State of Emergency: “Bring Your Training To Bear and Work Within The Law” – CDS Tells Nigerian Troops
The Chief of Defence of Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim has commended the troops participating in the operation for demonstrating a high level of professionalism in the operations that routed terrorists from some camps in Borno State and other states of the Federation.
Speaking in a message delivered to the troops by a Defence Headquarters Operational Assessment Team led by Major General Lawrence Ngubane, the Chief of Defence Staff said the feat performed by the soldiers was a major achievement in the process of restoring normalcy to communities that have been held captive by terrorists activities. Stating his delight that no civilian casualty was recorded in the process, the CDS said the progress recorded in the operation so far was a source of pride to the military and all Nigerians.
The CDS therefore enjoined them to continue to adhere strictly to the Rules of Engagement and all codes of conduct stipulated for the operations. He said the whole exercise was a major test case on the capacity of the security forces to manage the nation’s security issues as mandated by the Commander-in-Chief.
The CDS address which was transmitted to troops in various deployment locations by General Ngubane, expressed a firm belief that the security agencies in Nigeria were capable of discharging their task of defending the nation’s territorial integrity professionally. .
According to him “Troops must not make themselves vulnerable”. Continuing, he said “those who carry arms against the state and citizens are the ones we are fighting against”. The CDS said he was certain that the mission to defeat the terror in record time would be accomplished considering the superiority of the troops in terms of training and the backing of Nigerians.
“Troops must exhibit high standard of commitment and discipline in all steps taken during this operation. This is not an exercise but a real operation”, the CDS declared, urging the troops to bring their training to bear and work within the law.
Addressing communities in the operational area, the CDS’ emissary, Gen Ngubane thanked the people for cooperating with troops operating in their locality. He said the Defence Headquarters was delighted that there has been no report of molestation or abuse of citizens’ rights since the operation began. He said his team was sent to go round the operational area to assess the progress of the mission. The General declared that the soldiers were there to end the harassment by the terrorists whose activities have been hampering the peoples’ social and economic activities such as farming, schooling and public service.
Responding in Kirenowa, a community leader in the area, said the presence of the soldiers was a great relief. He said many citizens including himself had to flee from the town to Maiduguri to escape from harassment by the insurgents. According to him, the previous day after the soldiers arrival was the only period he was able to sleep deep. Another village head said his people were peace loving and believed in Nigeria. He said the soldiers were God sent and would continue to get his people’s cooperation.
In his own remarks, an ex-police Inspector who is also one of the youth leaders, observed that the community had never welcomed Boko Haram. He urged the security personnel to remain and ensure the continued safety of Kirenowa.
In GamboruNgala, a community leader, expressed the community’s appreciation to the troops operating in the area, assuring them of his community’s cooperation in order to continue to make the town safe and secured. The team later visited the Kaigama of Dikwa, who said despite being ill, he was happy to welcome the delegation. He assured the military of his people’s cooperation always.
The DHQ team had earlier visited all the deployments locations in the various captured camps and enclaves of the terrorists. It also took progress reports from all the front line commanders. Before departing the mission area, the DHQ team visited all the wounded soldiers some of whom were being treated at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. The team has since returned to brief the Chief of the Defence Staff after a three day tour of the operation area.
The Special Operation to rid the nation’s border territories of insurgents began on 16 May 2013. Camps of insurgents have been sacked and destroyed with a lot of terrorists captured while some died in the encounters with the Joint Task Force troops.
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