By Major Hashim Abdullahi
SERVICE CHIEFS HAVEN’T DISAPPOINTED BUHARI, NIGERIANS –BURATAI
THE Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Buratai, has declared that he and other service chiefs appointed five years ago have not disappointed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the nation in the discharge of their responsibilities. Buratai made the declaration while welcoming the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, to the Nigerian Army Super camp four located in Faskari, Katsina State. Olanisakin was on an operational visit to the camp to assess how troops in the newly formed Exercise Sahel Sanity based in the camp were faring. Buratai said, “Exactly five years ago, I was in Ndjamena, Chad Republic, when I heard the announcement of General Olanisakin as the Chief of Defence Staff as well as my own appointment as Chief of Army Staff. We are grateful to Almighty God for giving us good health to lead the armed forces. “It is a thing of joy to say that we are quite grateful to the President and Commander-in- Chief of Armed Forces for this honour, and assure you that we have not disappointed President Muhammadu Buhari in carrying out our responsibilities. We have not disappointed Nigerians.”
ARMY REDEPLOYS GENERALS, GOCS IN MAJOR SHAKEUP
The Nigerian Army has announced new postings and appointments of top Generals, Commanders and senior officers. Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa in a statement on Monday, explained that the posting which was approved by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, was intended to reinvigorate the system for greater professional effectiveness and efficiency. According to the statement, Maj. Gen. L. Irabor has been redeployed from Defence Headquarters, Department of Training and Operations to Training and Doctrine Command, Minna, while Maj. Gen. F. Agugo was moved from 6 Division NA Port Harcourt to Headquarters, NA Signal Corps, Apapa, Lagos as Corps Commander Signals. Maj. Gen. M Mohammed was transferred from Headquarters, NA Signal Corps Apapa, Lagos to Office of the COAS and appointed Special Adviser, NA University, Biu, Borno State, while Maj. Gen. A. Dikko of Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Badagry, was moved to NA Training Centre, Kontagora. The redeployments also affected Maj. Gen. U. Yakubu who was moved from NA Corps of Artillery Kontagora to Army Headquarters, Abuja.
BOKO HARAM: ARMY REPELS ATTACK ON BARRACKS IN MAIDUGURI
Boko Haram insurgents on Monday night attacked a military barracks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. The exchange of gunfire between the terrorists and soldiers, which started around 11.20 p.m., lasted for over an hour. The terrorists had attempted to seize the 333 Artillery Barracks of the Nigerian Army. Sources revealed that the insurgents, who came through Gambori village behind the Army barracks, had positioned themselves around the facility. They shot mortals into the barracks but were repelled by the soldiers. It was gathered that the insurgents were also bombarded by warplanes from the nearby NAF base. The exchange of gunfire lasted till about 1.00 a.m. on Tuesday when the insurgents were said to have fled, though the number of casualties could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report. Efforts to reach the military authorities proved abortive as of the time of this report.
BANDITRY: AREWA GROUP DRUMS SUPPORT FOR ARMY’S OPERATION SAHEL SANITY … expresses confidence in COAS Buratai’s decisive leadership…
The Arewa Youth Security Network (AYSN) has called on Nigerians to support the Nigerian Army’s recently launched Operation Sahel Sanity, labelling it as a success already. In a statement signed by Secretary-General, Comrade JImoh Jibrin, on Tuesday, the Northern group also expressed confidence in the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai for the initiative which neutralized over 100 bandits within seven days. As part of efforts to end banditry and other crimes in Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto and Niger States, Lt. Gen. Buratai flagged off the latest military operation last week in Faskari, Katsina State. Addressing troops at Special Army Super Camp IV in Faskari, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, on Monday, commended the exercise, optimistic that “banditry would soon be a thing of the past”. And according to AYSN, like in terrorism, the armed forces have again stepped up to this challenge with aplomb. While commending the military for their sacrifices and proactive, the Arewa group called on Nigerians, especially leaders of thought, political leaders and religious institutions and the local communities to join hands with the army to tackle this menace.
ARMY RECOVERS 711 COWS, 592 SHEEP FROM BANDITS
The Nigeria Army under the Operation Sahel Sanity recovered 711 cows and 592 sheep during from July 6 to July 11 in three North West states, an official said on Sunday.The Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, made this known at a press briefing at the Special Army Super Camp in Faskari, Katsina. Onyeuko noted that the Chief of Army Staff flagged-off the campaign on July 6 to root out armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers and other criminal elements from Morth West. He said that the cows and sheep were recovered in Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina states. He said that on July 7, following intelligence reports, the army mobilised troops to Magira, Makwaruwa, Garin Damo, Kasale Made, Dadin Kowa, Gangara and Shadama in Sabon Birni and Isa LGAs of Sokoto State, and pursued armed bandits who exchanged fire with them. He said that army troops intercepted the bandits with a large number of rustled cattle from Jangemi Village forest to Kwaren Ganuwa, adding that the bandits fled toward Munhaye Forest.
