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DEFENCE

Appreciating the Elasticity of Nigerian Army

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By Frank Itodo 

In the annals of the Nigerian Army, it has never been this tough. The crisis in North-East Nigeria is taking its toll, and this calls for concern from all critical stakeholders. That we have managed to stay secured remains a mystery because the Nigerian Army has been stretched thin in the task of ensuring that Nigeria’s territory is preserved from eternal aggression and also ensuring that every Nigerian is free to go about his or her endeavours without fear.

This didn’t happen overnight. In my opinion, it is as a result of the failure of past leadership in the country to correctly orientate and equip the Nigerian Police for greater efficiency. They felt it wasn’t such a big deal to have a responsive police force that would live up to expectation. So the result is the involvement of the Nigerian Army in roles that ordinarily the Nigerian Police should be able to handle.

The Nigerian Army had indeed saved the day when the nation was bedevilled with activities of militant groups. I recall the case of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which indeed tasked the operational effectiveness of the Nigerian Police that the Nigerian Army had to come to the rescue. And as usual, a crisis of phenomenal proportion was averted.

What Nigerians didn’t realize was that the Nigerian Police whose constitutional role it is to quell such uprising were helpless and could not match the violent nature of the IPoB militant group. And as they say, the rest is also history and no form of commendation was extended to the Nigerian Army.

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We were also witnessed to the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers that almost brought the economy of the country to its knees. Again the Nigerian Police was missing in action for lacking in the capacity to deal with the threat posed by the Niger Delta Avengers. This too became history not without the great sacrifices made by the Nigerian Army.

The interesting thing about the failure of the Nigerian Police int  the discharge of its duties is the fact that at some point the Nigerian Army was simultaneously carrying out eleven military operations across the country at the same time. For example, there was Operation Lafiya Dole set up to counter-terrorism and Boko Haram insurgency. It was later expanded to specialized operations including “Operation Crackdown,” “Operation Gama Aiki,” and “Operation Safe Corridor.”

There was also Operation Crocodile Smile II, an exercise which involves amphibious war games in the Niger Delta region and parts of Ogun State. It was aimed at protecting the nation’s crude oil infrastructure. Operation Tsera Teku was launched in Warri, Delta state to check piracy in the Niger Delta region. Operation Awatse was started to dismantle the operational bases of pipeline vandals and militants in the coastal areas of southwest Nigeria.

Operation Sharan Daji/ Operation Harbin Kunama II was established in the Northwest to battle armed bandits, cattle rustlers and robbers operating mainly in Zamfara, Kaduna, and fringes of Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina and Kano states. Operation Safe Haven is stationed in Plateau State with areas of operation extending to Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Kwara state to quell ethno-religious conflicts and other criminal activities.

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Operation Delta Safe This was set up to replace Operation Pulo Shield. It is aimed at containing security challenges in the Niger Delta, especially the protection of critical national assets and provision of security in the area. Amongst a host of others.

What does this tell us? It’s merely the fact that the Nigerian Police failed woefully in the above areas that the Nigerian Army had to step in. With such operations by the Nigerian Army, it is sufficing to say that the Nigerian Army has been indeed stretched thin. However, they have not buckled, and we do not need to wait for them to buckle before the right thing should be done.

The Nigerian Police must get serious and stop playing to the gallery. The times we are in requires that they put their best foot forward in the area of crime prevention, maintenance of law and order and dealing with societal disorders. The political authorities in Nigeria must commend the Nigerian Army for its invaluable contribution to the sustenance of peace in Nigeria.

The political authorities must also see the burden on the shoulders of the Nigerian Army with its various operations in the country and begin the process of overhauling the operations of the Nigerian Police for greater efficiency before things get out of hand.

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I have reserved praises for the leadership of the Nigerian Army whose dynamism has been brought to bear in dealing with the myriads of security challenges in the country including those within its purview and those outside its purview. I cant but encourage the leadership of the Nigerian Army not to relent in this arduous task that has stretched it thin.

Also, for the leadership of the Nigerian Police, there ought to be a significant reorganization of its operations to reflect the exigencies of time. This is not the time to play to the gallery, but rather, this is the time to take a cue from the Nigerian Army and be the best they can be. If this is not done, then there would be no moral justification for officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force to continue to draw salaries monthly.

The task of securing Nigeria is not an impossible one. It only requires commitment and sincerity of purpose as exemplified by the conduct of the Nigerian Army. It is naturally expected that the Nigerian Police should take a cue from the Nigerian Army if they are indeed desirous of making meaningful contributions to peace and stability in Nigeria.*Itodo wrote from Lagos

DEFENCE

Police Uncover Plans By Hoodlums to Attack Banks, others in Oyo State

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The Police Command in Oyo State, says it has uncovered plans by hoodlums to attack and loot banks, shopping mails, INEC offices and other facilities in the state.

This is contained in a statement by the Command’s spokesman, SP Adewale Osifeso, on Friday in Ibadan.

