Commercial Market, Damasak in Borno State, shut in December 2014, due to activities of the Boko Haram terrorists has been reopened for business. The reopening was on the orders of the Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Christopher Musa.
Declaring the market open, Commander, 5 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Suleiman Tilawan, said the market used be commercial nerve centre for millions of people in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. He expressed hope that reopening would bring an end to the scourge of insurgency and other criminalities in the North East: “Since the closure of the market in 2014, thousands of people have lost their major source of livelihood, several others were forced to relocate to Niger Republic and other cities in search of livelihood.
“Peace has finally returned as the brigade has succeeded in flushing out the terrorists and other criminal groups. We have put in place tight security network that is strong enough to protect the people as they go about their legitimate duties.
“For years, the concern of another invasion of the town led to the continued closure of the market. But that fear does not exist anymore.
“In the past few months 5 Brigade has not only comprehensively flushed out Boko Haram and other criminal elements around Damasak, but has also put in place a very constructive security network that is strong enough to ensure total protection of the people in Damasak and give assurance for the full resumption of all economic and social activities.
“Today, we are indeed witnessing a historic occasion as it marks the end of the economic black blanket that was thrown over this part of the state with the closure of this big commercial market.
“I need not reassure you of your security in Damasak. It is my prayer that this occasion will mark one of the several milestones to ending the scourge of insurgency and criminality in this part of the country.
We fully understand that the economic empowerment of the people will give them the strength and courage to offer total and unalloyed support to the military in its fight against the remnants of these criminal elements.
“We will continue to do everything in our power to ensuring the security of lives and economic activities of the peaceful and law abiding people of this area.
“I bring to you the good greetings and best wishes of the Theatre Commander Major General CG Musa; Commander, Multinational Joint Task Force, Major General AK Ibrahim and Sector Commander, Sector 3, Brigadier General GM Mutkut, on this very important day in the lives of the people, which is the day of reopening of the Damasak Commercial Market after seven years of closure.”
COAS reads riot act to GOCs, field commanders, others
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Faruk Yahaya, has again charged commanders of the various army operations in the country to be ruthless in dealing with terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and perpetrators of violent crimes that undermine national security.
He also charged commandants of Nigerian Army training institutions to equip officers and soldiers with the right skills and competencies to confront criminal elements in the various theatres of operations.
The army chief gave the charge at the closing of the COAS Annual Conference in Abuja. He urged them to plan for the possible increase in scope and dimension of the activities in the coming year, just as he told them to ensure the observance of human rights in their activities:
“Commanders must ensure that their troops master the art of night operations and anti-ambush drills by engaging in effective night operations and anti-ambush drill training.
“Let me cease this opportunity to advise those fuelling crises in various locations to desist from their unpatriotic acts. We remain committed and unapologetic to ensuring that peace returns to every part of the country in no distant time.
“The Nigerian Army, within the ambit of the rule of law, will continue to ensure that all peace-loving citizens of this country go about their legitimate businesses and live their lives without fear or intimidation.
“In line with the theme of the conference, ‘Building Nigerian Army Capacity in Combating Emerging Security Threats in a Joint Operations
Environment’, I am convinced that this conference has provided the much needed direction towards building capacity of the Nigerian Army to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in defence of our dear country.
“In the course of the conference, we have ideated vigorously over salient issues affecting the performance of our constitutional roles and the sustainment of professionalism. We have equally considered the various security issues plaguing our nation.
“Consequently, our focus for the coming year would be on developing capacities for improved performances across board. Emphasis will be placed on both individual and unit training that will enhance teamwork and professionalism.
“In this regard, I want to urge commandants of NA and corps schools to ensure they conduct realistic training in their institutions to ensure our officers and soldiers are equipped with the right skills and competencies to confront all criminal elements in the various theatres of operations. I want to remind formation and unit commanders on the need to ensure systematic inspection of arms and ammunition as well as the various holding facilities.
“Additionally, the directive on the new procedure for the conduct of range classification exercise has been communicated to all participants for compliance. Thus, commanders must ensure that units under their command adopt this new procedure aimed at ensuring accountability and security of controlled items in the NA.
“In the conduct of our operations, commanders must be proactive and aggressive in order to defeat the adversary.
We must ensure all our deployments in the theatres of operations are held in strength to defeat any attack.
“Commanders must also look at the possibilities of conducting wide range of operations against bandits and terrorists. We must take the fight to the adversary in order to neutralize and defeat them.
