Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, says Nigerian Army requires more equipment, weapons, armoured fighting vehicles, platforms and various combat enablers to effectively defeat Boko Haram/Islamic States of West African Province (ISWAP) and other criminal groups in the country.
He told the visiting Senate Committee on Army that the army would continue to remain apolitical and committed to the protection of democracy and good governance in Nigeria: “To curb and finally defeat these threats, the Nigerian Army requires equipment, weapons, armoured fighting vehicles, platforms and various combat enablers.
“I urge you to, as a matter of urgency, consider these critical needs as you legislate and appropriate funds. I will be counting on your support so that we can effectively perform our constitutional roles and defeat all our threats.”
The committee was led to the Army Headquarters, Abuja, by its chairman, Senator Ali Mohammad Ndume.
GOC, 81 Division, seeks collaboration with press
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Victoria Island, Lagos, Major General Lawrence Fejokwu, has appealed to the division’s defence correspondents for stronger collaboration by being guided by the principle of balanced reporting.
He urged the correspondents to be mindful of sensational reports, as they could attract negative inferences that could trigger crises. He promised to give the correspondents unfettered access to clarify reports: “If such clarification is beyond me, I will guide you on the next step to take.”
“The military is here to protect all law-abiding citizens by ensuring that they go about their businesses in the safest environment,” he said.
He cited intelligence as the major key to solving security challenges: “The battle can only be won if the civil populace bring credible information to security agencies that can be used to nip security challenges in the bud before they snowball into crisis.
“The division will keep members of the press informed on the progress made in terms of security measures put in place to improve the level of security.
“The military, in conjunction with other various agencies, is working on strategies to contain any attacks. Very soon, the press will start seeing manifestation of significant improvement in the security architecture.”
Soldiers foil terror attack on Dikwa, kill scores, destroy gun trucks
The Nigerian Army said its soldiers foiled terrorists’ attempt to attack Dikwa, headquarters of Dikwa Local Government, Borno State.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, said: “Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole currently carrying out Operation Tura Takaibango stationed at Dikwa and Gulumba Gana, supported by the Air Component, inflicted heavy casualty on Boko Haram terrorists who attempted to take control of the strategic town of Dikwa, the headquarters of Dikwa LGA of Borno State.
“The terrorists in their numbers mounted on 12 gun trucks attacked the town on the eve of Sunday, April 18, 2021, just as the locals prepared to break their Ramadan fast for the day.
“The troops having contained the initial wave of the attack had to occupy their alternative headquarters at Gulumba Gana to enable the Air Component engage any gun trucks and other technical in the vicinity of the attack to prevent fratricide. The troops launched a counter-attack in the early hours of Monday, April 19, 2021, and successfully reoccupied their main headquarters in Dikwa.
“The retreating terrorists suffered heavy losses in equipment and personnel, including some of their key leaders, from the superior firepower of own troops both from the air and ground forces. The troops are currently patrolling Dikwa town and environs to assess the level of damage inflicted on the terrorists.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, has commended the troops for their doggedness and directed them to restrategise to prevent further attacks in the area. The Nigerian Army remains committed towards ensuring a safe and secure environment throughout the North East.”
Defence minister, CDS, service chiefs visit Borno, laud troops
Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (rtd), visited Maiduguri, Borno State, last Sunday to see how troops were faring in the ongoing counter-terrorism fight in the North East.
He was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, and service chiefs. They were received by the theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD), Major-General Farouq Yahaya.
He commended the soldiers for their commitment in routing the terrorists, and conveyed the appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari to them for their efforts and sacrifices. He assured them of the President’s continuous support by providing more equipment and other logistics.
Yahaya presented a detailed brief on the operation, covering updates, deployments, challenges and projections. He told the minister how the service chiefs have been visiting the theatre to evaluate the progress of the operations.
He also explained that, apart from collective visits by the service chiefs, led by CDS, they also visited individually to ensure smooth operations.
The minister visited wounded-in-action troops admitted at 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital, where he interacted with them. He promised to support the various services to improve on the welfare of troops.
Soldiers nab Boko Haram informant in Yobe
The Army Headquarters, Abuja, has said its soldiers on counter-insurgency operations in the North East arrested a suspected informant working for Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal groups.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, said: “Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have arrested suspected Boko Haram informant whose spying activities and that of his accomplices were responsible for the attacks on troops’ position by terrorists in Kamuya, Yobe State. The informant, who was identified as Modu, was apprehended by troops of 27 Task Force.
“On interrogation, he confessed to have revealed troops’ movements and positions to his Boko Haram collaborators. Investigation is, however, on to unravel the network of local informants whose nefarious activities have endangered troops on clearance operations around the fringes of the Timbuktu triangle.
“The unfortunate sabotage of troops movement by Modu and his accomplices made it possible for the terrorists to attack the rear element of troops on patrol. Though the attack was swiftly repelled by troops from the Tactical Headquarters of 27 Task Force Brigade and Army Super Camp 3, Buratai, own troops suffered some casualties.
“In spite of the setback, the Chief of Army Staff has encouraged troops of Operation Tura Takaibango to keep their fighting spirit up and to remain dedicated in the effort to flush out the remnants of the terrorists as quickly as possible. He charged them not to relent even in the face of gross unpatriotic acts of some locals who are snitching on their movements and positions.
The COAS also admonished citizens to, as a matter of patriotic duty, avail the troops with credible and timely information that will help them flush out the adversary.”