The Defence Headquaters said on Monday that the military cannot suspend ongoing operations against Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists in the North East, Armed banditry in the North West and kidnapping, armed robbery and other security threats in the country because of the deadly Corona virus pandemic.
Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche who made the disclosure in Abuja, also stated that the armed forces have been put on standby in the event of the federal government resorting to a lockdown of the society if the situation warrants such.
Briefing the media on the updates of joint military operations in the country against security threats, the coordinator said, “The military cannot suspend operations against all forms of criminal elements because of Corona Virus. This is because Operations are done in the open not in enclosures.
“Even if you go on or attack a bunker, a camp or a hideout, you go with men or operational equipment manned by men and these are confrontations that do not happen in an enclosure but in the theatre and live.
Major General Enenche however disclosed that the armed forces have since put in place necessary measures to help check Corona Virus within military barracks and in the battle field as well as within all military formations.
“We have sent required items and equipment to both those in the barracks and in operational areas as well as the necessary preventive and precautionary measures to take.
Asked if like in other climes, the military is prepared for additional responsibilities if such a directive is necessitated, Enenche said, “You mentioned the issue of Lockdown. I want to tell you that we have been put on notice. 4 of our military medical centres have been put on standby for anything of such.
“We have the Nigerian Airforce Hospital along Airport Road in Abuja, the Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna, the Military Hospital in Lagos and the Military hospital in Port Harcourt. If there is need, more will be activated.
Continuing, the Defence Media Coordinator said, “If there is going to be a lockdown, there should be no cause for alarm. We have the resources to ensure that we contain the challenges that would arise.
On the fight against insurgency, Major General Enenche said, “Troops of ‘Sector 4’ Multi-National Joint Task Force (with Nigerian Land and Air Components actively involved), successfully repelled a Boko Haram Terrorists attack at Tumour in Republic of Niger”.
“During the attack, 48 terrorists were invalidated (killed) while 4 others were captured by the troops.
Furthermore he said, “In Operation Lafiya Dole theatre of operation our troops successfully repelled Boko Haram Terrorists attack at Yamteke in Gwoza LGA of Borno State. In the process 4 Boko Haram Terrorists were neutralized while three AK47 rifles, 2 hand grenades and One Tecno phone were recovered.
“Additionally, Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province attack was successfully repelled by hunters at Sabon-Gari village of Madagali LGA in Adamawa State. During the encounter, 2 terrorists were killed and One AK47 rifle was recovered”.
For Operation Safe Haven, the Coordinator said, “The gallant multi-agency troops of operation Task Force encountered some gunmen at Kurgwi along Namu – Chibdai road in Quan Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State on 19 March 2020.
“In the process, 2 notorious gun runners were killed; one AK 47 rifle was recovered among other items.
“Similarly, same day, 4 suspected Sara Suka activists were arrested during a cordon and search operation. Seven cutlasses, three knives and substances suspected to be illicit drugs and charms were recovered from them.
“The general public is hereby commended and requested to continue to provide credible information to the troops so as to sustain this trend among other success achieved by troops of the Nigerian Military and other security agencies.
Shedding light on Military Exercises being embarked upon, Enenche said, “The Armed Forces of Nigeria, as you were informed, could be involved in exercises that can transmute into real life operation.
“In this regard, during the week, the Nigerian Navy commenced Exercise Treasure Guard 2 at the Western Naval Command Area of Responsibility to increase confidence of the global shipping community.
“The Exercise was approved to transmute to Exercise Obangame Express 2020 (which was supposed to be a multi-national exercise) which was cancelled due to the global health concern. The overall objective of the Exercise is to ensure a collective security and protection of our maritime assets.”
He then quoted the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin reassuring “the general public of the total commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards the protection of lives and property across the Country.”
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