Saturday, 17 August 2013

Jonathan creates new army division, sends 8,000 troops after Boko Haram

President Goodluck Jonathan appears set to
boost the strength of the military in the
insurgency infested North-east after indications
emerged that about 8,000 troops are being sent
The troops, according to security sources, will
form the nucleus of an army division to be
established in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.

Sunday Vanguard was made to understand at
the weekend that the need to establish the new
army division in the stronghold of the Boko
Haram Islamist group is to firm up the successes
recorded by special forces of the Joint Task Force
(JTF) which have reportedly dislodged the
insurgents from the forests and mountains of the

The move came to light barely 48 hours after the
United States (US) said security efforts were
necessary to protect innocent Nigerians, prevent
Boko Haram’s acts of violence, capture and
prosecute its leaders.

The US Under Secretary of State, Wendy
Sherman, who gave the recipe to ending the
insurgency challenge in Nigeria on behalf of her
home government, spoke in Abuja at the
opening session of the US-Nigeria Bi-national
Commission’s Regional Security Cooperation
Working Group on Thursday.

Also yesterday, the Chairman of Police Service
Commission (PSC), Mr Mike Okiro, advocated the
establishment of a civil force to complement the
efforts of security agencies at the grassroots to
curb terrorism and other crimes.
Sunday Vanguard learnt that the new army
division to be domiciled in Maiduguri is tagged
7th Infantry Division and may have one General
Etnan as the General Officer Commanding (GOC).

The 8,000 troops to be deployed there, according
to sources, are made up of 7,000 troops from
army headquarters brigade in Yola, Adamawa
State, the army headquarters brigade (Mongonu)
in Maiduguri, the battalion in Yobe and the army
headquarters brigade in Sokoto as well as the
about 1,000 troops recalled from operations in

Sunday Vanguard was told that the new army
division will take over operations of securing the
entire North-east and seal off the border axis
between Nigeria and Niger, Chad and Cameroon
where intelligence has shown that terrorists get
their training and launch bombing attacks on

Before the establishment of the division which
Sunday Vanguard gathered was on the
recommendation of the Chief of the Army Staff,
Lt. General Oyeabor Azubuike Ihejirika, parts of
the Area of Responsibility (AOR) were under the
1st Infantry Division of the army in Kaduna,
which has Major General Garba Wahab as GOC
and 3rd Armoured Division in Jos which has
Major General Awala as GOC.
Asked about the fate of the Major General
Ewansiha led JTF in Maiduguri, with the
establishment of the new division, a source said
the JTF will work hand in hand with the new
division, adding, however, that it (JTF) is an
interim force which most likely will be scaled
down after the first phase (6 months) of the
state of emergency had achieved its objectives.
Meanwhile, Sunday Vanguard gathered, also at
the weekend, that the Nigerian Airforce Strike
Group with headquarters in Yola, Adamawa
State, where some attack aircraft of the Tactical
Air Command are stationed, is to be upgraded
with the injection of more fighter and patrol
aircraft as well as helicopter gunships.

The upgrade became necessary, according to
sources, to provide air cover and patrols over the
vast and dense forests of the North-east where
Boko Haram insurgents held sway for months,
hoisting their flags, claiming territories and
collecting taxes from Nigerians.
Towards this end, it was gathered that the Chief
of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Sabundu
Badeh, has directed the relocation of some
patrol and surveillance aircraft from the 81 Air
Maritime Command in Benin, and the Special
Operations Group in Port Harcourt to Yola.

Alpha jets will also leave Kainji for Yola.
The PSC Chairman, Okiro, advocating the
establishment of a civil force to complement the
operations of security agencies, yesterday,
believes the force, under the supervision of the
police, will curtail terrorism and other criminal
activities at the grassroots.
The former Inspector General of Police (IGP)
spoke at the Corporate Council on Africa in
Washington, US. The Corporate Council, which
has on its membership Nigerians in diaspora,
had invited him to deliver a lecture during a
round table discussion on civil security in Nigeria.
Citing the civilian JTF in Borno State, he noted
that “the positive impact of the youth civilian
volunteer group in Borno State justifies such

Okiro based his belief on the principle of the
American Homeland Security, stressing that the
operation of the civil security force should be in
line with Bahama and Sri-Lanka models, which
are under the command of the police.

No comments:

Post a Comment