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War against Boko Haram & Banditry: Army recalls thousands of soldiers from Schools to tackle Manpower Shortage.

Authorities of the Nigerian Army have joined in the footsteps of it’s sister security service, the Nigerian Police Force in recalling thousands of their personnel from other sundry engagements to participate in the actual duties of prosecuting the war on armed Banditry, insurgency and kidnapping currently threatening the country.

Recall that following recent upsurge in kidnapping, Banditry and attacks/killing of Police personnel and destruction of Police stations in some states, the police recalled it’s personnel in EFCC, ICPC and those attached to certain individuals and concerns, to upscale it’s manpower holding for deployments to tackle insecurity.

The Nigerian Army has now followed suit based on the heightened security threats and the fact the it is involved in security operations in almost all the states of the federation (34 states and FCT).

In particular, the Army is recalling thousands of its personnel studying in civil institutions (universities and polytechnics) across the country for mobilization preparatory for deployment to theatres of operation.

A memo in this regard from the Army Headquarters, Department of Army Training, Abuja dated May 11, also suspended fresh sponsorship of personnel in civil institutions with the exemption of students in the final year.The memo signed by Brigadier General I. A Ajose on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, was titled, ‘Exemption of Ex Boys (NMS) from Personnel Affected by Directive on Suspension of NA Sponsorship to Civil Institutions.’

It was referenced “AHQ DA/G7/230/164” and addressed to the Ministry of Defence, Office of the National Security Adviser, Defence Headquarters, and Nigerian Defence Academy.

Other army formations which the memo was sent to are: National Defence College, Abuja; Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State; Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Lagos; Defence Intelligence Agency, Abuja; Defence Space Administration; Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria; and the headquarters of the Training and Doctrine Command.

The memo cited three earlier references – “A (AHQ DAPP/G5/220/16, dated March 10, 2021); B (AHQ DAT/G7/230/164, dated March 15, 2021); and C (AHQ DAT/G7/230/164, dated April 28, 2021)”.

“References A-C conveyed directives for the recall of all NA personnel studying in civil institutions as well as the suspension of NA sponsorships, with the exemption of final year students”. 

“Consequently, I am directed to respectfully inform you that the directive does not include Ex Boys (NMS). Grateful (sic) treat and acknowledge,” the memo stated.

When contacted, Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima confirmed the development. 

A source said that apart from the stretching of the Army in tackling rising challenges of insurgency, kidnapping  and banditry across the country, emerging security threats of secession, arson and attacks on security personnel has made it imperative that issues of manpower shortage are adrressed.

A senior military personnel said the development was a result of the insufficient number of army personnel fighting security challenges across the country.”Truth is that everybody knows we are in a war situation. We have about 200,000 soldiers in a country with a population of around 200 million. The challenges means we have to mobilize all our resources. We have started recruiting but before that and the training period, we need our personnel back” the officer said.

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