani Killing

 

 

Pressure against the US in Iraq ramped up Sunday, as rockets hit near the American embassy and parliament demanded the ouster of thousands of US troops over the killing of a top Iranian general.

Ties have deteriorated after an American precision drone strike Friday on the Baghdad international airport that killed Iran’s Major General Qasem Soleimani and top Iraqi military figure Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

A pair of rockets hit near the US embassy in Iraq’s high-security Green Zone for the second night in a row on Sunday just hours after Iraq’s foreign ministry summoned the American ambassador over the strike.

Earlier, caretaker prime minister Adel Abdel Mahdi attended an extraordinary parliamentary session during which he slammed the US strike as a “political assassination”.

READ ALSO: At Least Two Rockets Hit Near US Embassy In Baghdad – Witnesses

He joined 168 lawmakers — just enough for quorum in Iraq’s 329-seat parliament — to discuss the ouster of US troops.

Some 5,200 US soldiers are stationed across Iraqi bases to support local troops preventing a resurgence of the Islamic State jihadist group.

They are deployed as part of the broader international coalition, invited by the Iraqi government in 2014 to help fight IS.

“The parliament has voted to commit the Iraqi government to cancel its request to the international coalition for help to fight IS,” speaker Mohammed Halbusi announced.

The cabinet would have to approve any decision but the premier indicated support for an ouster in his speech.

“We face two main choices,” he told MPs: either immediately voting for foreign troops to leave or setting limits and a timeframe for withdrawal through a parliamentary process.

US-led coalition ‘pauses’ ops

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacted to the parliament’s move by saying: “We’ll have to take a look at what we do when the Iraqi leadership and government makes a decision”.

Britain, a key member of the US-led coalition against jihadists, urged Iraq to allow soldiers to stay in the country, saying their work was “vital”.

Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council secretary, said US troop presence in Iraq after the Iraqi parliamentary decision would be considered an “occupation”.

Hardline parliamentarians with ties to Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi, a military force close to Iran, had demanded the immediate expulsion of all foreign troops.

No Kurdish and most Sunni MPs boycotted the session as they were more supportive of an American military presence, seen as a counterweight to Iran.

Tom Warrick, a former US official and current fellow at the Atlantic Council, said Soleimani and pro-Iran factions within the Hashed had long sought the US’s ouster.

“If US forces do end up withdrawing, it could grant Soleimani a post-humous victory,” Warrick told AFP.

As the session got under way, the US-led coalition announced it was suspending its Iraq operations due to deadly rocket attacks on their bases.

“This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh (IS) and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review,” it said.

Late Saturday, two missiles slammed into the Green Zone and another two rockets hit an airbase north of the capital housing American troops.

There had been fears of a volleys of rockets following a warning from a hardline Hashed faction for Iraqis to move away from US forces by Sunday afternoon.

Increased tensions had already prompted NATO to suspend training activities in Iraq and a US defence official told AFP American-led coalition forces would “limit” operations.

‘Blatant violation’

Iraq’s foreign ministry said it summoned US ambassador Matthew Tueller and submitted complaints to the United Nations Security Council over the strikes.

“They were a blatant violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” the ministry said in a statement, and “contradict the agreed-upon missions of the international coalition.”

The US strike on Baghdad international airport early Friday killed five Iranian Revolutionary Guards and five members of Iraq’s Hashed.

After a procession that made its way across various Iraqi cities on Saturday, the remains of the Iranians, plus those of Muhandis and another Hashed member, were flown to Iran where mourners packed the streets to pay tribute to them.

DNA testing was required to separate the Iraqis’ remains so they could be properly buried, the Hashed said.

As head of the Quds Force, the Guards’ foreign operations arm, Soleimani oversaw Iran’s wide-ranging interventions in regional power struggles.

In Iraq, protesters taking to the streets since October had blamed him for propping up a government they see as corrupt and inept.

Demonstrations still rocked the capital and south on Sunday, with many protesting against Iran and the United States.

US President Donald Trump claimed Soleimani was planning an “imminent” attack on US personnel in the region and threatened Iran — which has promised “severe revenge” — with more strikes.

Pompeo Sees ‘Real Likelihood’ Iran Will Try To Hit US Troops

In this file photo taken on December 11, 2019 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds a press conference at the State Department in Washington, DC. AFP

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran will probably try to attack American troops after a US strike killed a top Iranian commander.

“We think there is a real likelihood Iran will make a mistake and make a decision to go after some of our forces, military forces in Iraq or soldiers in northeast Syria,” he told Fox News in remarks aired Sunday.

His comments came as the military advisor to Iran’s supreme leader said there would be a “military” response “against military sites” by Tehran after the killing of Qasem Soleimani, the powerful commander of Iran’s Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of its Revolutionary Guards.

“It would be a big mistake for Iran to go after them,” Pompeo told Fox.

The US has about 60,000 troops in the region, including around 5,200 in Iraq. Washington ordered thousands more soldiers to the region on Friday after Soleimani’s killing.

“We’re preparing for all kinds of various responses,” including cyber attacks, Pompeo told Fox.

