Capt. Hashim Abdullahi
1. NAVAL CHIEF SIGNS MOU ON JOINT MARITIME OPERATIONS
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the heads of the Navies of the Republics of Benin, Togo and the Higher Commander of the Gendarmerie of Niger Republic for the implementation of Joint patrol of the Maritime Zone “E”. Commodore Ayo Olugbode, the Director of Information for the Nigerian Navy, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja. Olugbode said that the MOU was signed during the meeting of the Chiefs of the Naval Staff of the ECOWAS Zone E and Higher Commander of the Gendarmerie of Niger at HQ of Multinational Maritime Coordinating Centre, Cotonou, Benin Republic. He said that the Maritime area of ECOWAS Zone E which consists of international and territorial waters under the respective jurisdiction of the states of Benin, Nigeria and Togo is coordinated by the Multinational Maritime Coordinating Centre in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
2. ELECTION RIGGING: NSA’S WARNING TO SECURITY AGENCIES
Security agencies’ ignoble roles in the conduct of elections in the past echoed in Abuja on Wednesday, when the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Monguno, reminded them of the imperative of professionalism and their expected neutrality in the forthcoming 2019 general election. His message was clear and apposite: what happened in the past will not be tolerated by the present administration. The acting Director-General of the State Security Service, Mathew Seyeifa; Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Habila Joshiak, who represented the Inspector-General of Police, and heads of other agencies that attended the Interagency Consultative Committee on Election Security meeting with Monguno should ensure that the directive trickles down.
3. FOCUS MILITARY EXERCISES IN NORTHERN NIGERIA TO TACKLE INSECURITY ― APGA TELLS FG
The Federal Government has been urged to launch Python Dance Three military squad in the Northern parts of the country to tackle prevailing social unrest and violence in the area. The State Treasurer, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Dr Tony Nwakile made the assertion in an interview with journalists in Awka, the Anambra state capital on Thursday. Commenting on the issue of deploying soldiers to Southeast for Python Dance Three, Dr Nwakile said the federal government should send the soldiers to states like Benue, Taraba, Plateau and other troubled areas where there are killings and instability not to Southeast region where peace and tranquillity reign.
4. MAIDUGURI AIRPORT MUTINY: ARMY CAPTAIN, 70 OTHERS DETAINED FOR TRIAL
Angered by the mutiny by officers and men of Nigerian Army at Maiduguri Airport two weeks ago, the military high command has arrested and detained a captain and no fewer than 70 others for the embarrassing action, which is against military rules of engagement. This is even as Amnesty International, yesterday, commended the Federal Government over the trial of suspected Boko Haram terrorists, describing the ongoing trial as “good progress for the justice sector.”
The captain (names withheld) led others who refused to be redeployed to Gamboru Ngala, a border town in Borno State with Niger Republic, which is known as the stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents. The arrest and detention of the suspects, according to competent military sources, followed the order by Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, that the suspects be arrested and subjected to severe military disciplinary action. Vanguard learned that following the directive by the COAS, the suspects had since been moved into two unknown locations in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, with a view to subjecting them to a court martial. Why troops defied COAS’ order According to competent sources, the suspects rejected their posting to Gamboru Ngala because of war fatigue as most of them had been fighting Boko Haram insurgents for years without rotation. It was gathered that the soldiers particularly loathed the idea of being sent to the warfront, given the fact that many of their colleagues who were earlier sent there were either killed or badly injured and their equipment taken away by the rampaging insurgents due to bad weather and insufficient platforms.
5. EDO COMMUNITY CALLS FOR MILITARY PRESENCE
THE people of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State have called on the Federal Government to establish a military base in the locality to complement the state government’s efforts in stemming the alarming rate of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the area. The call is came after kidnap of the All Progressives Congress, APC, local governed chairman, Decaon Henry Ashofor on Saturday near Aiyetoro on the Igarra Ibillo dilapidated road. The incident happened about 5p.m., shortly after him and other top politicians from the area attended a burial ceremony in Igarra, the headquarters of the council. At press time, the kidnappers of Ashofor were yet to establish contact with the family but security personnel attached to the Chief of Staff to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Taiwo Akerele who immediately mobilised to the area when the news broke, arrested a suspect believed to be an informant and is currently with the police in Igarra.
