By Capt. Hashim Abdullahi
- INADEQUACY OF FUNDS BANE OF MILITARY OPERATIONS IN NIGERIA – BURATAI
The Chief of Army Staff Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai says that inadequacy of funds is the bane of military operations in Nigeria. Buratai made this known when he defended the 2018 budget of the Nigeria Army before the Senate Committee on Army in Abuja on Thursday. While appraising the performance of the 2017 Appropriation Act, Buratai recalled that since the beginning of 2015, “the activities of the violent non-state actors had aggravated across the country.” He said in response to this the Nigerian Army had expanded from five to eight divisions. “The army is currently engaged in war against the Boko Haram terrorists and other internal security operations in virtually all the 36 states of the federation.”
- ALLEGED PLANNED INVASION OF TARABA: MILITARY CANNOT MOVE, UNLESS… – DHQ
The Defence headquarters on Thursday reacted to the alarm raised by Governor Darius Ishiaku of Taraba State that intelligence reports has shown that there are plans by herdsmen to attack the state in eleven (11) days. Acting Director of Defence Information while speaking on plans by the military to prevent such attacks said, the military was not the first line of defence. He said, “The Governor of Taraba State, if he has information of any such planned or impending attack, should get in touch with the police authorities who are in charge of internal security.
- 81 BOKO HARAM SUSPECTS ARRAIGNED IN OPEN COURT
Eighty-one people accused of fighting for Boko Haram went on trial in Niger yesterday in a public court sitting, one of the first of its kind after closed-door trials of suspected insurgents were criticised by human rights groups. Those on trial in a special international court in the capital Niamey came from Niger, Nigeria and Chad and are suspected of playing a role in Boko Haram’s near decade-long bid to create a caliphate in Nigeria. The Islamist insurgency has spread beyond its roots in Nigeria, killing 20,000 and uprooting nearly 3 million in the Lake Chad region. The Niamey trials follow closed-door Boko Haram trials, including in Nigeria where a court in October jailed 45 people to between three and 31 years in jail, but the government did not say what they were convicted of.
- BOKO HARAM: REPS DIVIDED OVER $1BN INSURGENCY FUND
Members of the House of Representatives were divided, yesterday, over a motion to deduct 13 percent derivation from the $1 billion approved for the fight against insurgency and general security in the country. The bill, introduced by Ken Chikere, from Rivers State, seeks to ensure that the 13 percent derivation is given to oil-producing states in the country. The $1 billion is to be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), to sustain the war against Boko Haram insurgency. The National Council of States approved the withdrawal at its meeting last December. While some lawmakers argued that the 13 per cent derivation should be deducted and paid to the Niger Delta States, others thought otherwise.
- BOKO HARAM: BORNO SEMA REVEALS HOW IDPS CAMP WAS BOMBED, CONFIRM DEATH
Borno State government has said that five people were killed in the suicide bomb attack at Dalori Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, Maiduguri on Wednesday. The Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Satomi Ahmad, made the confirmation to newsmen in Maiduguri. He also confirmed that “39 others sustained various degrees of injuries”. Satomi explained that “a female suicide bomber infiltrated the IDPs camp”.
- BOKO HARAM: ARMY DONATES EQUIPMENT TO BORNO IDPS
The outgoing Commanding Officer of 152 Battalion, 21 Brigade Nigerian Army, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Elayo has donated some equipment to the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Banki, Bama Local Government Area of Borno State. Presenting the equipment and items to the beneficiaries, the Commanding Officer noted that the donation was in line with the civil military activities aimed at ameliorating the plights of the Internally Displaced Persons.
- NIGERIAN AIR FORCE SET FOR 2-DAY MEDICAL OUTREACH IN ENUGU
The Nigerian Air Force Ground Training Command, GTC, Enugu, has concluded arrangement for a two-day comprehensive medical outreach to Gabon Village in Emene, Enugu. Wing Commander Rose Bello, The Command Public Relations Officer, CPRO, said in a statement on Thursday that the medical outreach was part of activities lined-up for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new GTC. Bello said that the comprehensive medical outreach would be coming up on February 5 and February 6 at Gabon Village, Emene, which is the host community of the new GTC Command Headquarters.
- NAF TRAINS 5,707 RECRUITS IN 3 YEARS – CAS
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has trained no fewer than 5,707 recruits from July 2015 to date, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall, Sadiq Abubakar, said on Friday. The air chief made the disclosure during the passing out parade of 1,544 recruits of Basic Military Training Course 38 at the NAF Base in Kaduna. Abubakar said that the recruitment of more personnel was to boost the capacity of the Service and equip it to respond effectively to current insecurity challenges in the country.
- SECURITY CHALLENGES: ARMY TO CONDUCT MORE EXERCISES IN 2018 – BURATAI
The Army will conduct more exercises in 2018 to assist civil authorities to deal with internal security challenges in parts of the country, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said. Speaking with newsmen on Friday after leading troops on a 15km Route March, Buratai said Exercises Harbin Kunama III, Crocodile Smile III and Egwu Eke Dance III would also be conducted in 2018. Exercise Harbin Kunama I and II were conducted in 2016 and 2017, respectively, to deal with the menace of cattle rustling and herdsmen/farmers clashes in parts of North-West and North-Central. While Crocodile Smile and Egwu Eke Dance were conducted in the Niger Delta and the South-East, respectively, in 2017 to tackle pipeline vandalism, oil theft and piracy, violent agitation and kidnapping. Asked if there would be a special exercise to address recurring herdsmen/farmers clashes in Benue, Taraba and part of Nasarawa State, Buratai said the military was not thinking of a particular situation.
- NAVY IMPOUNDS 5.790m LITRES OF CRUDE, ARREST 11 SUSPECTS
The Nigerian Navy said it had seized a large vessel, MT Breakthrough, for allegedly transporting 4,574 metric tons (5.790 million litres) of crude oil. Capt. Victor Choji, the Executive Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, told newsmen on Friday that the product was suspected to have been stolen from pipelines in Niger Delta. Choji said that the 11 sailors were arrested on board the vessel. According to him, the vessel has been on the Navy watch list for suspicious activities over time before the seizure.