By Capt. Hashim Abdullahi
1. PUMP-ACTION RIFLE GOES ON SALE IN TARABA
Troops of 93 Battalion, 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army, on exercise Ayem Akpatuma (Cat Race) on Tuesday seized a pump action rifle displayed for sale in Taraba. This is contained in a statement on Wednesday by Brig.-Gen Sani Usman, the Director of Army Public Relations. It said the rifle was seized by the troops while on patrol at Bantaje ward in Wukari Local Government Area of the state. The Army spokesman said that preliminary investigation revealed that the rifle was displayed for sale and that the suspected gun runners abandoned the rifle and ran away on sighting the troops. “The public especially the residents of the areas where Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA is taking place are advised to continue to cooperate with the troops by providing useful information. “They should please any suspected movement by individual or group to the military or law enforcement agencies in their area”, he added.
2. AIR FORCE SETS UP 10 UNITS ACROSS COUNTRY
As part of efforts at curbing internal security threats across the country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has established a total of 10 new Units. That was as the NAF had concluded plans to set up Quick Response Wings (QRWs) across Nasarawa State, in a bid to tackle the herders/farmers clashes plaguing some states within the axis. The disclosure was made by the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Olatokunbo Adesanya, said Abubakar spoke when he visited the Governor of Nasarawa State, Alh. Tanko Al-Makura. According to Adesanya, the QRWs will be inaugurated “in Lafia and other settlements, especially close to the border between Nasarawa and Benue states”. He further quoted the CAS as saying that, “the NAF had already established 10 new units in the last two years with the aim of enabling the NAF to add value to the Internal Security situation in various parts of the country.
3. NIGERIA: ZAMFARA KILLINGS – USE AIR SURVEILLANCE (UAV) TO IDENTIFY LOCATION OF BANDITS, SENATE TELLS FG
The Senate, yesterday, asked the Federal Government to direct the Nigerian Air Force to use air surveillance to identify the location of armed bandits in Zamfara, with a view to flushing them out. It also urged the Federal Government to mount diplomatic pressure on Niger Republic and Chad to stop criminals from using their territories to launch attacks on Nigeria. The upper chamber equally asked the Zamfara State government to upgrade, recruit and generously fund state and local vigilance teams to improve security in the affected areas. Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion by Senator Tijjani Yahaya Kaura (APC, Zamfara North), entitled, “Urgent need to look into the killings that took place in Zurmi L.G.A of Zamfara State.” Presenting the motion, Senator Kaura noted that cross-border banditry had brought Nigeria’s frail security system to the fore, having triggered an orgy of violence in Zamfara State, which left 39 people dead in Zurmi LGA on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
4. ARMY RESCUES YOBE SCHOOL GIRLS
The Yobe State Government has announced that the Nigerian Military have rescued some of the abducted Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) Yobe Wednesday night. The girls, according to a statement signed by Abdullahi Bego the Director-General Press Affairs to Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, were rescued and are now are now in the custody of the Nigerian Army. “The Yobe State Government hereby informs the public that some of the girls at Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) whose school was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists last Monday have been rescued by gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army from the terrorists who abducted them. “The rescued girls are now in the custody of the Nigerian Army. “We will provide more details about their number and condition in due course. “His Excellency Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, who is very grateful for the gallantry and hard work of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army involved in the operation, is monitoring the situation closely and will make a statement in due course” the statement said.”
5. $2.1BN ARMS SCAM: EFCC GRILLS EX-ARMY CHIEF, IHEJIRIKA
A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd.), was on Wednesday interrogated for about seven hours by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for his alleged role in the $2.1bn arms scam. According to the EFCC, Ihejirika was invited to explain the procurement of arms and ammunition during the time he held sway as COAS between September 2010 and January 2014. It was learnt that Ihejirika arrived at the EFCC office in Abuja around 11am and was still in custody around 7pm. A highly placed official at the EFCC said, “Ihejirika honoured our invitation on Wednesday. He arrived around 11am and answered several questions. “He will be released on administrative bail as soon as preliminary interrogations are over, as he has also requested to go back and gather more information, expressing unawareness as regards various documents and questions put to him by investigators.” The retired general and his successor, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah (retd.), as well as retired air force and navy chiefs had been indicted by the Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in 2015.
