By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA —THE Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has directed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, to remain in the North East, in view of the surge in Boko Haram terrorists’ activities in the region.
This came as President Muhammadu Buhari in a show of concern to the welfare needs of members of the Armed Forces, directed the enhancement of the welfare of troops, particularly those serving in operational areas within the country.
Dan-Ali, however, said the army chief could return to Abuja, the administrative headquarters of the Nigerian Army, when the security situation in Borno and other North East states improved.
The Minister’s directive, according to a statement, yesterday, by his Public Relations Officer, Col.Tukur Gusau, was sequel to a meeting he had with service chiefs earlier in his office in Abuja.
The statement read: “The Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali, met with the CDS and service chiefs today, December 3, 2018 (yesterday), at the Ship House, Headquarters of Ministry of Defence and consequently directed the Chief of Army Staff to remain in the North East until security situation improves.
“Similarly, the General Officer Commanding the 8 Division, Nigerian Army, was also directed to relocate his Tactical Headquarters from Sokoto to Gusau, Zamfara State, to oversee the conduct of Operation Sharan Daji.
“The Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff were also mandated to effect changes in the operational commands of Operations Delta Safe in the Niger Delta; LAFIYA DOLE in the North East; Sharan Daji in Zamfara and Katsina states and Awatse in the South West.
“This is to enable them meet up with the current threats and security challenges in their areas of responsibility.
‘’The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has also directed the emergency procurement of critical equipment for the Armed Forces, in line with the Federal Government’s policy of procuring equipment from original equipment manufacturers on government to government basis.
“The Council/Board also considered and approved the promotion of qualified senior military officers to their next higher ranks.
“In a related development and a show of concern to the welfare needs of members of the Armed Forces, the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has directed the enhancement of the welfare of troops particularly those serving in operational areas within the country.”