…Captain Hashim Abdullahi
- MILITARY REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO PROTECT NATION’S TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY
The Nigerian military said it would continue to protect the nation’s territorial integrity against any form of aggression. The Director of Defence Information, Defence Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, made the statement while briefing newsmen at the maiden meeting of Defence Headquarters Media Forum in Abuja. Enenche said that the reason behind the meeting was to acquaint the media with the activities of the service to enable the media to disseminate it to the public. He also said that the meeting was to address grey areas of military activities to keep the public informed through the media. He said that all the service activities were geared toward protecting the territorial integrity of the country and lives and property of its citizens. The director of defence information said to actualise this, the military had launched series of operations such as “Operation Lafia Dole in the North-East”, “Operation Awatse” in the South-West and “Operation Delta Safe” in the Niger-Delta. He said that clearance operations were ongoing in the North-East to finally put an end to the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in the area. “The insurgents have been seriously degraded in the North-East, and we hope that the combination of Nigerian Navy (NN) the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Army would continue to eliminate any act of terrorism in the country.
- NAF SPEAKS ON ‘ONGOING’ RECRUITMENT
The Nigerian Air Force has warned the public against the activities of fraudsters masquerading as the organisation’s recruitment agents, so as to extort money from unsuspecting Nigerians. The Director of Public Relations and Information of the service, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, said this in a statement he made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja. Famuyiwa said the attention of the service had been drawn to the activities of fraudsters masquerading as NAF recruitment agents. He said it was disheartening that some people still allowed themselves to be swindled by these unscrupulous individuals in spite of repeated warnings by the service. The director said that efforts had been geared towards enlightening the public about the activities of the fraudsters. The spokesman said it had become necessary to warn the public against patronising the fraudsters, who usually asked people to pay money into some bank accounts for recruitment. Famuyiwa said recruitment and selection process into the service remained free, without any form of gratification. He stressed that the service had no recruitment agents, hence anyone who claimed to be operating in such capacity on behalf of the service would be considered as a fraudster. Famuyiwa urged interested applicants to visit the NAF official website at www.airforce.mil.ng or recruitment portal at www.careers.nigerianairforce.gov.ng for more information.
- BOKO HARAM: MTN PAYS ANOTHER TRANCHE FROM N330B DEBT TO NIGERIA
MTN has made a payment of N30 billion ($98 million) to the Nigerian government in part settlement of a N330 billion fine imposed on the telecoms group for not disconnecting unregistered SIM cards, an MTN source told Reuters on Thursday. Africa’s largest telecoms company has already paid N80 billion of the total amount owed, the source said. The fine is due for payment in six installments over three years, MTN has said. MTN Nigeria was originally fined $5.2 billion last October for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards, but the fine was reduced in a settlement that paved the way for MTN to list its subsidiary on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Nigeria has been cracking down on unregistered SIM cards, concerned that they are used for criminal activity in a country fighting an insurgency by Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. MTN, which operates in 20 countries, had set aside $600 million last year to pay the fine.
- ARMY KILLS BOKO HARAM TERRORIST AS SOLDIER SUFFERS INJURY
The Nigerian Army Wednesday killed a Boko Haram gunman in a village in Borno during an ambush attack that left one soldier injured. The spokesman of the Nigeria army, Brigadier General Sani Usman, said the attack was repelled by troops of 112 Task Force Battalion, 22 Brigade, Nigerian Army on Operation LAFIYA DOLE. Usman said the attack occurred when the troops were carrying out a fighting patrol towards Boskoro, Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State where it was believed, a sleeper cell of Boko Haram terrorists was hibernating. “While advancing, the troops came in contact with some elements of the terrorists suspected to be in staging area to lay ambush for troops along Ajiri-Dikwa road,” said Mr. Usman, who is the director, Army Public Relations. “The patrol team engaged the terrorists and neutralized one of them and recovered an AK-47 rifle, 1 Magazine, 47 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition and belt links. “Unfortunately one soldier sustained injury during the operation. “The gallant soldier has been evacuated to military hospital and he is responding to treatment.
