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DEFENCE

Inter-agency Rivalry and Internal Security

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The rot, lack of intelligence and interagency cooperation in the nation’s security apparatus which many have observed and complained about was recently exposed in the clash between the army and police, which left about 6 people dead, including some police officers attached to the IRT of the police headquarters and the mysterious escape from custody of an alleged notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume in Ibi, Taraba State.

This incident has serious implications for the internal security of our country already plagued by all manner of security challenges.
 
According to accounts by the police, some of its special operatives from Abuja were in Taraba where they effected the arrest of a kidnap suspect and were on their way to Jalingo, the state capital, when soldiers at an army checkpoint opened fire on the vehicle they were travelling in, killing three police officers and a civilian and leaving others injured.
The arrested kidnap suspect, who was in handcuffs, was allegedly freed by the soldiers, the police have said. The army had in its defense, in the wake if the incident, said that soldiers from the 93 Battalion got a distress call that kidnappers had come to operate in their community, leading to the hot pursuit that culminated in the unfortunate killings.

But this was countered by the police in another statement wherein it raised some posers: “Where is the notorious kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume ‘rescued’ by the soldiers? How could a kidnap suspect, restrained with handcuffs by the police, escape from the hands of his military rescuers? If Hamisu Wadume is a ‘victim of kidnap’ as claimed, and properly rescued by soldiers, why was he not taken to the Army base for documentation purposes and debriefing in line with the standard operating procedure in the Nigerian army? Why were the police operatives shot at close range even after they had identified themselves as police officers on legitimate duty as evident in the video now in circulation?”In raising these posers, have accused the soldiers of working in cohorts with the notorious kidnapper, hence their move to save him at all cost after he was arrested.Rising criminality across the country, from cattle rustling and kidnapping in the North West to insurgency in the North East, herders and farmers clashes in the North Central, Kidnapping and armed banditry in the South East and South West and oil bunkering in the South South, has seen the increased involvement of the army in matters of internal security. Soldiers are now deployed to jobs that should ordinarily be handled by an already demotivated police force and what you find is cases of alleged abuses against citizens by the soldiers and deep seated rivalry and resentment between the soldiers and the police. Soldiers have often been accused of going all out to enrich themselves when posted on such assignments as indicated in reports which have alleged the involvement of an unnamed army captain in the Taraba incident. 

The incident, as disgraceful as it is, presents an opportunity for thorough investigation to unravel the circumstances behind the instant case and to find the bad eggs in the system, as the incidence has lend credence to allegations of the existence of fifth columnists within the system  who will stop at nothing to give cover to criminals to perpetrate their nefarious activities and work to get them off the hook if they are apprehended.

While we admit that the Police does not have the personnel to enforce security and the laws in the entire country as it ought to, the current development makes it imperative for military involvement in civil Affairs and matters of internal security to be reviewed to reflect that we are truly a democratic state.

 With the pertinent issues raised by the police, we call on the military authorities to spare nothing in providing answers to those posers and also call on the federal government committee investigating the matter to do a thorough job and that when the report of the committee is presented, it should not be swept under the carpet.

DEFENCE

Police Ban Covering of Vehicles, Motorcycles Registration Number Plates in Benue

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In a bid to curb the escalating security situation, the Police Command in Benue, on Sunday ordered motorists and motorcyclists to stop covering their registration numbers plates.

The order was contained in a statement signed by the State’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Sewuese Anene, in Makurdi.

According to Anene, covering vehicle number plates was an offence and would be met with the appropriate sanctions.

“The practice of covering number plate has become increasingly prevalent in the state, and this is posing a significant security threat to the state, as criminals can take advantage of this practice to perpetuate crime and get away with it.

“Consequently, the Commissioner of police (CP), Benue State Command, Hassan Yabanet, has ordered all Area Commanders, Tactical Commanders and Divisional Police Officers, to impound such vehicles for investigation and prosecution.

“Motorists are hereby advised to ensure that their vehicle registration number plates remain clearly visible at all times while driving within the state, to avoid any inconvenience that may be caused by the enforcement.

“Together, we can contribute to the promotion of public safety and the maintenance of law and order in Benue State.”the PPRO said in the statement. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

Troops Rescue Abducted Kogi Varsity Students, others in Multiple Operations

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The Nigerian Army says its troops have rescued the nine abducted students of the Confluence University of Science and Technology in Osara, Kogi State.

The army, in a post on its official X Handle on Sunday, said the troops in collaboration with other security agencies and local vigilantes carried out a successful search and rescued the victims.

It said the troops encountered the scouts deployed by the kidnappers in the vicinity of the Osara Forests and nearby areas, resulting to a fierce fire fight.

According to the post, the superior fire power of the troops led to the kidnappers abandoning nine of the kidnapped students, who were subsequently rescued.

It said the troops had in a series of successful operations across the country, dealt substantial blows to terrorist groups and rescued several kidnap victims while a notorious militant surrendered.

The post also revealed that troops in the North West also rescued two persons abducted by terrorists in Danzara Village in Kanoma District in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara.

It said the troops demonstrated their rapid response capabilities, when they received a distress call on the abduction of the two locals by violent extremists.

According to the army, the terrorists, who had seized the victims in a red Golf car, were pursued by the troops but flee and abandon the hostages without harm in the cause of the confrontation with troops.

In Katsina State, the post revealed that the proactive efforts of the troops led to the rescue of 17 abducted victims in the Solar General Area of Batsari Local Government Area.

It said the troops engaged the terrorists in a fierce gun battle, compelling them to abandon the kidnap victims, who were later safely returned to the care of Batsari Local Government officials.

“In Borno, a notable incident occurred when Alhaji Wosai, identified as a notorious member of the Boko Haram Terrorists operating within the Garno Village, in Dikwa Local Government Area,  voluntarily surrendered to troops.

“Wosai handed over his AK-47 rifle and a magazine containing two rounds of ammunition.

“These operations, highlight the relentless efforts of the Nigeria Army troops in combating terrorism and underscore their commitment to the safety and security of all citizens.

“Troops’ resolve in addressing the threat posed by terrorists and kidnappers remains unwavering, as they continue to work towards restoring peace and stability in the affected regions,” it said. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

Gombe: Army Assesses Barracks Infrastructure, Restates Commitment to Troops, Veterans’ Welfare

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A team from the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Department of Army Administration, on Wednesday visited the 301 Artillery Regiment (GS) in Gombe, to assess the state of barracks infrastructure in the state.

This is contained in a press statement issued in Gombe by Capt. Mazinho Attah, the Acting Assistant Director Army Public Relations, 301 Artillery Regiment (General Support).

Attah said that the Acting Deputy Chief of Administration (Army) Veterans Affairs Department (VAD), Brig .

Gen Umaru Alkali, led the team to the state.

Attah quoted Alkali to have said that the visit was directed by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, and aimed at improving  facilities and enhancing the welfare of veterans and serving personnel.

“The visit is to address current conditions of legions, Nigerian Army cemeteries as well as command schools and hospitals,” he said.

He further highlighted the ongoing efforts of the Nigerian Army leadership to ensure that troops and family welfare of serving and retired personnel remained top priority of the service.

While receiving the team, the Commander 301 Artillery Regiment, Colonel Musa Ahmed, briefed the team on the current conditions of facilities in Gombe State.

Ahmed noted the significance of completing ongoing projects at the new barracks and making it befitting for the regiment.

He further said that the assessment visit was crucial to boosting the morale of troops as well as impact positively on their living conditions.(NAN)

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