By Jimitota Onoyume
Port Harcourt: The army has condemned Christmas eve’s bomb blast in Jos which reportedly claimed the lives of some persons.
Describing the incident as an act of terrorism, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Azubuike Ihejirika who fielded questions from newsmen in Port Harcourt before embarking on tour of forward base operations of the army in Abia state said the development had made it necessary for the army to review its internal security operation in the area.
He said soldiers were originally deployed to Jos to quell religious related crisis but the recent bomb blast had brought another dimension to security issues in the area and this had also informed the need for the army to review its strategy.
“The use of bomb is the terrorist dimension to it. This is why I said we need to enhance intelligence operations”, he said.
Noting that the bomb blasts were unfortunate the army Chief enjoined residents of Jos to be strong as the ugly development would not be taken lightly.
“I believe the series of bomb blasts was terrorism.Nobody is taking it lightly.The people of the area should be assured that they have not been left alone.They should be strong. I sympathise with the victims.And like I said sometime ago all these challenges put us to task.We have to enhance intelligence to be able to nip this problems in the bud before they occur.”
The army chief also dismissed allegations that soldiers committed genocide in Ayakaromror community, Delta state. when they invaded the area in search of John Togo, a wanted militant leader on its list.Accepting that there was some level of damage he said the army was rebuilding the area.”We will reconstruct buildings damaged wether they were as a result of our operations or not”.
He said he was aware that only about six persons died during the military operation in the community.
Continuing, he said John Togo was still on the wanted list of the army.He appealed for cooperation from the people for the army to arrest the militant leader.
On the operation of his soldiers in Abia state led by the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Major General Sarki Yarki Bello he said so far it was a success.
The army chief in company of the GOC 82 Division, Major General Bello and other soldiers later headed to Abia to cheer up soldiers on ground. The army chief was accompanied by his wife,Mrs Gift Ihejirika and their son on the trip.