The Nigerian Army Headquarters, Abuja, has described the indiscriminate sharing of pictures of its personnel killed in action on the social media as “unpatriotic, very insensitive and utterly reprehensible.”
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, said: “The Nigerian Army condemns in the strongest terms possible the indiscriminate sharing on social media of graphic pictures of personnel who paid the supreme price in the course of defending and protecting the country from its adversaries.
“This act is not only unpatriotic but very insensitive and utterly reprehensible.
“Officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army deployed to various theatres of internal security operations are on legitimate duties and are in harm’s way to defend and protect the country from those who are intent on destroying it.
“In the course of carrying out this constitutional mandate, troops put their lives on the line to ensure that innocent citizens and institutions of the state are protected from violent criminals.
“In some cases, these gallant officers and soldiers are meted with the worst form of savagery by the heartless adversaries whose intent is to instil fear on of the citizenry.
“While the Nigerian Army and its personnel understand the nature of the noble calling and are ever ready to confront any danger of adversity on the way, what is most unfathomable is the glee with which some people share the gory pictures of officers and soldiers who are either killed in action or wounded in action in the media.
“These unpatriotic acts are often done without any modicum of consideration for the memories of the departed personnel or their family members. In some cases, their loved ones do find out about their unfortunate death in such callous manner before they are even contacted by the military authorities.
“One can only imagine the trauma and pain such families go through waking up to see the gory pictures of their loved ones splashed on the social media.
“The Nigerian Army considers this despicable and unpatriotic act totally unacceptable and will henceforth take legal actions to protect troops who die in action from being ridiculed on social media or any platform.”
Troops kill 21 terrorists in Geidam, recover weapons
Soldiers have killed 21 members of the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists group in Geidam, Yobe State.
The terrorists, who invaded the border town, destroyed three communication masts and looted some shops, met their end after the troops stationed at the town, supported by the air component of OPLD, mounted a hot pursuit and caught up with them, killing 21 of them in the process.
Items recovered from the terrorists included a gun truck with an anti-aircraft gun mounted on it, eight AK-47 rifles with 10 magazines, two rocket-propelled grenade bombs and five chargers.
Others were over 1,000 rounds of different calibres of ammunition, one Commando Mortar Tube, 3 IED blasting devices, tool boxes, communication radios and cell phones, among several other items of value.
The troops are still combing the area for possible discoveries, as most of the terrorists escaped with various injuries from the resultant encounter. Three soldiers sustained injuries but are in stable condition after receiving treatment in a military facility.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, restated the commitment of the Nigerian Army to ending terrorism and all violent crimes in the North-East and other parts of the country. He enjoined the troops to sustain the on-going offensive under Operation Tura Takaibango “until this noble goal is attained.”
Mainok: Attahiru lauds soldiers for stopping terrorists’ caliphate
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, has commended officers and soldiers of Operation Lafiya Dole for preventing the Boko Haram from establishing a caliphate in Mainok.
The terrorists had gained entry to the border town last Sunday but met stiff resistance from troops of 156 Task Force Battalion. The troops held the terrorists until the arrival of reinforcement teams from 7 Division, Special Army Super Camp, Ngamdu, and Army Super Camp 4, Benesheik.
During the operation, the soldiers were able to lure the terrorists into a killing zone within their camp from where the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole scrambled Alpha jets and helicopter gunship took turns in decimating the already trapped terrorists.
One officer and six soldiers lost their lives during the operation, while those who sustained injuries were evacuated to the military medical facility for treatment.
Attahiru commended the troops for their resilience, commitment and doggedness and reassured Nigerians of the army’s unalloyed commitment to defeating Boko Haram/SWAP terrorists. He urged citizens to always avail the troops with accurate and timely information for prompt action.
How security operatives killed Ikonso, IPOB/ESN commander, 6 others
A combined team of security forces, led by troops of the Nigerian Army, raided the operational headquarters of the IPOB/ESN terrorists in Awomama, Oru East Local Government, Imo State.