6. MILITARY TO COMB BENUE, NASARAWA, KOGI AND TARABA FOR KILLER HERDSMEN, SAYS BURATAI
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday said the exercise Cat Dance otherwise known as “Ayem Akpatuma” being launched in Benue State will give the army the opportunity to fish out those behind Benue killings and killings in other neighbouring states. Buratai who made this known while launching the exercise in Gbajimba, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State said the exercise would help familiarise the military troops to the challenge of internal security. He disclosed that training exercise would cover the entire Benue State, Nasarawa, Taraba and Kogi State adding that it is been conducted with other services of the armed forces as well as other security services especially the police, SSS and other paramilitary organisations. “I am not going to trace the history of the challenge that parts of the country is facing, it is our hope and expectations that at the end of the exercise, things will be normalised. This is a way of contributing our own quota to ensure that we support the civil authority and ensure that peace is restored in the country”, Buratai stressed.
7. BURATAI LAUNCH FREE MEDICAL CARE, COMMISSION CLINIC IN NASARAWA
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Burutai, has flagged off a one day free medical care in Akwanga, the headquarters of Akwanga local government area of Nasarawa. Similarly, the COAS also commissioned a Primary Health Care Clinic in Akpata, the headquarters of Akun Development Area in Nasarawa Eggon Local Government of the state.
The free medical care in Akwanga and the commissioning of the clinic in Akpata, were done by the Nigerian Army, under the civil military relations project. Over 700 patients were attended to during the free medical exercise which featured free health screening, free consultation, free dental care and free drugs. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the gesture was part of efforts to enhance civil-military relations. General Buratai, also said that the gesture was to complement government efforts in medical service delivery.
8. AIR FORCE DEPLOYS TROOPS AGAINST BANDITS IN NIGER STATE
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said on Tuesday that a substantial number of troops has been deployed by the service in support of the on-going Operation Karamin Goro, targetted at bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers in Niger state. Its Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, said in a statement that the one month joint operation with the army is at the behest of the Niger state government. AVM Adesanya said : “As part of efforts to curb the menace of kidnapping, armed banditry, cattle rustling and other forms of criminalities in Niger State, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has contributed a substantial number of troops to the ongoing Joint Operation codenamed, OPERATION KARAMIN GORO. “The NAF personnel are participating in the one month Joint Operation, which is at the behest of the Niger State Government, in collaboration with personnel of the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police and Department of State Services.
8. KEBBI GOVT. TO SUSTAIN PARTNERSHIP WITH NIGERIAN ARMY ENGINEERS ON PROJECTS EXECUTION
Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi said the State Government would sustain its partnership with the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers on infrastructure development of the state. Bagudu made the pledge in Birnin Kebbi when he received the Commander of the corps, Maj.-Gen. Malu John,who paid him a courtesy visit on Monday in Birnin Kebbi. He said the Army engineers had contributed in the provision of infrastructure especially roads, in addition to the security of lives and property, stressing that funding the projects had been cost effective. “We can’t thank the Army enough for what you have been doing day and night to this country; and at the same time enabling military engineers to participate in the development of our state,” he said. John said the army engineers had been partners in the execution of development projects in three states in the country. “We are in partnership with Bayelsa, Anambra and Kebbi, and we thank the states for finding the Nigerian Army worthy of being part of their development,” he said.
9. NIGERIA: DEFENCE HEADQUARTER SEEKS COLLABORATION WITH WORLDSTAGE
Directorate Defence Information, Defence Headquarter (DHQ), has called for a collaboration effort with WorldStage Newsonline, Nigeria’s leading online news platform for the appropriate dissemination of information about the activities of the military across the country. Speaking on Tuesday during a courtesy visit to the WorldStage office in Abuja, Brigadier General John Agim, Directorate of Defence Information noted that anyone who undermines the online media will do so at his own detriment. He said, “I want to assure you that you will have seamless information dissemination from Defence Headquarters, this is your Military, you should be proud of us.” He added that the Defence Information will continually provide information about the activities of the Nigerian Military across the country.
10. NASARAWA DONATES N200M TO ARMY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF BARRACK
Nasarawa State Government on Tuesday, donated N200 million to the Nigerian Army to facilitate the construction of its barracks in Doma Local Government Area of the state. Gov. Umaru Al-Makura announced the donation when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who paid him a courtesy visit in Lafia. He said the donation was to encourage the army and fast-track works on the ongoing construction of Doma Army Barracks which began about two years ago. Al-Makura commended the army for the prompt response at providing security in the region, especially with the launch of operation “Cat Race” in the North-central zone of the country. He expressed optimism that the operation would bring an end to the incessant skirmishes in the zone. The governor also that the state government would give the military all necessary supports to ensure the success of the operation.