Chad Troops Leave Nigeria After Boko Haram Mission

File photo

 

Chad’s months-long mission fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria has ended and its 1,200-strong force has been withdrawn, an army spokesman told AFP on Saturday.

“It’s our troops who went to aid Nigerian soldiers months ago returning home. They have finished their mission,” spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa told AFP. “None of our soldiers remains in Nigeria,” he added, without specifying whether they might be replaced following Friday’s pullout.

“Those who have come back will return to their sector at Lake Chad,” Bermandoa said.

However, Chad’s general chief of staff General Tahir Erda Tahiro said that if countries in the region which have contributed to a multinational anti-jihadist force were in agreement, more troops will likely be sent in.

“If the states around Lake Chad agree on a new mission there will surely be another contingent redeployed on the ground,” Tahiro told AFP.

Boko Haram began the insurrection in Nigeria a decade ago, leading to at least 35,000 deaths with violence spilling over into Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

A Boko Haram faction aligned with Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) jihadists is highly active around Lake Chad where the group has training bases on the Niger border and regularly carries out raids on military bases and regional security forces.

Last month saw 14 people killed with 13 more listed as missing after an attack on a fishing village in western Chad.

Countries in the region have banded together to fight Boko Haram and ISWAP with support from civilian defence committees leading to Chad contributing 1,200 troops.

Those troops have now pulled back across the border to be “deployed in the Lake Chad region to strengthen security along the border,” a senior local official told AFP.

Cameroon says it is battling an upsurge in Boko Haram attacks and, according to an Amnesty International report published last month 275 people, including 225 civilians, were killed there last year.

Power Supply Fears As Troops Called To Battle Australia Bushfires

A helicopter drops water on a bushfire in Batemans Bay in New South Wales on January 4, 2020. AFP

 

Skies turned black and ash rained down as fires raged across southeastern Australia on Saturday, threatening power supplies to major cities and prompting the call-up of 3,000 military reservists.

Temperature records were smashed, and gale-force winds pounded fire-stricken coastal communities in the two most populous states New South Wales and Victoria.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned that worst-case scenario projections were “coming to fruition”, although large-scale evacuations meant the human toll was minimised.

Since late September, 23 people have died, more than 1,500 homes have been damaged and an area roughly twice the size of Belgium or Hawaii has burned.

The latest fatalities were in Kangaroo Island — a tourist haven southwest of Adelaide — when two people were trapped in a car overrun by flames on Friday.

But strong winds and high temperatures continued to fuel hundreds of fires and cause chaos.

Bushfires took out two substations and transmission lines, prompting authorities in New South Wales that an area home to almost eight million people and the nation’s largest city Sydney could experience rolling blackouts.

“We are in for a long night and we have still to hit the worst of it,” Berejiklian warned as another total fire ban was declared for Sunday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the largest military call-up in living memory, mobilising 3,000 reservists to assist thousands of volunteer firefighters who have been battling the blazes.

“Today’s decision puts more boots on the ground, puts more planes in the sky, puts more ships at sea,” said Morrison, who made the announcement after being pilloried for his response to the deadly disaster.

 Record temperatures 

A state of emergency had been declared across much of the heavily populated southeast and more than 100,000 people were told to leave their homes across three states.

Thousands heeded that call on Friday, abandoning summer holidays and piling into cars that clogged the highways linking southeastern coastal towns with the relative safety of Sydney or larger towns.

Several emergency warnings were issued on Saturday, and there were fears one one blaze southwest of Sydney could reach the city’s outskirts.

Sydney recorded its highest-ever temperature of 48.9 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) in the western suburb of Penrith, and the nation’s capital Canberra hit 44 degrees Celsius, also an all-time record, a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said.

Thousands of volunteer firefighters battled the infernos as some residents stayed behind to defend their homes.

Just outside the seaside town of Batemans Bay, a four-hour drive south of Sydney, locals joined forces with firefighters to tackle the fires.

“Today, we’ve had nothing short of a disaster. A very large fire-front came through… the high temperatures and the southernly change is putting a real lot of pressure on the resources that we have,” local Adam Pike told AFP.

“Guys that know the bush, guys that know fire, helped save at least 10 to 12 homes on this street… we are so grateful for their help.”

The only activity in the usually bustling tourist hotspot was at an evacuation centre, where hundreds of locals forced from their homes were sheltering on an open field in tents and caravans.

Mick Cummins, 57, and his wife fled to the evacuation centre when fire ripped through his rural town on New Year’s Eve.

“We said this is too tough for us, let’s get out. We went to the beach and then hellfire came over the hill,” he told AFP.

“I was here in the ’94 fires. I thought that was bad. That was just a barbeque” in comparison, he said.

AFP

‘Nigeria Is Not At War,’ Buhari Explains Rationale Behind Planned Troops Withdrawal

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

 

Four days after the Federal Government says the Nigerian Military will be withdrawing troops from some parts of the country, the President has explained why the decision was taken.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement on Friday, clarified the government’s decision, saying there was no cause for alarm.

He believes the nation is not at war and, therefore, the military would withdraw some of the troops in parts of the country.