The early-morning raid by troops of Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and the Department of State Services (DSS) was launched in the early hours of Saturday, April 24, 2021, following an intelligence report on the location of the headquarters and the movement of the commander, Ikonso.
The IRT and DSS teams, along with troops of 82 Division, Nigerian Army, had been on the trail of the group since the attacks on the Imo State Police Command and the Owerri Correctional Centre on April 5, 2021. Ikonso was neutralised along with six of his top commanders.
The joint intelligence team had earlier interviewed arrested IPOB/ESN members in connection with the April 5 attacks. They confessed that Ikonso, who was named as Vice President by their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, mobilized men and resources as well as ordered and orchestrated the attacks on Owerri.
They equally revealed that Ikonso was responsible for many other attacks on police stations across the two geo-political zones.
The intelligence team later tracked the IPOB/ESN top leader to Awomama, where he and his co-commanders were hibernating.
However, a second lieutenant and three IRT operatives paid the supreme price in the firefight that ensued. The four officers were evacuated to a military facility in Owerri.
Three AK-47 rifles, a Toyota Sienna van and other items, including drugs suspected to be psychotropic substances, were recovered and are being processed by the intelligence team to assist in further investigations and operations in the area.
The joint security team is already dominating the general area while preparations for further operations are in top gear. Ikonso had on several occasions posed for photographs with the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, commended the troops, the police IRT and DSS operatives for making the operation a success. He prayed for the repose of the souls of the gallant officers who lost their lives in the operation, stressing that their sacrifice would never be in vain: “The Nigerian Army, along with other security agencies will sustain intelligence-based kinetic operations in the South-East and South-South until the regions are free of terrorist activities.”
UNDP, UNOWAS chiefs visit COAS over regional security
In separate visits, resident representative, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Mohamed Yahya, and senior political officer, United Nations Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Williams Liforgo, on April 27, 2021, paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru.
Yahya solicited support from the Nigerian Army for regional stabilization strategies and to chart ways the UNDP could do better in supporting the objectives of ensuring peace and security of the North-East.
He noted that the UNDP, with the support of federal and state governments, developed regional stabilization facilities with components: “These include Civil Military Coordination that works closely with the NA in the North-East.”
The COAS, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Major Gen. B.I. Ahanatu, said: “The NA will give UNDP all the required support to succeed in its mandate.” He pledged more collaboration in the area of peace and development of the region.
Similarly, Liforgo noted the security challenges in the Lake Chad Basin, revealing that the UN Security Council has mandated his organisation to continue to engage the actors and consult further in a bid to explore various means of support to member states and other actors in the sub-regions with a view to addressing the security, development and humanitarian challenges.
The COAS urged the UN to always avail the NA with its plans for possible collaboration and assistance. He pledged to support all UN programmes in tandem with NA activities towards ending insurgency and all forms of criminality in the sub-region.
NYSC: Army pledges to secure corps members, camps
The Nigerian Army has promised to protect all the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), orientation camps and corps members in the South-East. The is coming on the heels of insecurity bedevilling the region.
General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu, Major-General Taoreed Lagbaja, gave the assurance when he received the director of the NYSC South-East area office, Ngozi Nwatarali.
He urged NYSC state coordinators in the region to update and compile addresses of all corps lodges in the region and liaise with the various brigade commanders for effective security strategy. He noted that the security challenge in the South-East was still at the lowest spectrum of insurgency. He added that criminal elements were attacking national assets at the moment and the condition might degenerate to kidnapping, if not nipped in the bud.
He, however, assured the NYSC management that the service was working assiduously to ensure the security of corps members, just as he promised to post more troops to protect the camps and to ensure synergy between NYSC and the Nigerian Army.
Nwatarali called on the GOC to join hands with other security agencies to achieve the goal of effective security of corps members and NYSC orientation camps.