“Commanders are also urged to develop contingency plans to ensure our forces always retain the initiative in all our theatres of operation.
“In that vein, commanders must plan for the possible increase in scope and dimension of the activities of violent state actors in the coming year.
“As you go back to your locations, you are to ensure the prompt implementation of the decisions and directives as they relate to your command.
“I expect that with the improved support we have in terms of logistics and other key combat enablers, we should strive to decisively defeat the adversaries in all theatres of operations. I want to urge all commanders to remain committed and determined to positively change the tide of events with respect to insecurity in the country.
“I wish to reassure Mr President of the unalloyed loyalty and commitment of the Nigerian Army to the defence of democratic governance in Nigeria. I also want to assure Nigerians that in the coming year, there shall be visible signs of improved security across the country.
“Let me also emphasize on the need to ensure the observance of human rights in our activities even as we stay ruthless in dealing with perpetrators of violent crimes that undermine national security of the country.”
NAF wings 16 new Pilots
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, has charged newly winged pilots of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), to be relentless in the pursuit of excellence and professionalism as operational pilots and operators, while working alongside their colleagues across other specialties in the service.
He also charged them to strive to imbibe the doctrine of “jointness” at the front lines as they synergize with personnel from sister services and other security agencies in pursuit of national security imperatives. He spoke at the winging of 16 new pilots and operators at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja.
He said the winging of the pilots was yet another step in the deliberate drive towards the realisation of his vision “to enhance and sustain critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives. Through foresight and diligence, the service has effectively keyed into one of the key drivers of this vision to pursue purposeful training and human capacity development.
“For the NAF to function efficiently, both as a highly technical service and as a fighting force to be reckoned with, it must have the right mix of numerical strength and qualitative manpower in all relevant competencies. This informed the need to pursue training of NAF personnel both locally and overseas. “Another set of 11 student pilots are currently undergoing training in South Africa, while three are undergoing Alpha Jet conversion in Egypt. In the same vein, 12 student pilots are undergoing Super Tucano training, while four others are undergoing helicopter training in the United States of America.
“Over 100 pilots are currently undergoing various types of flying training ranging from Basic Fighter Training, Basic Transport Training, Ab-Initio Flying Training, Initial and Basic Training and Helicopter Pilot Training at various NAF flying training institutions across the country. The trainings are aimed at ensuring combat readiness at significantly higher levels to counter both domestic and foreign threats to the nation’s security and the wellbeing of all Nigerians.”
Earlier, Chief of Training and Operations, Air Vice Marshal James Gwani, said four of the new pilots completed their Military Style Basic Helicopter Pilot Training at the Draken Europe Helicopter Academy, United Kingdom: “Twelve others were trained locally at the 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna. The 16 pilots went through the rigours of flying and operational training and their winging would no doubt boost NAF’s operational manpower disposition especially as the NAF is inducting and expecting more platforms to address the various security challenges across the country.”
Whirl Stroke commander, Apere, for burial today in Abuja
The body of Brigadier General Clement Apere, will be laid to rest today at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja. Apere, 54, was Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke, until his death on October 2, 2021.
A member of 38 Regular Course, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), He was born on March 12, 1967, at Takwa and hailed from Ifelodun Local Government, Kwara State. After his primary school education, he proceeded to BMGS Odo-Owa, from 1978 to 1979 and thereafter Bishop Philip Academy, Ibadan, Oyo State, 1979 to 1983.
Apere was granted Regular Combatant Commission as a member of 38 Regular Course on September 21, 1991, in the rank of Second Lieutenant with seniority on the same rank effective September 21, 1986. He was of the Infantry Corps and rose to the rank of Brigadier General on 11 September 2016.
The late senior officer attended several courses while in service and performed creditably.
Mahadi, new 35 Artillery Brigade Commander, assumes duty
The new Commander, 35 Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army, Alamala, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Brigadier General Isah Mahadi, has assumed duty with a promise to build on the achievements of his predecessor. He is the 10th commander and took over from Brigadier General Adewale Abiodun Adekoya.
He urged officers of the brigade to continue to maintain high level of discipline and give proper mentorship and guidance to their subordinates. Earlier, Adekoya had told officers and men to give the same level of support accorded him to the new commander to sustain efficiency in troops.
There was the presentation of the flag of office by Adekoya to Mahadi.