The Nigerian Army, on Wednesday, organised the 40th day prayer for the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other senior army and Air Force officers who died in the ill-fated Beechcroft King Air 350 crash in Kaduna on May 21, 2021.
The deceased included Chief of Military Intelligence, Brigadier-General Abdulrahaman Kuliya; Provost Marshal (Army), Brigadier-General O.L. Olayinka; Chief of Staff to Army Chief, Brigadier-General Idris Abdulkadir; ADC, Maj. L.A. Hayat; Maj. M. Hamza; Flt.-Lt. T.O. Asaniyi; Flt.-Lt. A.A. Olufade; Sgt. Saidu Umar; Sgt. Adesina and Aircraftman Oyedepo.
Director of Islamic Affairs, Brigadier General Shehu Mustapha, who led the prayers, said the event was also used to pray for peaceful co-existence among Nigerians and for God to grant victory to the troops fighting in various fronts across the country: “We also used the opportunity to pray for the families, our service chiefs and all Nigerians, for peaceful coexistence.
“We also sought God’s intervention in the security challenges that we are facing. We asked Him if it is sin that we have committed that is making us to have difficulties. We asked Him for mercy and forgiveness.
“We used this opportunity to pray for our leaders for Allah to continue to protect them and give them divine guidance to move the country forward.”
Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, said it was solemn to pray for the repose of the soul of the late army chief and other officers. He said the prayer was to show that the departed were still in their minds and to continue to identify and sympathise with their families:
“The prayer is for them and all other military and civilian personnel who have paid the supreme price in the course of defending the nation. We also prayed for the country, the military and all other agencies that are fighting for the nation’s security and we pray for Allah to answer our prayers.”
Present at the prayers were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Hamza Gambo, and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao, among other top senior military officers.
Wives of the service chiefs were led by the president, Defence and Police Officers Wives Association, Mrs. Victoria Irabor.
Soldiers kill scores of bandits in Zamfara, recover weapons
Soldiers have killed scores of bandits operating in Mayanchi-Dogo, Karfe and Fagantama villages in Talata Marafa Local Government, Zamfara State. director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said.
“Troops of 8 Division, Nigerian Army (NA), while on a fighting patrol, came under fire of bandits operating along Mayanchi-Dogo Karfe and Fagantama villages in Talata Marafa LGA of Zamfara State. In the fierce encounter that ensued, the bandits were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the troops.
“This led to scores of bandits being neutralised. The troops also recovered one PKT rifle, large cache of ammunition and a motorcycle.
“Relatedly, troops have neutralised five bandits in another encounter at Bingi village, in Bungudu LGA. During the gun duel, the bandits withdrew in disarray, having sustained severe gunshot wounds. The gallant troops recovered one AK-47 rifle, one motorcycle and three mobile phones from the routed criminals.
“While appreciating the combat resilience and renewed vigour of the troops, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, urged them to sustain the aggressive posture to defeat all criminal elements operating in the North West and other parts of the country. He urged communities in the North West to support the troops with useful information at all times to enhance anti-banditry operations.”
…Foil attack, kill 12, recover gun trucks, others in Borno
The Nigerian Army said its soldiers have foiled an attempt by Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) to attack the Forward Operational Base (FOB), at Bula-Yobe, Borno State, and killed 12 of them.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said: “Troops of 152 Task Force Battalion, in conjunction with the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai, on Sunday, 27 June, 2021, dealt a devastating blow on Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province while attempting to infiltrate the Forward Operational Base at Bula Yobe in Borno State.
“The terrorists, who came mounted on gun trucks and several motorcycles, attacked the location via an unsuspected crossing point, but were met with heavy volume of fire from the vigilant troops. The land troops swiftly and decisively engaged the terrorists, subsequently forcing them to retreat, having lost initiative.
“The troops sustained the firefight and successfully neutralised 12 terrorists, with several others fleeing with gunshot wounds. The troops captured one gun truck, one self-propelled gun-9, one Dushika gun and one mounted QJC machine gun. Other items captured are one light machine gun and five AK-47 rifles.
“During the encounter, two soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice, while five others sustained varying degrees of injury and have been evacuated by the air component of OPHK to a medical facility, where they are currently receiving medical attention.
“The general area within FOB Bula Yobe is cool and calm under the control of troops of the battalion. Further exploitation by the resilient troops is ongoing.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, has lauded the land troops and the air component for their synergy and quick response, which is in tandem with the ongoing rejigging of the counter-terrorism/counter-insurgency operations in the North East. He charged the troops to maintain the tempo and vehemently hold their ground, to deny the terrorists freedom of action.”
No terrorist attack on Kaduna NAF base – Spokesman
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has described the alleged attack on its barracks in Kaduna State by Boko Haram as fake news.
NAF director of public relations and information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said there was no truth in the report: “Merchants of fake news are at it again. This time around, their focus is on the premier Nigerian Air Force Base at Kaduna, which they claimed came under terrorist attack in the early hours of June 26, 2021.
“Members of the public should, please, disregard the news, as it is entirely false. There was nothing of such, as the inhabitants of the entire base are going about their normal activities and duties without any threat whatsoever.”
Smoke out Boko Haram, COAS charges troops in Yobe
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya, has charged soldiers to smoke out terrorists and other criminals disturbing the peace of Yobe State and destroy their strongholds.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, who made this known recently, said the COAS, on Saturday, June 26, 2021, “Charged troops of Sector 2 Joint Task Force, North East Operation Hadin Kai, to destroy all Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists’ enclaves in their various locations. The COAS made the statement while addressing troops of Sector 2 in Damaturu, Yobe State.
“General Yahaya commended the troops on successful operations conducted within Sector 2 area of responsibility, which he enumerated to include Operations Ayiso Tamunoma, Katana Jimlan, Fire Ball and Operation Tura Takaibango.
“He enjoined the troops to use wealth of experience and lessons learnt from the series of operations to destroy the remnants of marauding terrorists within their various locations. He assured them of improved welfare and a new reward system for troops who perform gallantly in any operation.
“Earlier, the Commander, Sector 2 Joint Task Force, North East Operation Hadin Kai, Brigadier General Adamu Nura, briefed him on the operational engagements and challenges of the sector. Among the dignitaries who accompanied the COAS were the Chief of Operations (Army) Major General Ibrahim Yusuf, and the Theatre Commander OperationHadin Kai, Major General Christopher Musa.”