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Insecurity: Lt.Gen. Atthahiru Pledges To Solve Nigerian Army Logistics Constraints Across The Country

By Lateef Adegbite

More facts have emerged why the Nigerian Army have not been able to crush the Islamic Fundamentalist group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, insurgents in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, and the armed Bandits  over the last decade.

 This is because  the Nigerian army  lack  the necessary facilities and  sophisticated equipment necessary  to Combat the rising  kidnapping, insurgency and Banditry  being witnessed in different parts of the country  Hundreds of troops of an unidentified battalion of the Operation Laiya Dole Theatre Command, had protested on Thursday, March 26, 2021,  over alleged Non-Payment of their allowances  by the Military Authorities,  poor supply of arms and ammunitions. They may have been encourage to organise the protest which has become the talks of the residents of Maiduguri, Capital of Borno state because of their  redeployment to another Location without functional  fighting equipment  to engage the insurgents.

Atthahiru: CoAS

 Lt. General Ibrahim Atthahiru, who had served as the Commander,  Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command  and now  the CoAS, may have shocked Nigerians at the first  quarter Conference of the Nigerian Army Operations Retreat, 2021, held at the Army Headquarters Command, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, when he admitted  that ‘’ logistics Constraints had remained a major problem of the army operations  across the country and not peculiar to the Operation Lafiya Dole.

He had  stopped short at saying that the logistics constraint had made it  impossible for the troops to deal decisively with the insurgents in the north east and the armed  Bandits in the  three north western states of Zamfara, home of illegal gold miners, Kaduna and Katsina.

 There are indications that the BokoHaram and ISWAP insurgents may have taken advantage of the Army logistics constraints to repeatedly attack and sack military bases in Borno, described as home of the Insurgents and Yobe.  The attack and capture of Marte town military base  in the Lake Chad area by the  ISWAP insurgents but subsequently, recaptured by  the Nigerian soldiers, after about three days, last January speaks volume.

The capture of the military base may have been made possible as hundreds of the soldiers from the military base  were said to have fled  on citing  the machine gun wielding  ISWAP fighters .  The situation was the same in Jakana military base and other military bases that had been attacked and captured in Borno and  Yobe states by the ISWAP fighters in the recent time.

Soldiers Of Operations Lafiya Dole

The army General, who may have known the difficulties being faced by the soldiers attached to the Operation Lafiya Dole, Theatre Command,  was said to have  vowed that this will no longer   be allowed to continue to avoid playing into the hands of the ISWAP insurgents. This may have informed why he has initiated plans to increase the Troops operational capabilities  as he was said to have  approved  ‘’the purchase  of spare parts and directed that all damaged  and unserviceable equipment  in the theatre Command be back- loaded  for immediate repairs. This should serve as a good news to the protesting soldiers of the unidentified battalion of the Theatre Command last Thursday.

The CoAS, who could not hide his feelings was said to have assured the  Theatre Command troops that they should expect something different from his Administration .Hear him: I am determined  in rebuilding  the fighting skills , capacity , confidence and morale  of the fighting troops across  the various Theatres of Operations’’, in the north east Geo-political region.

He may have gladdened the heart of the fighting soldiers of the Operation Lafiya Dole  Theatre Command  when he disclosed  that the second and third quarters of 2021,  would be devoted   ‘’to functional training of officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army and ensure that they are well- equipped  with the right Competencies and skills to effectively undertake daring missions in different parts of the country.

He was said to have sent a message to the BokoHaram and ISWAP insurgents that it is no longer going to be business as usual where they could easily attack a military base and cart away weapons and gun fitted vehicle to their hide out in the Sambisa forest with the establishment of Special Operations Forces  in the region.

 The CoAS, who may have seen it all in Borno and other parts of the north east, had said that the establishment of the Special Operation forces , would be closely followed  with’’ the  procurement  of appropriate  kitting and provision of protective head gear, weapons, equipment and platform’’.

Perhaps to ensure that the army, under his close watch  remain resolute  in decisively dealing  with the major threats of the BokoHaram and IWAP insurgents  as well as  the armed Bandits , confronting  the country,  the CoAS, was said to have directed  the  Commanders  of the various Army Units across the country  to  ensure that they pay’’ the adequate attention ‘’ to sustaining  and improving  the tempo of all the Nigerian Army Operations nationwide’’.

He  was  said to have made it clear  to the Army  Commanders that they must abide by his philosophy  of ‘’ensuring that  operational and administrative proficiencies of the Army Formations and Units , across the country are sustained and improved upon to avoid a repeat of what  happened last Thursday at the Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command base in Maiduguri, Capital of Borno state.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, who had promised of crushing  the insurgency  in the north east and Banditry in the north west, within six months of assumption of office in 2015,  but which had spilled over to his second term in office, in 2019, with the new service Chiefs that will fulfill the promise, was said to have pledged  ‘’to continue his support  to the Army’’, stating that the government  would soon ‘’receive the  combat  enablers  to enhance and boost the  army operations’’.

The Katsina state born Nigerian President  had said that concerted  effort is being made to eliminate  the threats  of Improvised  Explosive devices, IED, that had remained  a major impediment  to the troops  of Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command’’ over the years.   Good news to the troops to step their morale and fighting spirit  to restore the country to normalcy.

Stephen Ubanna

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