The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, yesterday, issued a stern warning to violent groups across the country to desist from threatening the sovereignty of the nation, because the army would do everything within its power to contain all forms of threats against Nigeria.
Yahaya, who gave the warning in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference 2023, also hinted that operations against saboteurs had raised oil production to 1.3 million barrels per day.
In a related development, the Nigerian Navy, yesterday, announced new appointments and redeployment of senior officers in what it said was a routine reorganisation exercise following promotion of senior officers.
The Department of State Services, recently raised the alarm that there were plans by some political actors to push for the setting up of an interim national government, with a view to undermining civil rule as an aftermath of the general election.
Although the development has sparked reactions from different quarters in the country, with the Labour Party specifically saying it had nothing to do with the DSS claims, especially after it had embraced the legal path in seeking redress.
But Yahaya said yesterday that, the peaceful conduct of the general election across the country, including in the South-east despite the sense of insecurity created by criminal elements in the region was a testament to Nigerian Army’s resolve to ensure security in the entire nation.
Yahaya noted that this was made possible through successful conduct of Operation Safe Conduct 2023 across the nation, which saw the Nigerian Army along with other services and agencies ensuring successful general elections.
His words: “Our additional efforts through Joint Task Force Operation Udoka paid off in the South-east thus ensuring successful elections in the region as well, even though, long before the actual elections, IPOB/ESN and their supporters had threatened that there would be no elections in the zone.
“Elections were, therefore, held in the South-east and successfully too, just like other parts of the country. Generally, our operations and decisive actions against the criminal elements have impacted positively on the security situation in the region, giving confidence to law abiding citizens in the South-east.”
The COAS also noted that the troops deployed in the South South region for Operation Delta Safe had continued to perform commendably.
He said, “The efforts of the rejuvenated joint operations in the region have led to discovery and destruction of several illegal oil refining camps and arrest of criminal suspects.
“These anti-illegal bunkering operations have significantly increased crude oil production in the country to over 1.3 million barrels per day as affirmed by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as at March 2023.”
He said the efforts were also acknowledged by the federal government through a message delivered to troops by the Minister of State for Petroleum and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The COAS commended the efforts, commitments and dedication to duty by field commanders, officers and soldiers to ensure successes in various operations across the country.
He noted that the efforts by the Army Headquarters to go round formations to deliver lectures on “Introspection of Past Experiences and Efforts at Improving NA Support to Ops Safe Conduct 2023” also yielded desired outcomes.
“I am proud to say that various groups, organisations and distinguished individuals have commended our troops’ efforts during the 2023 general election. Our efforts in Operation Hadin Kai in synergy with the sister services and other security agencies no doubt have significantly curtailed terrorism and insurgency that hitherto bedevilled the North-east part of the country,” he said.
Yahaya explained that the army’s “continuous injection of specially trained troops and special equipment through Operations Lake Sanity and Desert Sanity to complement efforts by Operation Hadin Kai, has been rewarding. The insurgents and terrorists no longer have freedom of action and that has amongst other benefits resulted in massive surrender by the unauthorised on this sheet violates the adversaries.
“These efforts expectedly have enhanced troops’ poise and greatly improved the security situation and public confidence in the North-east. It is on record that last year (2022), Nigeria attained its best record against terrorism since 2011. Put differently, in the past 11 years, from 2011 to date, Nigeria recorded its highest rating against terrorism last year, 2022”.
The army chief, however, commended officers and personnel for the achievements recorded so far.
He said, “This is indeed a commendable effort and achievement by all of you, the other sister services, stakeholders and indeed our able predecessors. Though impressive are these efforts, but we are not relenting. Rather, we are even channeling more efforts towards consolidating on these successes in order to completely neutralise insurgents that fail to surrender.”
Yahaya reassured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army would not relent in its our efforts at safeguarding the nation’s commonwealth, rather, “We are now even more resolute to sustain the ongoing efforts to ensure maximum revenue accrues to government coffers from oil explorations in the South South region,” he said.
He maintained that, the Nigerian Army would continue to perform its constitutional roles in collaboration with other security forces as well as civil authorities in the region.
Major Shake-up as Navy Redeploys Senior Officers
The Nigerian Navy yesterday announced the new appointments and redeployment of senior officers in what it said was a routine re-organisation exercise following promotion of senior officers.
A statement issued by Naval Spokesman, Commodore Ayo-Vaughan, said the reshuffling followed the December 2022 promotion exercise of senior officers, notably 52 Rear Admirals and 76 commodores.
The new appointments showed that Rear Admiral Garba Abubakar is reappointed as the Nigerian Navy Delegate to the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia while Rear Admiral Akano Adesope, formerly a Moderator at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru is appointed as the Admiral Superintendent Naval Ordinance Depot.
Rear Admiral Kennedy Egbuchulam, formerly Director of Administration, Naval Headquarters is now reappointed to Naval Headquarters as the pioneer Chief of Communications and Information Technology, Rear Admiral Nnamdi Muogilim, former Chief of Defence Space Administration, Defence Headquarters is appointed as the Executive Director Operations, Navy Holdings Limited while Rear Admiral Adewale Olanrewaju, formerly Commander Nigerian Navy Ship WEY is to take over as the Director Standards, Naval Headquarters.
The former Deputy Director Communication Intelligence at Defence Intelligence Agency, Rear Admiral Fatah Sanusi is now the new Executive Director, Administration, Human Resource and Personnel Management at the Navy Holdings Limited.
Rear Admiral Nuhu Bala, the former Director of Transformation, Defence Headquarters has been reappointed as the Deputy Chief of Defence Space Administration, Defence Headquarters while Rear Admiral Danjuma Moses, former Director of Training, Defence Headquarters takes over as the Deputy Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji.
The statement said the routine reshuffling of the senior naval officers also affected Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, former Director of Logistics, Defence Headquarters, who has been reappointed to Defence Headquarters as Director of Plans and Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai, the immediate past Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command moves to Defence Headquarters as the Director of Transformation.
The former Director Veterans Affairs, Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral Ismaila Zelani has been reappointed to Naval Headquarters as Director of Administration, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Beckley, the erstwhile Admiral Superintendent Naval Ordinance Depot moves to Headquarters Defence Intelligence Agency as the Director of Logistics while Rear Admiral Domnan Dangwel, formerly Deputy Director Monitoring and Evaluation, Defence Headquarters resumes at Naval Headquarters as the Director Special Projects.
Rear Admiral Tanko Pani, who served as Director of Plans, Defence Headquarters has been reappointed to Defence Headquarters as the Director of Training.
Rear Admiral Hamisu Sadiq, formerly the Deputy Director Earth Observation, Defence Space Administration, Defence Headquarters is now the Director of Safety, Naval Headquarters while Rear Admiral Olusanya Bankole has been reappointed as the Director Communications, Naval Headquarters among other appointments.