News

June 18, 2024

Insecurity: We have sacrificed in blood fighting against terrorism – Army Chief, Lagbaja

Insecurity: We have sacrificed in blood fighting against terrorism – Army Chief, Lagbaja

By Kingsley Omonobi, Abuja

The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja said on Monday in Maiduguri that, “As an Army, it has been a year of unquantifiable sacrifices in blood and treasure, as we have lost gallant warriors and precious equipment to the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency.”

This is just as he commended troops of Joint Task Force (JTF) North East (NE) Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) on the occasion of the Eid-El-Kabir celebration for the gains so far made in the fight against terrorism and insurgency in the North East Theatre, urging them to sustain the momentum.

General Lagbaja gave the commendation in Maiduguri while celebrating the Eid-El-Kabir with troops at the front lines.

He acknowledged the dedication of the troops, many of whom, he said, ‘still bear the physical and emotional scars of battle’, adding, that they have displayed uncommon courage in the face of daunting challenges and have always emerged victorious.

In appreciation, the COAS thanked the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his strategic guidance and support to the Nigerian Army, particularly in providing requisite platforms that have contributed to the overall success of ongoing operations.

Gen Lagbaja equally appreciated the Minister of Defence, Minister of State for Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, and other Service Chiefs for their joint effort in the fight against the nation’s adversaries.

Prior to the luncheon, the COAS had commissioned a number of projects in Maimalari Cantonment, including newly constructed Headquarters 47 Engineers Brigade Office complex, a newly constructed road named Major General YM Abubakar Drive and another newly rehabilitated connecting road.

In his welcome address, the Theatre Commander, JTF NE OPHK, Major General Waidi Shaibu congratulated the COAS for attaining one year in office since he assumed command as the 23rd COAS on 23 June 2023, describing the his one year tenure as a highly productive year.

The Theatre Commander emphasized that the presence of the COAS in the theatre was not only to mark the Eid-El-Kabir Celebration, but to also witness the modest gains in troops’ offensive operations from January to date across the Theatre.

He catalogued the several recoveries made by the gallant troops to include, one each of VBL, MOWAG APC, PHANTOM MRAP, PROFORCE MRAP, CAMEL MRAP, LOW BED, and other vehicles with various degrees of damage by insurgent actions which have been repaired by the Theatre Main Repair Group.

He pointed out that it was expedient to showcase the repaired assets captured and recovered from the insurgents in order to discourage the practice of adding more to the equipment graveyard in the theatre.

He enthused that the initiative of repairing captured and recovered platforms and vehicles is in conformity with the Chief of Army Staff’s Command Philosophy, “To transform the NA into a well-trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment”.

The Theatre Commander further avered that the displayed items are to also highlight the effectiveness of the theatre’s operational engagements through the doggedness and bravery of the troops.

“The rescued hostages, surrendered women and children, neutralized JAS/ISWAP fighters, as well as captured and recovered equipment and platforms are not mere symbols of victory, but a significant representation of the sacrifices of our gallant troops across the Theatre”,

Gen Shuaibu declared.

Highlights of the event were the display of large cache of arms, platforms, and other equipment recovered from terrorists and insurgents, as well as the dishing of food by the COAS to officers and soldiers, who were wounded in action and currently receiving medical attention at the Headquarters 7 Division Military Hospital and Services.

The occasion was witnessed by Principal Staff Officers from Army Headquarters, Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force and Theatre Commander OPHK.

Others are Deputy Force Commander MNJTF, Deputy Theatre Commander, GOC 7 Division, officers, and troops of OPHK.