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Defence chief charges commanders to end insurgency

By Bertram Nwannekanma (Lagos) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) and Kanayo Umeh (Abuja)
31 December 2018   |   3:50 am
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has charged commanders and their troops to improve operational performances to end Boko Haram insurgency.

Gabriel Olonisakin

• Army warns against false alarm, relocation to IDP camps
• Activists seek end to Zamfara killings

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has charged commanders and their troops to improve operational performances to end Boko Haram insurgency. Olonisakin gave the task at the weekend in Maiduguri, during a routine visit to assess military operations in the fight against Boko Haram in the Northeast.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff,Sadique Abubakar and his naval counterpart, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ekwe Ibas, also accompanied Olonisakin on the assessment visit to Borno and Yobe states.

Briefing journalists on meeting of the service chiefs with commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole, Spokesman of the Army, Brig-Gen. Sani Usman, said tasking commanders was to further enhance performance in the front lines.

He said: “Some of the commanders have also been charged in respect of ground operations,” adding that Olonisakin commended the troops for what they have been doing, particularly for them to rise up to the occasion of these madness by Boko Haram terrorists.

“The terrorists were decisively dealt with; first in Goniri, Yobe State and last Friday in Monguno in Borno state,” he said.

In a related development, Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen Benson Akinroluyo, has warned against false alarm to instigate residents of Bama, Dikwa and Monguno communities in Borno, to relocate to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

The Nigerian Army and Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in 2017 and early this year, returned over 11,500 people, who were alleged to have been instigated.

Spokesman to the command, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said in a statement yesterday in Maiduguri, that the situation was creating panic and unnecessary humanitarian problems for undisclosed reasons.

He assured that troops, in conjunction with the state government are working towards relocating residents of Baga to safer locations, as military operation is ongoing in the Lake Chad region.

Meanwhile, human rights activists and groups, have urged the Federal Government to end the killings in Zamfara State and protect the lives and property of all Nigerians in the state.

The activists, in a joint statement yesterday, regretted these were happening despite assurance by the Federal Government to protect the people.

Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana, Legal Adviser to the Amnesty International London, Dr. Kolawole Olaniyan, former chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Dr. Chidi Odinkalu, and President, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, (CDHR), Malachi Ugwummadu, signed the statement.

Others were Executive Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Adetokunbo Mumuni, Dr.
Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Lanre Suraj, Amnesty International Nigeria, SERAP, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), CDHR and Transition Monitoring Group (TMG).

Also, the Nigerian Airforce, has disclosed tha its Air Task Force (ATF), Operation Diran Mikiya, has successfully neutralised an armed bandits’ hideout at a compound, West of Tsamari in Birnin Magaji Local Council Area of Zamfara State.A statement by Director, NAF Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said: “The attack was conducted at dawn on December 28, 2018, following intelligence reports.