The Nigerian Army says its counterinsurgency troops in the North East have killed 16 terrorists and recovered arms and ammunition in a Borno village.
Philip Nwosu, Lagos and Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army said its troops on counterinsurgency in the North East have killed 16 terrorists and recovered arms and ammunition in Mairari village, Mungono Local Government Area, Borno State. Also one soldier and four civilians were injured during the operation.
This is coming at a time the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has said the process of importing weapons was hampering the military’s operation in the fight against insurgency, while hinting at effort to ensure local production of weapons.
Revealing the military’s success, Deputy Director in charge of Public Relations, Theatre Command’s Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, said the injured soldier and civilians had been taken to the hospital, where they are receiving medical attention.
In a statement, Nwachukwu said: “Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Forward Operational Base (FOB) along Mairari, in Monguno have neutralised 16 Boko Haram insurgents in an encounter that occurred at about 6.50 pm on Friday, 27 July 2018, in Mairari, a village located in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State.
“The insurgents, in three vehicles, including gun trucks, had infiltrated and attacked the community, when troops at the FOB were alerted by locals. The troops, supported by the Air Task Force, swiftly responded to the attack, killing 16 insurgents and capturing two gun trucks abandoned by the insurgents, as they tried escaping, having been overwhelmed by the superior firepower from the troops.
“The gallant troops also recovered 163 rounds of anti-aircraft gun ammunition during the fierce encounter. During the fire fight, four civilians and a soldier, unfortunately, sustained varying degrees of injury and have been promptly evacuated to a military hospital, where they are currently receiving medical attention.
“The FOB has been further reinforced with additional troops, while fighting patrols are on the trail of the insurgents, who fled the attack. Normalcy has been restored and the people of Mongonu Local Government Area are enjoined to remain vigilant and report any suspicious person(s) or activities as they go about their normal business.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff has said the procurement processes for the importation of weapons were hampering the operations of the military in the fight against insurgency.
He, however, said the military was working with some indigenous and foreign companies for the local production of weapons and other defence needs.
The army chief, who was represented by Major General Rasheed Yusuf at the graduation of officers from the Nigerian Army Logistics College in Lagos, said already prototype for some of its needed military hardware had y been produced, while calling on military training institutions to champion the research and development and technological adaptation drive of the Nigerian Army.
He said the military would continue to fund any of the research and development effort of the institutions.
His words: “The challenges we face in our continuous dependent on foreign imports for our defence needs has had adverse impact on the current counterinsurgency operations in the North East. There is, however, a change of focus towards the development of indigenous technology to meet our defence requirement.
“In this regard, the Nigerian Army is currently in partnership with a number of indigenous and foreign companies in the local production of its defence needs. You will recall that during the Nigerian Army day celebration 2018 at Monguno Barracks, the Nigeria Army used the occasion to showcase its research and development drive. Some of the equipment displayed at the Mini Trade Fair and Military Equipment Exhibition include Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and prototype helicopter.
“Our training institutions must be in the forefront of research and development, technological adaptation
and innovation drive of the Nigerian Army. The Nigerian Army will continue to provide the needed assistance and funding to drive any of such efforts.”
The Army Chief said the force was committed to a professionally responsive Army that is alive to its constitutional roles, “thus, the observance of the rule of law, rules of engagement, human rights observance and effective civil-military relations have been embraced in all our activities.”
He expressed the army’s appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari “for his direction and encouragement in our effort in confronting the security challenges facing the country.”
He said the Nigerian Army remained loyal and subordinate to the constituted democratic government, adding: “Commanders at all levels must also continue to provide requisite leadership and ensure that their personnel are continually reminded of the need to always uphold the tenets of military professionalism by being guided by the provision of the constitution and other operational guidelines.”
While commending the NACOL for the rich curriculum, Buratai expressed hope that the institution has imbued in the graduands the needed knowledge in logistics planning and execution in support of military operations, adding, “there is no doubt that the graduating students have been sufficiently equipped to perform effectively in their future endeavours. I challenge you to go to the field with the determination and with knowledge gained while at the college and make a difference.”
General Buratai said modern armed forces rely on training to attain professional competence, empahasising: “Military training helps build physical strength and endurance, develop mental fortitude, adaptability survivability and other skill to function as a member of a combat force.”
Quoting America poet, Louis Simpson, he said: “The aim of military training is not just to make men for battle but to make them long for it.”
Earlier, the Commandant of the College, Major General Richard Duru, said the seven months course was designed to train middle level officers in the preparation and execution of logistics plan in support of formation up to corps level.
He said: “This was achieved by developing their understanding and application of modern strategic management concept appropriate to defence logistics, improving their professional skill in the acquisition of military hardware as well as planning and providing efficient logistics support for the Nigerian Army operation.”
He said the graduating officers had been equipped to cope with challenges that would likely confront them in future, adding that they had been adequately prepared to hold logistics appointment in their respective corps.