- BUHARI’S POLICE GUARDS PROTEST OVER UNPAID RISK CAUTION ALLOWANCES
About 127 police officers attached to the presidency in Abuja and the South-West are unhappy and grumbling over unpaid allowances. The police officers alleged that their bosses have been denying those more than two years Risk Caution Allowances (RSA) approved by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The yet-to-be-paid allowances run into millions of naira. The peeved policemen received this money during the administration of former presidents Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. A reliable source disclosed that those affected are mostly corporals and inspectors while officers from the rank of assistant superintendent of police (ASP) to deputy superintendent of police (DCP) receive their allowances fully and regularly. The corporals are said to be entitled to RSA of N75, 000 monthly while inspectors are to receive N92, 000. After several appeals to National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) to intervene allegedly went unheeded; the aggrieved security officers approached a non-governmental organisation, Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN). NOPRIN, through its National Co-coordinator, Okechukwu Nwagunma, wrote a petition to the NSA on December 5, 2016. The organisation said it was drawing the attention of the NSA to grumblings and complaints by police officers attached to the State House and Dodan Barracks in Lagos over unpaid risk caution allowances which may have been diverted, resulting in its non-payment. NOPRIN requested the NSA to intervene to ensure a just resolution of the complaint. The angry policemen also want three of their top officers investigated in connection with the elusive allowances. They are DCP Abdullahi Dauda, Chief Principal Staff Officer to the President (CPSO), DCP Sikiru Akande in charge of Presidential Vehicle Movement (PVM) and CSP Abdullahi Ibrahim, Commander, MOPOL 24. When The Guardian contacted DCP Dauda through his mobile number and sent text messages, there was no response. A presidential aide also declined to speak on the issue, insisting that it is a security matter. But Jimoh Moshood, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), said the police do not owe salaries and allowances as every officer has been paid as at when due.
- AFTER 38 YEARS OF RETIREMENT, EX-SOLDIERS, APPEAL TO BUHARI TO PAY THEIR PENSIONS
Over 1,000 retired soldiers have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently approve the payment of their pensions, saying having served for more than 10 years during the Nigerian civil war and beyond, they deserve to be paid their pension and not be allowed to die in penury. The appeal was made by the chairman of the 63NA Elders Association Volunteer Soldiers, Lance Corporal Ajayi Peters rtd in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. Peters with registration No 63NA113886 who spoke on behalf of other soldiers noted that “they are dying because for over 38 years there have been several promises to pay them their entitlement without fulfillment.” He explained that they joined the military with sole intention to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria, adding that it was a total dehumanisation and lack of human dignity for them to be languishing in poverty after diligently serving their fatherland. “I must confess when we were enlisted there was no enlightenment. Our intention was to defend the nation but unfortunately, the Army didn’t give any explanation. There was no special arrangement for majority of us. Many of us were illiterates. “We were enlisted in 1968 and we retired in 1979. Many of us served for not less than 10 years, but while we were leaving they didn’t inform us to complete 15 years’ service as the rule required then.
