Soldiers fighting the counter-insurgency war in the North-East have embarked on repairs of roads and bridges destroyed by Boko Haram terrorists.
Most of the affected roads located in Maiduguri, Bama (Borno State) and Yola (Adamawa State) have been reconstructed to make movement easier for motorists and other road users.
A visit to the area revealed the work was being done by the soldiers from the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers (NACE), on all the areas that had improvised explosive devises (IEDs) planted by the terrorists. They dug out the explosives thus making the roads safer.
The bridge at Firigi village located near Konduga, hitherto blown up by the terrorists to prevent security operatives from accessing the route has been reconstructed.
Investigations showed that aside from fighting the anti-terror war, soldiers engaged in the operations take out time to carry out community social responsibility programmes and other humanitarian programmes to better the lives of host communities.
Army shines at Lagos City Marathon
Athletes of the Nigerian Army have made their service proud by emerging tops in most of the sporting events at the fifth Lagos City Marathon.
The event, which also had the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, firing shots to declare the occasion open, saw the army contingent performing excellently in wresting, boxing, 42-kilometre marathon and 10-kilometre races, among other events.
Eighteen athletes from the Nigerian Army, comprising 12 males and six females, took part and excelled in track and field, judo, kickboxing and wrestling.
Buratai congratulated the athletes for their brilliant performance, which brought pride and honour to the Nigerian Army. He pledged to support more sporting activities in the service “to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.”
In another development, a female soldier, Lance Corporal Hannah Reuben, was among athletes that represented Nigeria at the just-concluded African Wrestling Championships in Algiers, Algeria. She competed in the 65kg category and defeated home-based Amel Hammiche 12-1 to reclaim her African title. The soldier and other medallists are billed to represent Nigeria in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Enter made-in-Maiduguri MRAPs
Do you know that the Nigerian Army has commenced the local production of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles? And guess what, these vehicles are produced in Maiduguri, Borno State.
MRAPs are vehicles used to sweep mines and other deadly explosives planted by terrorists, which is rife in the North-East.
Theatre commander in charge of Operation Lafia Dole, Major-General Olusegun Adeniyi, told Defence Report that four MRAPs were so far produced by soldiers with locally sourced products. He said the production of the vehicles, one of most needed tools in the counter-insurgency war, has become necessary to add to operational equipment requirements.
The commander said the induction of Ezugwu MRAP in the theatre of operation by the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps has enhanced local fabrication in Maiduguri: “Most of the gun trucks used for operations are now being locally produced in Maiduguri, using local welders and army personnel.”
Transporters laud Army for safety on Borno roads
Transporters, especially those plying the Maiduguri, Gwoza and Yola routes, have praised the Nigerian Army for the improved security in the axis.
Most of the transporters said, unlike in the past when the road was a no-go area, the situation has changed for the better as drivers and passengers alike now enjoy safety on the highway, courtesy of the Nigerian Army, which provides all-round security for them to do their business.
A transporter, Modu Musa, said members of the transport association were working with the military, which gives them the timing of when to ply the routes, since it is not yet totally safe.
He said the army carried out what he called scanning of the road on a daily basis: “It is only when the scanning is concluded that motorists are allowed to use the road with the army providing heavy security escort to prevent them from being ambushed and attacked.”
Traders return to Bama Market
Traders operating at the Bama Main Market in Borno State have resumed duty. The market, located along the major expressway, which was hitherto a no-go area, is now being patronised by customers and traders alike who come with their goods from different villages to sell.
A trader, Mohammed Modu, who deals in herbal products, said he earns between N5,000 and N10,000. Also, another trader, Hassan Adamu, who trades in dried and fried fish, said he makes up to N10,000. Another trader of fresh pepper, tomatoes and vegetables said he makes between N5,000 and N7,000 daily.
Before now, they said everyone abandoned the market because of frequent attacks by terrorists. However, with the improvement of security in the area, traders and customers now troop to the market to sell and buy.
To ensure terrorists do not have access into the market, the traders have organised and formed local security outfits that are working with the soldiers deployed to the town. Visitors and traders are thoroughly screened before being allowed into the market.