Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, has pledged that the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which are major impediments to military operations especially in the North East, would soon be a thing of the past.
Attahiru has also vowed to rebuild the fighting skills, capacity, confidence and morale of officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army to confront the various security challenges in the country.
He said the Nigerian Army under his leadership would ensure that officers and soldiers are equipped with the right competencies and skills to effectively undertake daring missions in addition to developing special operations forces.
The COAS, made the declaration at the opening of the Combined Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference and Nigerian Army Operations Retreat 2021, which held in Abuja.
Attahiru, while noting that troop welfare was a priority of his leadership, said he intended to focus on procurement that would ensure appropriate kitting and provision of protective gear, weapons, equipment and platforms for troops.
He, therefore, call on commanders of the various army operations to glean from his ‘command philosophy’ to ensure that operational and administrative proficiencies of Nigerian Army formations and units are sustained and improved upon.
He said the retreat, the first since he took office, would afford the army time to reassess the threat environment and review its operations, with a view to identifying gaps that could be addressed in the planning and conduct of future operations.
While congratulating officers and soldiers for their unrelenting sacrifice and efforts in ensuring that the Nigerian Army fulfils its constitutional responsibilities, the COAS, charged them to redouble their efforts and deal with adversaries threatening the peace of the country.
He said, “As you are well aware, I and my colleagues, the other service chiefs, took over command of our respective services at a very critical period when the nation is facing daunting security challenges characteristic of a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment.
“This was rightly highlighted by the Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, during his first meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs. During the meeting, the President gave us marching orders to decisively deal with all security challenges facing the country.
He further stated that, “In line with the President’s directive and my intent to rebuild the Nigerian Army into a formidable force, I conceived the vision of having ‘A Nigerian Army that is repositioned to professionally defeat all adversaries in joint environment.’
“To breathe life into this vision, I released my philosophy of command, which has readiness, capacity, continuous leadership development and duty to country as cardinal pillars. Readiness entails mission-oriented training, functional manning and equipping, while capacity will be built on the dependability of the Nigerian Army to accomplish any mission in line with norms enshrined in our core values and ethics. Continuous leadership development on its own will ensure that the Nigerian Army continues to roll out innovative 21st century commanders and of course duty to country entails loyalty and sacrifice to our fatherland. As formation commanders and principal staff officers, your role is critical to the attainment of my vision. Therefore, I implore all of you to immediately key into the vision so that together, we can take the Nigerian Army to greater heights.”
We’re making progress to end insecurity –COAS
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, said the Nigerian Army has made tremendous progress in addressing the myriad of security challenges bedevilling the nation.
Gen. Attahiru, who made this known at the closing ceremony of the Chief of Army Staff Combined First Quarter Conference and Nigerian Army Operations Retreat 2021 in Abuja, however, charged army field commanders not to rest on their oars.
He equally charged them to sustain the tempo of operations and maintain the posture that will create the enabling environment for peace and socio-economic activities to thrive across the country.
“The operation retreat, particularly, afforded us the opportunity to appraise all Nigerian Army’s ongoing operations in different parts of the country, such as our operations against the activities of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists, Indigenous People of Biafra, banditry and militancy, among other violent crimes.
“The conference equally afforded me the opportunity to communicate my vision to have ‘A Nigerian Army that is repositioned to professionally defeat all adversaries in a joint environment,’ while also outlining my strategic plan for year 2021 to principal staff officers, corps commanders, as well as field commanders.
“It is expected that with this strategic guidance, commanders and staff officers will go back to their commands and schedules to strategize on how to craft operations and training, among other activities, that will nest into building appropriate capabilities for the Nigerian Army as we pursue our end state of attaining sustainable peace and stability across the country.”
Troops kill 48 terrorists, rescue 11 victims in Borno
The Army Headquarters in Abuja said soldiers on counter-insurgency operations in the North East have killed 48 terrorists and rescued 11 kidnapped victims along Chibok/Damboa area of Borno State in its renewed onslaught against the terrorists.
Director of army public relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, who made this known to the press, said soldiers from 28 Task Force Brigade of Sector 1, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, recovered 15 AK-47 rifles, four magazines and other items from the criminals after encounter.
Yerima, in a statement, said, “Nigerian Army troops deployed in Chibok, under 28 Task Force Brigade of Sector 1, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, have neutralised scores of Boko Haram terrorists in an ambush along Chibok-Damboa axis of Borno State.
“The troops achieved the feat while acting on credible intelligence that some remnants of insurgents were fleeing due to the intensity of troops’ operations in Sambisa Forest.
“The gallant troops laid ambush, engaged and overwhelmed the criminals with aggressive firepower, neutralising nine terrorists in the process, while several others escaped with fatal gunshot wounds. The troops also recovered seven AK-47 rifles and freed three kidnapped victims.
“Similarly in another encounter, troops of 28 Task Force Brigade, located in Askira, equally laid a successful ambush along Askira-Chibok Main Supply Route and neutralized 39 terrorists.
“In the course of the encounter, troops successfully rescued eight kidnapped victims from the terrorists. Unfortunately, however, one of the kidnapped victims sustained injury to his leg while in the hands of his abductors. He has since been conveyed to a military medical facility for immediate treatment.
“During the operations, troops recovered another eight AK-47 rifles with four magazines, among other items.
“The gallant troops are presently dominating the area with aggressive patrols and are equally on the trail of fleeing terrorists in order to locate and neutralise them.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru appreciated the gallantry and dexterity of the troops and urged them to remain dogged and maintain their offensive posture in all operations until the area is rid of all remnants of terrorists. He equally appreciated members of the public for their continuous support to the troops and enjoined them to continue to provide credible information to the troops and other security agencies operating within their localities.”
House Committee on Army visits Army Headquarters, as COAS takes first jab of COVI-19 vaccine
Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Army were at Army Headquarters, Abuja, recently, on a familiarization visit to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-General Ibrahim Attahiru.
The committee, led by its chairman, Hon. Abdulrasak Saad Namdas, was were briefed on activities on the counter-insurgency, banditry and kidnapping, among other internal security operations of the army.
They were also briefed on equipment procurement, barracks rehabilitation, quick passage of army procurement requests, equipping and improving the capacity of the police, and canvassing for public support for Nigerian Army activities/operations, among others.
In a related development, Attahiru has taken the first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine in his office.
Some principal staff officers at the Army Headquarters, including the Chief of Policy and Plans, Chief of Army Administration and Director of Army Public Relations, equally took the first dose of the vaccine.
The COAS, who was issued with his certificate after the vaccination, enjoined officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army and indeed the general public to get vaccinated even as he commended the Federal Government for making vaccination available in the country.
‘Winning war against insurgency, banditry difficult without civilian cooperation’
The Nigerian Army has reiterated its commitment to maintaining a healthy relationship with the civilian populace as a strategy to win the war against insurgency and banditry in the country.
The acting medical director, 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Colonel Augustine Omoghethai, who stated this while launching a medical outreach in Badiko village, Kaduna, said, the role of the civilian populace in overcoming internal security threats was important.
According to him, the medical outreach, which focused on talk, test and free drugs for hypertension, got the nod of top army officials, to reduce the rise in the number of those carrying the burden of the disease in the state.
He said, “Badiko village is our immediate host community. We are here to let them know there is a silent killer disease called hypertension; many people do not know they have it, yet it is killing them.
“The Nigerian Army will not succeed without the civilian population. We work with them. We live with them. We have a common enemy; the war against terror is there, and for you to win these wars, you need to win the heart of the people. That is what we are doing here.”