The Nigerian Army said it has started to engage some of its retirees to assist in tackling rising insecurity in the country. Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, disclosed this at the First Quarter 2021 Veterans’ Affairs Directorate Workshop in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with the theme “Harnessing the skills of retirees for national security.”

Represented by the Army Chief of Administration, Maj-Gen. Abdulrasheed Aliyu, he said: “We decided to engage them considering that Nigeria is currently faced with diverse security challenges, and everybody has a role to play toward securing the country. To this end, our retired and discharged personnel also have a role to play, especially at this time when our nation is faced with insecurity.

“This seminar seeks to tap into the wealth of experience of our retirees in tackling the nation’s diverse security challenges. It is also organised to prepare and strengthen the participants to play important supporting roles in curbing the spate of crime and criminality.”

He added that the seminar would seek to broaden the knowledge of veterans in the areas their skills and experience would be needed to boost national security: “Engagement of retirees is part of a plan to reposition the army to professionally defeat all internal and external adversaries.”       

General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Port Harcourt, Maj-Gen. Sani Mohammed, said the participants were drawn from formations, units and communities in the southern part of the country.

Governor Nyesom Wike described the initiative as a welcome development: “It is a known fact that veterans and legionnaires are force multipliers in most militaries, especially in areas such as information gathering. This is because fighting insecurity remains a collective responsibility that cannot be left for serving personnel alone.

“It is indeed a great honour and opportunity to interface with gentlemen that have served and those still serving to defend our dear nation, who still possess skills and potential that are vital to enhancing nation security.

“The need to harness the potential of retired/discharged personnel to enhance national security is paramount and key at this critical time where most parts of the country are faced with security challenges.

“This is because fight against insecurity in the country remains a collective responsibility that cannot be left for the serving personnel alone.”

The governor’s keynote address was read by the Secretary to the State Government, Tammy Danagogo.

He said: “At this point, communities and the state need to be joined with the common purpose of rejecting all forms of security threats. This can be better achieved through the provision of such forum to you, since most of you have returned to your native homes on retirement and discharge.

“It means starting at the grassroots, where families and local communities are at the fore front of efforts to protect vulnerable people from succumbing to wrong ideologies. It is in this regards this seminar is organized to further enlighten you on your roles as retirees.

“Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that veterans and legionnaires are force multipliers in most militaries, especially in areas such as information gathering. It is, therefore, my hope that this seminar will chat ways to carry along the retirees in ensuring national security. As you listen to the enriching lectures on relevant topics to be presented in this seminar, I urge you to fashion out ways of stepping up your roles as veterans towards complementing the effort of the serving personnel.”

Lectures on: “Management of retirees skills for national security and development” and “How military retirees can contribute to national security,” among others, were presented at the workshop.

NDLEA seeks army’s support to fight drug abuse, trafficking

Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (rtd.), has solicited the support of the Nigerian Army in tackling the menace of drug abuse and trafficking. He said the nation was currently under drug siege, with about 15 million youths affected by the effects of drugs.

He spoke when he visited the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, in Abuja. He noted that drugs played a major role in the insecurity bedevilling Nigeria: “Nobody in his right senses will wake up and assemble people to go and kidnap 300 schoolchildren. Criminals, be they insurgents, kidnappers, bandits, use drugs as motivation to perpetrate their acts. This has proven to be true as many terrorist/bandit camps destroyed by soldiers have been found to be infested with remnant of drugs.

“As the military operations are ongoing, we need to concurrently address the drug situation, which is our task in the NDLEA. Unless these two go together, it could take longer for insecurity to be speedily brought to a favorable conclusion.

“We need more firepower and I am happy to say that (Army) has been very supportive in our operations and I will like to reiterate the need for this partnership. We have also been recently arresting traffickers to Boko Haram and I want to assure you that we will continue to drive home the attack.”

Attahiru said the Nigerian Army would continue to support NDLEA in the drug fight, saying findings had shown that proceeds from illicit drugs were being used to fund insecurity.

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In a related development, the commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Air Vice Marshal Ebenezer Alade, solicited the support of the Nigerian Army in the area of accommodation to increase the number of its intakes.

He informed the COAS during a visit of his plans to expand the curriculum of the college to award master’s degrees, among other programmes offered by the service training institution.

Attahiru assured Alade of the army’s commitment to support and collaborate with the college to fulfill its mandate. 



Soldiers foil terrorists’ invasion, kill 7

The Nigerian Army said its soldiers, supported by the air component of Operation Lafiya Dole, have foiled a terror attack on Damasak, headquarters, Mobbar Local Government Area, Borno State.

Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, said the troops engaged the terrorists with superior firepower from the air and on the ground, which compelled them to withdraw in disarray with several men and equipment casualty: “Two soldiers lost their lives during the operations while one officer and two soldiers who were injured are currently recuperating at a military hospital in Maiduguri.

“Troops of Sector 1, OPLD, on picketing duty along Ngwom-Mafa Road to Maiduguri on Sunday, April 11, 2021, decisively neutralised seven members of the Boko Haram terrorist group supposedly lying in wait to attack the troops and other innocent citizens plying the busy road.

“The troops, who have continued to dominate their areas with massive clearance patrols and ambushes, sprang the surprise attack on the terrorists that have been menacing the peace and livelihood of the people in the area.

“In the encounter, seven terrorists were neutralised, while four AK-47 rifles were recovered along with several other items. The terrorists laid the ambush with the intent to harm Nigeria Army troops and other innocent commuters. They, however, ran out of luck as they were instead trapped and neutralised in their own web. After the duel and successful neutralization of the terrorists, the troops continued their clearance patrol up to Maiduguri.

“Meanwhile, troops of OPLD will continue to maintain aggressive posture to ensure the entire area is cleared of terrorist elements and their activities while maintaining high moral and fighting efficiency.”



Insurgency: Operation Lafiya Dole courts media

Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major-General Faruk Yahaya, has appealed for support from the media to boost the morale of officers and soldiers engaged in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations.

He said this has become necessary for the media, as a critical stakeholder, to win the fight against the terrorists.

He commended the media for their support so far, noting that the media, as an important requirement, could enhance operations when effectively harnessed and deployed. He made the appeal when he hosted the media at the Maimalari Cantonment in Borno State.

He charged the media to be reliable partners by effectively deploying skills and competence in support of the operations in the North East: “Media should make efforts to deny the criminals what they need most, which is publicity.”

Yahaya called for constant interaction between Operation Lafiya Dole and the media for better understanding of its activities, roles and functions in order to improve synergy.