Insurgency: Hiring mercenaries not our business – Military

Posted by News Express | 3 December 2020 | 740 times

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•Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche

 

By UBONG UKPONG, Abuja

 The high command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) on Thursday, unequivocally stressed that it had no business whatsoever, with the proposed hiring of mercenaries in the ongoing war against insurgency in the country.

The high command held that it was diligently prosecuting the war, and consistently focused on victory, averring that the battle was not beyond its powers.

Major General John Enenche, Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, (CDMO), disclosed the military’s position on the matter, in Abuja, while briefing Defence Correspondents on the successes of various military operations nationwide, from November 26 to December 2, 2020.

The Defence operations Spokesman, who was fielding questions from newsmen on the proposals to engage mercinaries, in view of the noticeable continuous attacks and killings of citizens by terrorists, indicated that it was only in the powers of the Nigerian people and federal government to decide on whatever the military should do.

“Request or proposal to engage mercenaries, that is at a very high level. The kind of armed forces and security agencies you have now, is normally determined by the people.

” It is not in our powers. It isca kind of force package. It is what the government wants. It is not for the military to begin to contend.

“No armed forces anywhere, will tell the people, this is how we want to operate. The legislators, National Security Council, will decide on it”, he said.

Speaking to the views from certain quarters that the military was overstretched, the CDMO said, “our bosses that engaged us said we are overstretched, it is left to them.

“It is not for the military to say, we are overstretched; I am not overstretched. If I say, I am overstretched, that means, I don’t want to work. And if I say, I am not overstretched, that means, I am under utilized”, General Enenche said.

To demonstrate its steady focus on winning the war, he said within the period under review, the military had recorded huge successes in the various theatres across the country.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued their major operations across the country with dynamism. I will be updating you on the operations in line with our weekly schedule. This briefing covers from 26 November    to 2 December 2020.

“Troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI and other subsidiary operations have sustained their operations in the North-West zone of the country progressively.

“The gallant troops within the period carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and aerial patrols. Notably, on 26 November 2020, troops of Operation ACCORD intercepted and arrested 2 suspected bandits named Ibrahim Umar and Ibrahim Sani. Preliminary investigation revealed that suspects have affiliation with bandit’s leader called Turji. The suspects are in custody for further investigations.

“Similarly, on 27 November 2020, troops while on routine patrol arrested 2 suspected bandits named Iro Ibrahim and Umaru Abdullahi from Daba village.

“During preliminary investigation, picture of Iro Ibrahim where he was holding 2 rifles was found on his phone. The suspects are in custody for further actions.

“In the North-East zone, several land and air operations were conducted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies. The gallant troops adopted sustained vigilance and offensive postures through comprehensive ground and air operations.

“Within the period in focus, troops of Army Super Camp II Gamboru-Ngala conducted clearance operations at some suspected BHT/ISWAP criminals hideout at Garal village and Bulankesa village.

“The gallant troops made contact with the terrorists and effectively engaged and dominated them with rapid fire power. During the encounter, 2 BHT/ISWAP criminals were neutralized.

“In continuation of intensive kinetic operations against armed bandits and other criminals in the North Central zone, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, WHIRL STROKE and other subsidiary operations conducted raids at identified criminals’ hideouts.

“Notably, within this period, troops of Operation NUTCRACKER II in conjunction with local vigilante members while on clearance operations engaged armed bandits at Dutse Magaji in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State. During the Operation, 3 bandits were neutralized while one AK47 rifle and 38 rustled cattle were recovered.

“Equally, following credible intelligence on persistent banditry activities at Agwan Mada in Nasarawa State, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE on 27 November 2020, swiftly mobilized to the general area and carried out an overnight raid operation on a bandits’ camp.

“In the course of the encounter, 3 armed bandits were neutralised while, troops recovered 4 AK 47 rifles, one locally made rifle, 3 AK 47 magazines, 67 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and some cash. The hideout was subsequently destroyed.

“Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have sustained the fight against economic sabotage to secure critical oil infrastructure in the zone.

“Notably, on 26 November 2020, gunboats of Forward Operating Base IBAKA while on routine patrol around Mbo river, intercepted and arrested one large wooden boat laden with 229 drums of 300 litres of product suspected to be PMS with 2 suspects, outboard engines and pumping machines. Items and suspects are currently in custody to be handed over to the relevant security agency.

Additionally, within the period under review, troops of 146 Battalion discovered and immobilized 2 reactivated illegal refining sites containing 4 boilers, 6 storage tanks and one wooden boat laden with illegally refined oil products around Oputumbi in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“In the South West zone, troops of Operation AWATSE have continued to intensify the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements in the zone.

“Within the period under review, troops of Operation AWATSE while on routine patrol intercepted 6 trucks fully loaded with stolen petroleum products at Areppo.

“The operation was conducted after an intensified surveillance was carried out by troops within the general area. Accordingly, troops moved swiftly to the area and met vandals loading their trucks with the fuel. Troops arrested 10 of the vandals and 6 trucks loaded products”, the Defence operations Spokesman disclosed.

He said the Military High Command encouraged the troops and personnel of other security agencies to remain determined and sustain the tempo in all the Joint Operations Areas.

General Enenche also reassured the public of the military’s untiring dedication towards securing the country, enjoining members of the public to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the military and other security agencies for prompt and effective action. (Daily Independent)


Source: News Express

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