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**Meets Retired Senior Officers in North East, Allays Fear over surrendered terrorists, Hails citizens support in war against terror

By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor has described the attack on Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) officers’ residential quarters, as more of criminal activities associated with the normal banditry action noting that the military was already on the matter.

This was made known by Major General Olufemi Sawyer, Director of Defence Information even as he said the CDS has expressed his appreciation to the citizens and residents of the North-East (NE) Region for genuinely supporting the ongoing intensive clearance operations by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) towards the restoration of permanent peace in the Zone.

The CDS equally allayed the fears of the general public on the ongoing mass surrendering of Boko Haram (BH)/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) ex-fighters to the AFN.

Gen Irabor spoke on Tuesday, 24 August 2021 in Yola, at the Chief of Defence Staff interactive session with retired senior military officers in the NE Geo-political Zone even as he appreciated the people of the NE for supporting the military operations thus far, while seeking for more cooperation.

Gen Irabor posited that the solutions to the NE security challenges lie in the Region, as he was optimistic that the situation would get better and better in the days ahead.

On recent fears and apprehension making the rounds about the mass surrendering of BH/ISWAP ex-members, the CDS reassured residents and Nigerians in general to trust the relevant agencies that have been tasked with responsibilities of planning the rehabilitation of repented insurgents. According to him, the AFN would deal with the matter for the good of the Region, as there will be no loose ends.

The Defence Chief urged the military veterans to take full advantage of the security parley in evaluating the various military operations, as their patriotic and constructive assessment of the general security situation would add value to the ongoing actionable military offensive clearance operations.

His words, “What remains very clear is the desire and will of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to speedily turn around the fortune of the NE to a state where everyone will be happy again,” the CDS averred”.

The CDS described the attack on Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) officers’ residential quarters, as more of criminal activities associated with the normal banditry action which the military was already on the matter.

The Chief of Defence Civil Military Cooperation (CDCIMIC), Rear Admiral Fredrick Ogu announced that the one day security parley to include the Chief of Defence Intelligence brief on the general security situation in NE, group presentations by the participants and then the interactive session.

Earlier in his welcome address, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Division Nigerian Army (NA), Major General Ismaila Ali, who was represented by the Commander 23 Brigade NA, Brigadier General Aminu Garba commended the Defence Headquarters for the laudable initiative of tapping from the wealth of experience of the retired senior officers.

The CDCIMIC urged the veterans to make useful contributions towards the goal of securing the NE zone and the country at large.

According to the GOC, the cross fertilization of ideas between the current leadership of the Armed Forces and its veterans was tailored to finding workable ideas in surmounting the contemporary security challenges bedeviling the Nation.

Notable among the top military brass that attended the parley were the Chief of Defence Administration, Rear Admiral Mohammed Adamu and the Air Officer Commanding, Special Operations Command, Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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