The statement is coming on the heels of Friday’s protest by some youths in Ibadan who blocked major roads in Iwo, Agodi gate and the state secretariat over scarcity of new naira notes and fuel.

Osifeso said that available intelligence revealed that certain unscrupulous elements have perfected plans to hijack the protest and unleash full scale chaos by shutting down and attacking places of interest.

He listed the hoodlums’ target to include INEC facilities, banks, media houses, schools, Correctional Centers, major malls and business centers, as well as other critical infrastructure in the state.

“Member of the public are hereby advised especially with reference to the youth segment to avoid being used by agents of violence who want to capitalise on the situation to criminally enrich themselves especially as we navigate towards the 2023 General Elections.

“The Command is fully prepared to mobilise fully to prevent these criminal elements from turning Oyo state into their playground,” he said.

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He announced that the command had ordered intensive patrols to provide comprehensive security across the state.

The Commissioner of Police, Adebowale Williams advised residents to go about their lawful businesses without any fear of harassment or molestation.

He assured that the police would not allow the relative tranquility within the state to be disrupted by unscrupulous and criminal elements. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

Police Rescue Remining 4 Abducted Pupils in Nasarawa State

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The Police Command in Nasarawa State has confirmed the rescue of the remaining four abducted pupils of Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Primary School Alwaza, Doma Local Government Area.

DSP Ramhan Nansel, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state made the confirmation to newsmen on Friday in Lafia.

Newsmen report that six pupils of LGEA Primary School Alwaza, Doma LGA were kidnapped by gunmen on motorcycles on Friday, Jan.

20, around 7:00 a.m.

Newsmen also recall that two out of the pupils were rescued by the police in collaboration with other security agencies and hunters on Jan. 21, a day after they were kidnapped.

The PPRO said that about 7:00 a.m. on Friday, a detachment of joint security operatives in collaboration with hunters rescued the four pupils unhurt at Doka village, Doma LGA.

The police spokesperson added that the victims have been taken to the hospital for medical examination and would  be reunited with their parents thereafter.

He said that Mr Maiyaki Muhammad-Baba, Commissioner of Police in the state expressed gratitude to members of the public for their support throughout the period of the search of the pupils.

He said that though no arrest has been made, he  appealed to the public to assist the police with useful information that would assist in arresting the perpetrators of the dastardly act. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

Insecurity: Imo Police Commence Manhunt for Killers of Customary Court Chair

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The Imo Police Command has confirmed Thursday’s killing of a Customary Court Judge, Mr Nnaemeka Ugboma, while presiding over a matter.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Henry Okoye, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Owerri on Friday.
Okoye said that the incident happened at Ejemekwuru, under Obudi-Agwa Division, in Oguta Local Government Area of the state.


He said that the command had commenced a manhunt for the assaillants.
“We have commenced investigation to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act in order to bring them to justice,” he said.
A reliable source told reporters on the condition of anonymity that the gunmen came into the courtroom, dragged him out and shot him in the head and zoomed off.
“He was just about to rise for the day when the incident occurred,” the source further said.
It was reported that, some soldiers rushed down to the scene and took the victim to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, where he was reportedly confirmed dead by a doctor.

The source further said that the attackers went to the place in a commercial minibus.
The manner of the gruesome murder of the 55-year-old Customary Court Chairman has introduced a new dimension to the complex security challenge in the state.
It further raised more concerns about the precarious security situation in the state.
Newsmen recall that on Jan. 24, gunmen attacked and killed Christian Ihim, the APC Chairman in Umuchoke ward in Okwe, Onuimo Local Government Area of the state.
The attackers reportedly also kidnapped five other chieftains of the party in the community.
Earlier on Jan. 19, gunmen attacked and kidnapped the Sole Administrator of Ideato North Local Government Area, Christopher Ohizu.
Ohizu, who was kidnapped in his residence in Arondizuogu, alongside two others, also had his building and vehicles, razed down by the gunmen.
Also, on Dec. 15, 2022, the Labour Party candidate for Onuimo State Constituency, Christopher Elehu, was killed after the gunmen set his Okwe country home ablaze.
A fortnight ago, gunmen attacked a Police check point at Ihitte Junction on Owerri-Aba Road, Owerri, killing a female police sergeant, Chinyere Obialor, during a gun duel.
Meanwhile, the state Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Ugochukwu Alinnor, has described the killing as “unjustified and alien to us as a people.
“It is to say the least, insane.
“These are desperate times and desperate measures must be taken,” Alinnor stated.
Also, the state Secretary of the association, Mr Chukwurah Onuorah, condemned the incident, describing the murder of Ugboma as the height of insecurity in the state.
Onuorah said: “A court is a place we consider as sacred, same way we consider the Church or temple.
“A person who presides over in the court is a priest and the person is there to render justice.
“Someone who was out to render justice now met with injustice because of the poor system in the country.” (NAN)

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