- WE’RE YET TO APPREHEND THE REAL SHEKAU, DHQ ADMITS
The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Thursday said due to several fictitious faces of some Boko Haram terrorists parading themselves as ‘Ibrahim Shekau,” the military was yet to apprehend the real Shekau. Director of Defence Information, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche, told journalists in Abuja during the monthly press briefing that because of the deceptive nature of the real identity of Shekau, the military has not been able to capture the leader of Boko Haram sects who has often appeared on videos threatening government on various fronts. Enenche while responding to the revelation by the Minister of Defence, Col Dan-Ali that the military were yet to get hold of Shekau, said: “The search for Shekau is still on. It (statement) was qualified with the truth that there were so many faces of Shekau, so we get the real Shekau. “But we are aware, and have come to know that the real Shekau is yet to be apprehended. If you remember, when Osama bin Ladin was killed, they went further to do a DNA test. “It is because there so many faces of Shekau, that brought the mix up, but the real Shekau is yet to be caught, and we will get him,” Enenche said. On military operations in the South-east and South-south, the DHQ urged the federal government to rather regularise the activities of illegal refiners. Enenche told journalists that “the current operation in the South-south and South-east of the country by the Nigerian military is Operation Delta Safe is to stem the activities of oil thieves and other criminalities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
- NIGERIA NAVY SHIP UNLEASHES SWAMP BUGGIES TO DESTROY ILLEGAL REFINERIES
The Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA has decided to make the use of swamp buggies to crush illegal refineries in Delta creeks. A swamp buggy is an amphibious vehicle used to traverse a swampy terrain. This was made known by the Commander of NNS DELTA, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, who flagged off the crushing of illegal refineries on Wednesday at Isara Creek in Escravos, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta. He said that the deployment of the buggies would bring a lasting solution to illegal refinery business in the Niger Delta. The commander noted that the perpetrators of the illicit act kept returning to it are spite of efforts of the navy to eliminate it. Dewu said that the deployment of the buggies would make it difficult for the saboteurs to restart the business since their facilities would be crushed completely. The commodore said that the crackdown would last for a week, adding that all illegal refineries, including storage tanks and pipes, would be crushed. He said, “We flagged off this exercise today; our men in the Forward Operation Base (FOB) in Escravos will continue from there while we continue from our own side.
- NAVY HANDS OVER TWO SUSPECTED VANDALS, FUEL TO NSCDC
Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT Wednesday handed over two suspected pipeline vandals and 53 fuel-laden jerrycans to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Suleiman Ismail, 38, and Kingsley Imaeto, 40 were arrested by operatives attached to Operation AWATSE, the anti-vandals/militants taskforce combing Lagos-Ogun creeks. According to the Commander NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Maurice Eno, the suspects were apprehended at Imagbon in Ogun State. While handing over the suspects and exhibits to the NSCDC Area Commander, Lagos Central, Assistant Commandant Padonu Augustine, Eno said: “The 76km stretch of pipeline running from Atlas Cove to Mosimi Depot was shut down for 11 months due to severe acts of vandalism on the lines. This was to allow total refurbishment of the lines which cost the Federal Government billions of Naira. “The maintenance of the lines was completed early this year and pumping of products to Mosimi commenced on March 21. “However, at about 3am on March 27, a private security outfit, Topline Leighton Limited, engaged for security and maintenance of the pipeline, in conjunction with personnel of Operation AWATSE arrested two suspects in Ogun. “They were arrested with 53 Jerry cans of 50 litres each of PMS suspected to have been siphoned from the pipelines. The products were being conveyed in four vehicles as at the time of the arrest.
- NIGERIAN ARMY TO BUILD BAILEY BRIDGE IN ENUGU
The Enugu State Executive Council has approved that the contract for the reconstruction of a bailey bridge over Ivo River in Okpanku, Ani Nri Local Government Area, be awarded to the Nigerian Army’s works unit for N54 million. Speaking to journalists on decisions taken by the council, the commissioner for information, Godwin Udeuhele, said the army got the contract award based on the engineering expertise it had garnered over the years. The commissioner also announced a planned collaboration between the state’s ministry of education and the Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN) towards the implementation of Literacy Enhancement and Achievement Project (LEAMP) in three local government areas of Udenu, Oji River and Enugu South. He disclosed that the education ministry has as a result been directed to express the state’s interest to the World Bank towards attracting the project. “The LEAMP project is a reliable one that has the potential to enhance the proficiency of secondary school teachers as well as the performance of students in core subjects like English language, mathematics, sciences, among others,” he said. Mr. Udeuhele revealed that the council further approved a review of rural electrification projects in Igbo-Etiti and Igboeze North by ten per cent of the project sum valued at N80, 506,545 and N75, 589,686 respectively. This review was informed by the need to ensure speedy and efficient completion of the projects, he explained.