The Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), has disclosed that the Nigerian military has freed over 30, 000 hostages from Boko Haram terrorists in parts of the North East of the country.
Dan-Ali attributed string of successes recorded by the Nigerian Armed Forces in degrading the Boko Haram and significant reduction of in insecurity and criminalities in the Niger Delta as well as other parts of the country to the political commitment and support of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said Buhari said gave boost to the key successes recorded by the Military against insurgency and insecurity in the country.
Speaking at a Town Hall Meeting in Maiduguri, Borno State on Monday, the minister the Nigerian troops so far have freed over 30 thousand persons mainly women and children held hostage by the terrorists.
Dan-Ali commended a number of reforms that have been carried out by the Ministry of Defence. One of the major reforms was the review of the National Defence Policy which has been approved and signed by President Buhari. He added that others include “the Armed Forces Order of Battle was recently reviewed to meet contemporary security challenges faced by the country. A number of new Divisions, Commands and Units were established to ensure that the Armed Forces adequately cover the Nigerian territorial space”.
He also gave kudos to the new leadership of Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole and that of 7 Division Nigerian Army for giving new direction and vigour to the operations in the North-East. Also, the regular visits to the operations Theatre by the Honourable Minister of Defence and the Service Chiefs have boosted the morale of the fighting troops and success of the operation as a whole.
“It is pertinent to state that the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the on-going Operation DEEP PUNCH II have inflicted heavy casualties on the Boko Haram Terrorists and routed them from their various hideouts in Sambisa forest. The troops of Nigerian Army recently destroyed the technical camp of the Boko Haram Terrorists where a number of weapons and ammunitions as well as bomb making equipment were recovered.
“In a similar vein, the Nigerian Air Force has continued to bombard the Boko Haram Terrorists hideouts in Sambisa forest. Recently, the Nigerian Air Force remotely piloted aircraft successfully destroyed artillery guns and some gun trucks belonging to the Boko Haram Terrorists.
He attributed this to improvement in equipment to the armed forces “in its effort to improve the combat effectiveness and raise the morale of our fighting troops, this administration has procured modern equipment for the Nigerian Armed Forces. Recently, the Nigerian Army took possession of 5 units of Caterpillar 972G Armoured Mine Disposal Wheeled Loaders for demining and rehabilitation operations in the North-East. Also, the Nigerian
“Navy acquired 2 new French patrol boats OCEA FPB 72 for maritime security. In a similar vein, the Nigerian Air Force recently took delivery of the final batch of Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan. Furthermore, the United States has presented Letters of Offer and Acceptance to Nigeria for the Sale of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigerian Air Force. The acquisition of the A-29 Super Tucano would be a game changer in the Nigerian Air Force air operations especially in the fight against Boko Haram Terrorists in the North-East”.
On the issue of welfare of troops and members of the Armed Forces, he said, this administration has ensured the prompt payment of troops’ operations allowances and personnel monthly emolument.
He also the Ministry has ensured that troops who have overstayed in the Theatre of operations are rotated and new ones inducted. However, considering the demand for troops in the recent internal operations across the Country has disturbed rotational plan. In addition, he said this administration has embarked on renovation and building of befitting accommodation for members of the Armed Forces in the 6 geo-political zones
.” Furthermore, plan for construction of 20 blocks of barracks accommodation by the Ministry of Defence is on-going to ease the problem of personnel accommodation in Abuja. It is noteworthy to state that some the gallant troops and well deserved members of the Armed Forces have been promoted to the next higher rank as a way of encouragement for their selfless service.
“In line with the decision of this Administration to increase the strength of the Nigerian Armed Forces towards the fight against insurgency in the North-East and tackling other national security, the Armed Forces have in the last 2 years enlisted and recruited qualified Nigerians into the Services. The Armed Forces is also engaged in various trainings of its personnel to increase its human capacity and professionalism which is aimed at facing international security situation in the Country.
The minister was happy that the confidence reposed on the present administration by the international community has increase the cooperation of the Armed Forces of Nigeria with militaries of neighbouring countries and other foreign nations especially in the area of training, intelligence sharing and information management. This, he said, has led to the donation of a large assortment of military hardware by the Kingdom of Jordan to the Armed Forces of Nigeria. We have also reviewed our MOU’s with friendly countries to enhance our defence cooperation.