READ ALSO: Military To Withdraw Troops From Parts Of Nigeria In 2020

The President assured Nigerians, especially those living in areas where there were security challenges that the government would not forsake them.

“You don’t need to worry. We will not expose our people and their communities to harm or danger,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu.

He added, “The withdrawal is to allow the military focus on its primary duty of defending the nation against external aggression. It is the duty of the police to handle internal security since Nigeria is not at war.

“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps will support the police to provide internal security. When it is time to withdraw, nothing will be rushed.”

 

A Careful Pullout

According to the statement, President Buhari was reacting to concerns and appeals from governors and community leaders over the proposed withdrawal.

He stressed that his “administration will not abandon citizens in need of protection.”

The President reassured Nigerians that withdrawal of the military from areas where peace had been restored would not be done in a manner that would expose communities to more risks of attacks.

He explained that the withdraw exercise would be gradual and carefully planned, not abrupt or arbitrary to jeopardise the success already recorded by the military.

President Buhari, however, urged public affairs analysts and others to carefully study the statement following the Security Council meeting with the nation’s Service Chiefs.

The withdrawal of troops, according to him, will be done after an “assessment” to determine areas where peace had returned to enable civil authorities assume full control.

President Buhari where it was determined that the withdrawal would not in any way jeopardise peace already achieved, the military pullout would be in a careful and gradual way.

Following the security meeting held on Monday, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, had announced the plan to withdraw troops during a briefing with State House correspondents in Abuja.

He noted that the withdrawals would be done only after an assessment of the situation on the ground.

The naval chief conceded that the activities of insurgents in the North East was a concern but gave the assurance that the military would comply with the President’s directive to intensify efforts in 2020.

Pentagon Says Sending 750 Troops To Mideast After Embassy Attack In Iraq

 

The United States is sending around 750 more troops to the Middle East immediately, following an attack by pro-Iranian demonstrators on the US embassy in Baghdad, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

More troops from a rapid response unit of the 82nd Airborne Division are prepared to deploy over the next several days, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement.

READ ALSO: 10 Killed As Riot Rocks Jail In Venezuela

“This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against US personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today,” he said.

“The United States will protect our people and interests anywhere they are found around the world.”

Military To Withdraw Troops From Parts Of Nigeria In 2020

A file photo of a soldier sitting on a military truck in the Mpape area of Abuja on December 28, 2019. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

With effect from the first quarter of 2020, the Nigerian Military will be withdrawing troops from some parts of the country.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the security meeting which held on Monday in Abuja.

He explained that the withdrawal was to enable civil authorities to take over the duties of ensuring the security of lives and property in such places.

The naval chief, however, noted that the withdrawals would be done only after an assessment of the situation on the ground.

He conceded that the recent activities of insurgents in the North East was a concern but gave the assurance that the military would comply with the President’s directive to intensify efforts in the coming year.

READ ALSO: FG Puts Debt Stock At $83bn, Says Nigeria Not In Trouble

Ibas was also confident that the military would soon take possession of some equipment that would enable it to react more promptly to any situation of any security breach in the country.

He spoke to reporters after the Service Chiefs briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the security situation in the country.

The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), led the services chiefs to the meeting.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, was absent but a senior officer of the Nigerian Army sat in his place.

Those present include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Others are the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu; and Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, among others.

Government officials also present were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno.

See photos from the meeting below:

Buratai Asks Troops To Redouble Efforts In Fighting Insurgents

A file photo of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.

 

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, says the Nigerian Army is consolidating on the gains of several years of intensive the fight against insurgency and tackle the security challenges confronting the nation.

He made the remarks on Saturday while commissioning some projects at the 23 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Gibson Halo Cantonment in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

Buratai, therefore, urged the troops to diligently uphold and perform their responsibilities of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.

He also challenged the troops in various theatres of operation to remain steadfast and continue to discharge their duties professionally.

The army chief commissioned three key projects which include an entrepreneurship and skills acquisition centre for women and youths in the barracks and host communities, the Accident and Emergency Unit at the Military Clinic, as well as a foundation laying of a perimeter fence in the barracks.

He applauded the 23 Brigade for establishing the Skills Acquisition Centre and other projects being commissioned.

Buratai said the projects were in line with his vision of repositioning the force for greater performance.

He affirmed that the army has continued to place premium on the welfare of its troops and their families, hence the intervention in such areas.

Buratai, however, urged the troops to redouble their efforts and rededicate themselves to service as they collectively defend the territorial integrity of the nation.

He was accompanied to the barrack by the General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Major General Nuhu Angbazo, and other senior army officers.

Governor Umaru Fintiri who was represented at the event by his deputy, Crowther Seth, commended the military in securing the state.

Major General Angbazo, on his part, believes the projects will enhance the welfare of the troops.

In his welcome address, the Commander of 23 Brigade, Brigadier General Sani Mohammed, spokes about some of the courses to be taken at the skills acquisition centre.

The transit accommodation is expected to assist in facilitating the general administration of large number of officers and soldiers coming to the North East, who use the cantonment as a transit camp.

Other dignitaries at the event included traditional and religious leaders, state government officials and politicians, as well as some of the students that would be admitted into the Skills acquisition centre.