ARMY RESCUES KIDNAPPED VICTIMS, RECOVERS WEAPONS IN 3 STATES
Troops of the Nigerian Army under Operation Sahel Sanity have rescued eight kidnapped victims and recovered weapons in Sokoto, Zamfara and Kastina States. The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, disclosed this at a press briefing on Sunday in Faskari, Kastina State. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, had on July 6 flagged off the Operation Sahel Sanity at Special Army Super Camp in Faskari as part of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration. Onyeuko said the Chief of Army Staff flagged off the exercise to flush out armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers and other criminal elements from the North West Zone. He said on July 9 while responding to a distress call, troops deployed at Gidan Baure in Jibiya Local Government Area of Katsina State rescued three young girls kidnapped by armed bandits at Sayau village. Onyeuko said on the same day, troops also rescued three kidnapped victims in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
BOKO HARAM, BANDITRY: NIGERIANS URGED TO INTENSIFY PRAYERS FOR MILITARY HIERARCHY, TROOPS TO DEFEAT KILLERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
The National Inter-Faith Religious Organizations for Peace (NIFROP) has tasked Nigerians to intensify prayers for the Service Chiefs and troops to defeat remnants of terrorists, bandits and all other criminal elements and their sponsors in the country. In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Bishop Sunday Garuba, on Tuesday, the inter-faith group said Nigerians must unite in prayer at this critical period to finally put an end to “agents of darkness bent on the disintegration of Nigeria”. According to Bishop Garuba, the recently launched Operation Sahel Sanity by the Nigerian Army is another testament of the current administration’s commitment to securing the lives and properties of citizens. While acknowledging the giant strides recorded by the military in recent times, NIFROP, however, admitted that the battle is far from over yet, calling on Nigerians to rally behind the troops as they edge towards victory.
BOKO HARAM: ARMY DEBUNKS REPORTS OF SOLDIERS ‘LOSS OF INTEREST’, SUSPENSION OF RETIREMENT
The Nigerian Army has debunked a report making the rounds that it is facing “morale crisis as 356 soldiers exit over loss of interest”. The Army in a post on its official twitter handle also slammed the FAKE NEWS inscription on a news published by an investigative online media titled; “EXCLUSIVE: Boko Haram War: Nigerian Army suspends voluntary retirement of soldiers”. he report on morale crisis which the Army described as “Mischievous Publication” had claimed; “Three hundred and fifty-six (356) soldiers are formally exiting the Nigerian Army citing “loss of interest,” The investigative news media had also claimed; “The army is currently engaged in various combat operations as insecurity worsens across the country. In the report the Army condemned as “FAKE NEWS”, the largest component of the Nigerian Armed Forces was claimed “has suspended approvals for voluntary retirement requests from soldiers. According to the publication, “The order did not provide figures that show a spike in recent retirement requests compared with previous times, but it counselled against frivolous voluntary retirement applications that were being allowed to advance through the chain of command when they should have been rejected at the early stages.”
SENATOR RAISES FRESH CONCERN OVER SOUTHERN KADUNA KILLINGS
The representative of Kaduna South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Danjuma La’ah, on Tuesday, raised a fresh concern over the unending killings in his constituency. La’ah, who raised a point of order during plenary, lamented that his people were being massacred daily by some bandits who seemed to have overpowered the security operatives in the area. He specifically urged the Senate to direct security agencies and the military in the country to despatch more personnel to the troubled areas to ensure peace. Ruling on the point of order, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, condemned the incessant killings in the area and urged the security agencies to arrest the situation.
BOKO HARAM DEMANDS N20M TO FREE BLIND IDP’S DAUGHTER, NIECE
The Boko Haram insurgents have demanded N20m ransom from a 75-year-old blind internally displaced person, Jato Ndarfa, to release his abducted daughter and niece. Ndarfa, who spoke on Sunday at the CAN Centre IDP camp, in Maiduguri, where he has been taking refuge alongside others displaced from Gwoza since 2014 by insurgents, begged for the release of the victims. He said his daughter, Lami Jato, a 25-year-old graduate of Sir Kashim Ibrahim College of Education, and his niece, Renita Bitrus, and a tractor driver were abducted by suspected Boko Haram terrorists while on a farm at Tungushe village in the Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State. The septuagenarian said the terrorists, few days after the abduction, made contact through her niece’s cell phone, demanding N20m ransom for the release of the two women. Ndarfa said the terrorist ignored his appeal for the release of their victims even after telling them that he was a 75-year-old blind man residing in a camp and finding it difficult to feed.