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Army spreading might to deal with security challenges, says COAS


Chief of Army staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai PHOTO: NAN

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, has said the Army is spreading its might in order to have a strong hold in all parts of the country and enable it deal with rising security challenges in the country.

The COAS who spoke at the groundbreaking of the Nigerian Army Barracks, Camp Buratai at Elebele in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said this was in synergy with other security agencies.

Buratai explained that following the various challenges facing the country, President Muhammadu Buhari, wanted a balanced and widespread footprints of the Nigerian Army to confront the threats in partnership with sister security agencies.

He said the 6th Division and 6th Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, Rivers State were part of the expansionist project.

He said the 16th Brigade in Yenagoa, was also made operational on February 28, 2018 adding that he was in Katsina 10 days ago to operationalise the 17th Brigade under the new 8th Division with headquarters of Operation Lafia Dole in Monguno.

The COAS said the headquarters in Monguno would be relocated to Sokoto as soon as the menace of insurgency had been fully contained.

The groundbreaking, which will lead to construction of massive infrastructures, was attended by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson and his key cabinet members as well as the Founder/President, Belema Oil Producing Ltd, Mr. Jack-Rich Pein (Jnr) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Azikel Refinery, Dr. Azibapu Erani.

Also in attendance were the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. M.S. Yusuf; Commander 16th Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Kelvin Aligbe and other security commanders; traditional rulers and host communities.

Buratai said: “The establishment of 6th Brigade in Port Harcourt, 6th Division in Port Harcourt and the 16th Brigade in Yenagoa forms an important part of Mr. President’s desire to have a balanced and widespread footprints of the Nigerian Army to deal with the myriads of security challenges facing the country in conjunction with other security agencies.

“As you may be aware, I was in Katsina about 10 days ago to operationalise the 17th Brigade under the new 8 Division whose headquarters is currently in Operation Lafia Dole, the theatre of operation specifically in Monguno but will soon relocate to Sokoto after the menace of the insurgency has been fully contained

He said the groundbreaking of the barracks in Yenagoa marked the commencement of construction activities planned for the 16th Brigade.

The COAS said the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari placed premium on the welfare of soldiers fighting to keep the country safe.

The groundbreaking was made possible following Governor Seriake Dickson’s fulfillment of his promise to allocate and approve the parcel of land acquired by the Army.

He said: “The Army has acquired the property and today Dickson has kept his promise. From what we have observed, of the preparation of this new site, so much efforts and resources have been efficiently deployed. Today’s ceremony is a testimony that with determination and sincerity of officers and soldiers, we can build institutions and regenerate society.

“The brigade has demonstrated and achieved so much in infrastructural development and enhancement of troops’ wellbeing within one year of its establishment as well as meeting its trainings, operational and regimental responsibility.

“I commend the commander, officers and men of the 16th Brigade for their innovation, determination and professionalism as well as the clear interpretation of my vision for the Nigerian Army which is to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.”

He also commended the GOC, 16th Brigade for providing the guidance and galvanizing resources to keep the Niger Delta region safe and peaceful in collaboration with other stakeholders in each state.

“The project will go a long way in addressing part of the immediate accommodation needs for the brigade.

“From the headquarters we shall continue to look the way of this brigade to ensure it is set up properly given the very difficult nature of the terrain in this part of the country.

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