6. ARMY DENIES KILLING OF 30 SOLDIERS BY BOKO HARAM
REPORTS emerged yesterday that at least 30 soldiers were killed during a battle with suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State. But the report carried by an international news agency, Agence France Presse, AFP, has been countered by the Theatre Command of Operation Lafiya Dole. The report had claimed that troops deployed in Zari town, Guzamali Local Government Area of the state, came under attack on Thursday, leading to the ugly development. The media report, which quoted military sources, read:”At least 30 Nigerian soldiers were killed in combat with Boko Haram jihadists who overran a military base in the northeast near the border with Niger. “Scores of jihadists in trucks stormed the base at Zari village, in northern Borno State, late Thursday, and briefly seized it after a fierce battle in which 30 soldiers were killed. Reacting to the report in a telephone interview, spokesman for Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, while confirming the attack, denied that the Army suffered casualties. According Colonel Nwachukwu, contrary to the report, several of the terrorists were killed by the military troops just as he said the terrorists’ equipment were captured.
7. OVER 50 SECURITY PERSONNEL KILLED IN BENUE THIS YEAR – GOV. ORTOM
Governor Samuel Ortom, Friday revealed that close to 50 security personnel have lost their lives in Benue state between January and August to activities of marauding militant herdsmen in parts of the state. While condoling the bereaved families over the unfortunate incidence, Ortom maintained that those conniving with enemies of the state to execute clandestine agenda would always be put to shame. He spoke at Chihichan, Mbakume in Gwer-East local government area during the burial of late David Upuu, elder brother to the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Internal Affairs, Mr. Boniface Nyaakor. The Governor reiterated that those plotting evil against his administration would always come behind, stressing that prayers from the church had helped in saving democracy from its enemies in the state.
8. GLOBAL MILITARY STRENGTH: NIGERIA RANKED 43RD
United States retained its prime position as the country with the greatest military firepower beating Russia and China in the latest military firepower ranking for 2018. Nigeria is ahead of Portugal, Belgium and Cuba. Egypt leads African military power followed closely by Algeria, South Africa and Nigeria. A global military ranking institution, Global Fire Power (GFP), citing United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Fact book, said the country retains the first spot in global military strength. The ranking is based on population of the country, manpower/personnel strength, financial strength and military arsenal. The United States has a total military personnel strength of 2,830,100 with available manpower of 145 million from a total population of 326 million. The country is also credited with 13, 362 total aircraft strength comprising attack, fighter, transport and trainer aircraft and 20 aircraft carriers in addition to 38, 888 armoured fighting vehicles in addition to 5,888 combat tanks, 1,197 rocket projectors among others. Nigeria is credited with 181,000 total military personnel, 172, 400,000 available manpower, those fit for service stood at 40, 710,000, citizens reaching military age stands at 3, 456,000. Out of the total military personnel, 124, 000 are active while 57,000 are reserved.
9. NIGERIA SIGNS PACT ON JOINT MARITIME PATROL OF ECOWAS ZONE E
Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Benin, Togo and Niger Republic for a joint patrol of the Maritime Zone ‘E’. The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, signed the pact with heads of navies of countries that make up Zone E at the weekend. It was during their meeting at the headquarters of Multinational Maritime Coordinating Centre, Cotonou, Benin Republic. Spokesman of the navy, Cdr. A. O. Olugbode, noted: “The memorandum is to revisit, among others, the 2011 and 2012 Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on the suppression of acts of piracy attacks against shipping and other illegalities at sea.”
10. NIGERIA, GERMANY, NORWAY, UN HOLD CONFERENCE ON ‘BOKO HARAM’
Nigeria, Germany, Norway, and the United Nations have converged on Berlin Monday for a “pledging conference on Boko Haram”. The Berlin Conference, holding from September 3 to 4, is jointly organised by the three countries and the UN, and is one of the 2018 largest pledging conferences for the Lake Chad region. The conference will focus on humanitarian assistance, civilian protection, crisis prevention and stabilisation for the region, as well as seek to raise funds for the humanitarian requirements totaling $1.56 billion. The pledges at the conference, would help provide humanitarian assistance for the North-east Nigeria and parts of Niger, Chad and Cameroon, ravaged by Boko Haram insurgents.