UK Defence Secretary of State visits Theatre Command; as Army Commences construction of holding facility
The United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon. Garvin williamson has paid a visit to the Headquarters, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri.
Speaking during the visit, the Secretary of State commended the efforts of the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for providing security and a conducive atmosphere for the people of the North East Nigeria, United Nations Humanitarian Agencies and other civil organisations to carry out their activities.
He further stated that, the already existing collaboration between the Nigerian and United Kingdom militaries would be sustained adding that, aside providing Counter Improvised Explosive Devices training to troops in support of the operations, the United Kingdom will explore other areas of partnership with the Nigerian military.
Also speaking, the Chief of Training and Operations, ‘Army’ Major General Lamidi Adeosun lauded the supporting role of the UK Support and Liaison Team in the ongoing operations, noting that talks are at advance stage on setting up a Joint Planning Centre for Counter insurgency operations.
In his remarks, the Theatre Commander lauded the support of the British Liaison Support Team for their contribution in the fight against terrorism.
He stated that, the Nigerian military remains highly professional in the discharge of its constitutional roles and in the conduct of Counter terrorism and Counter insurgency operations in the North East.
Present during the visit were some Principal Staff Officers of the theatre command.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has commenced the construction of holding facility to improve detainees management during investigations.
Performing the foundation laying ceremony, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai represented by the Chief of Logistics ‘Army’ Major General Enobong Udoh stated that, the ongoing Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Operations in the North East, has made it mandatory for the arrest and detention of suspected insurgents who must be properly taken care of in accordance with international best practices while in custody.
In his words, “the quest for a functional safe holding facility, with adequate sanitary conditions for the effective management of suspected Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) for further investigation activities, is the driving force behind the execution of this project”, he added.
He reiterated that, in order to relieve the front line units of the responsibility of administering arrested suspects, there arises the need to have a facility where suspects will be kept and properly managed, adding that this was the reason the Joint Investigation Centre was established.
He further emphasised that, the Centre serves as a transit holding and detention facility for suspected terrorists before they are handed over to relevant prosecuting or rehabilitating agencies.
Also speaking, the Head of Sub Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Mr Markus Dolder, expressed his delight over the ground breaking ceremony, describing it as indicative of the compliance by the Nigerian Army with global best practices.
He stated that, the impact of the project will further strengthen the cooperation between the Army and stake holders, especially in the management of suspects undergoing investigation.
In his words, “I am very much impressed about the efforts that has been launched over the last few months, they are much more than we actually thought could come and this is more than we could potentially dream of”, he stressed.
He urged the Nigerian Army to keep its own part of the bargain as they strive to meet international best practices for the welfare and well being of detainees.
Present at the occasion were the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Abba Dikko, Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, Commander Joint Investigation Centre Brigadier General Ibrahim Salihu, Comptroller of Prisons Borno State Command Mr Inuwa Garba, Deputy Head of Sub Delegation, ICRC Borno State Mr Amro Ibrahim, Representatives of the Borno state Commissioner of Police, among others.
Director Army Public Relations