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Army locates new division at Lake Chad to tackle insurgency

By Karls Tsokar Abuja
14 January 2016   |   3:25 am
• Military establishes another division in S’South, to recruit 12,000 soldiers

• Military establishes another division in S’South, to recruit 12,000 soldiers General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff[/caption]TO safeguard its leaking border with Chad Republic against infiltration of insurgents, the leadership of the Nigerian Army has established a new division in Borno State.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai made the announcement yesterday while delivering a lecture at the National Defence College, entitled ‘Nigerian Army: Challenges and Future Perspectives,’ that the establishment of the Nigerian Army 8 Division located in the northern part of Borno is part of the strategies to enhance the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the area.

The Guardian reports that a section of the Lake Chad border area has been vulnerable to infiltration by illegal immigrants due to the failure of the Republic of Chad to fulfil its part of the obligation to contribute troops to the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), as commissioned by the countries of the Lake Chad and Benin Republic.

Buratai said “We have established the 8 Division in the northern part of Borno specifically to clear the area of the remaining terrorists elements while another division, 6 Division, will be established in the South-South.”

Buratai also revealed that the army planned to increase its personnel strength from its present 100,000 strength-force to slightly above 200,000 in the next eight years. 12,000 personnel would be recruited in 2016 alone to fill the vacancies created by establishment of the new divisions.

He noted that it is part of the strategic plan by the Nigeria Army to boost military operations against terrorists particularly in areas around the Lake Chad Basin. As the operations of the new Division would soon commence after logistics and troops deployment is completed.

He said the establishment of the new divisions was part of a strategic plan to improve on the Nigerian Army’s operational capabilities in the face of emerging threats to national security.

The 7 Division of the Nigeria Army in Maiduguri established in 2013 to enhance the counter-insurgency operations could not effectively carry out the mandate because of the size of the territory, thence the decision of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to agree on the MNJTF for member countries to also secure their borders against infiltration of insurgents especially those fleeing from Nigeria.

The Army Chief said the establishment of the additional formations would bring the number of divisions in the Nigerian Army to eight including one to be established in the Niger Delta, called Division 6.