….Asks them to fish out criminals, destroy collaborators, sponsors
By Kingsley Omonobi
Abuja—Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, yesterday, summoned all Principal Staff Officers, General Officers Commanding, Field Commanders to Abuja where he asked them to fish out all criminal elements in the country, expose their sponsors and collaborators and destroy them.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week, lashed out at service chiefs over what he described as poor performance in the fight against terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other viiolent crimes in the country, saying their efforts were not good enough.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the six-hour meeting at Army headquarters, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, said the COAS directed all Commanders, GOCs and troops of the Nigerian Army to ensure that the charge given by the President and Commander in Chief must be fully implemented to speedily crush Boko Haram and the myriad of security threats facing the nation.
Disclosing that the Nigerian Army had already commenced major reorganization of its operations for optimal performances, Sagir said: “The COAS charged all commanders to lead the charge by being out in the field to effectively oversee the operations. The COAS states that the criminals and their collaborators and sponsors must be exposed, flushed out and destroyed.
“Gen Buratai warned that he wants to see an all-encompassing positive change in Nigerian Army operations and the security situation in the country. There is no time for complacency, no time for excuses and there will be no tolerance for shortcomings or failures; the situation must be reversed immediately.”
To drive home his determination to reverse insecurity in the country, Buratai ordered that the year 2020 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (Earlier scheduled for Uyo in Akwa Ibom State in July), be held in Katsina State during which a major exercise, code-named EX SSAHEL SANITY, will be conducted.
Vanguard gathered that during the meeting, the COAS said to the commanders: “We are expecting more equipment in the coming weeks. But we are not just expecting and doing nothing. As you are all aware already, we have continued to ramp up our domestic efforts at producing some key platforms and equipment for our operations.”
“At present, an additional 47 Ezugwu MRAPs are being produced by DICOM. Equally, DICON is producing 2 million rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition and 10,000 units of fragment jackets and ballistics helmets for the Nigerian Army. These are critical items which must be made available to troops for immediate use.
“The Nigerian Army is also producing improvised Armed Forces Vehicles such as the Champion 1 and the Conqueror armoured vehicles for its operations. In the same vein, we have procured more than 250 Toyota Hilux vehicles.
‘’These vehicles have been modified to gun trucks and inducted into Operation Lafiya Dole and the North West anti-banditry operations.’’
In the area of intelligence, the COAS told the Field Commanders: “Asymmetric warfare is complex, as such we must rely on timely intelligence. The Nigerian Army Intelligence Corps has been greatly modernized with new equipment and capabilities. Our overall intelligence operations have significantly improved but we still need to do much more.
“Commanders must build and develop their own intelligence capabilities, in addition to whatever they may get from headquarters. You must push your subordinate commanders to cultivate and develop local sources within your areas of responsibility.
‘’Some of the tactical level intelligence that may be obtained at such levels may turn out to have significant operational or even strategic relevance.”
Col Sagir said It was not true that the introduction of Super Camps into Operation Lafiya Dole theatre has given the terrorists more room to operate.
“All military operations are dynamic. It is appraised from time to time. The COAS, having seen all the concepts, decided to adopt the Super Camp concept which has been very successful in neutralizing hundreds of terrorists.
“Advantages of the Super Camp Concept include high flexibility, additional mobility as troops are always in mobile positions to deal with attacks from terrorists. The times when you heard that soldiers’ bases were over-run are no more.
‘’Super Camp is one of the best innovations introduced into combat by the Nigerian Army. Through it, many terrorists have been neutralized and the camps destroyed,’’ he said.