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DHQ Opens 17 Military Hospitals across the country to the public for Isolation & Treatment of COVID 19 cases; Clarify that 29 Officers and Soldiers were killed, 39 wounded in Last Weekend Boko Haram encounter, not 47 earlier reported.

Following efforts to help stem the spread of Corona Virus pandemic in Nigeria, the Armed Forces have designated 17 military hospitals across the country as facilities for isolation and treatment of identified cases.

This is even as the military has also concluded plans to recall its retired medical personnel to complement those in active service in the task of combating the pandemic.

Armed Forces have commenced a two-pronged approach of military and medical approaches to tackling the virus.

Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche who made this disclosure while reeling out the preparedness of the armed forces of Nigeria in response to the fight against Corona virus pandemic in Nigeria, disclosed that the military will be tackling the pandemic via a two-pronged approach of military and medical operations.

Towards this end, Major General Enenche said, the Armed Forces of Nigeria will activate its Disaster Response Units across the Country in conjunction with National Emergency Management Agency.

He said, “Sequel to the on-going fight against the spread of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the Federal government of Nigeria, the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) has put measures in place to aid the civil authorities.

“As you may be aware, Section 217 (2) c of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), empowers the Military to act in aid of civil authority.

“Consequently, a committee was constituted at the Defence Headquarters to ensure that the AFN provides the necessary support to the Federal Government of Nigeria, at this period.

“It is mainly a non-kinetic military operation with major features of Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities.

“Equally, it is in line with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) lines of conducting contemporary military operations in Nigeria.

“In this regard, the Armed Forces of Nigeria has developed a two-pronged approach to fight the pandemic, namely; the medical and security approaches.

“The medical approach is the deployment of military personnel in aid of all Ministries Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government through the provision of land, maritime and air assets, for transportation of emergency cases and medical supplies, as was the case with the medical supplies donated by the Jack Ma Foundation.

“Furthermore, under the medical aid, we have 17 medical facilities spread across the Country, which have been designated for isolation and treatment of confirmed cases of the COVID-19.

“We have also concluded plans to recall our retired medical personnel to complement those in active service.

“On Security Related Support, the Armed Forces of Nigeria will activate its Disaster Response Units across the Country in conjunction with National Emergency Management Agency.

“These units will be responsible for security management of emergencies other than medicals.

“The Defence Headquarters hereby assures the general public of its total commitment to the human security effort of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Similarly, the Defence headquarters has clarified that the number of Nigerian troops killed in last weekend’s confrontation with Boko Haram at Gorgi, Borno state, during which a truck carrying back-up bombs and other logistics for consolidation of recaptured strongholds, exploded, is 29 while 39 others were wounded and not 47 as earlier reported.

The coordinator disclosed that this (correct casualty figure was arrived at after an investigation team headed by a Major General was dispatched to Gorgi by the Defence headquarters for on the spot assessment of what transpired.

The investigation team also reported that over 100 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralized by Air and Land components of Operation Lafiya Dole during the encounter.

Major General Enenche said, “Following the encounter between Armed Forces of Nigeria and insurgents in Op Lafiya Dole at Gorgi between 21 and 23 March 2020, a team was sent to carry out the due operational ‘After Action Procedure’, which include; reconfirmation of casualties and immediate medical evacuation required among others.

“After the exercise, the Team made the following findings; Twenty Nine (29) Nigerian Troops were killed in action and Thirty Nine (39) were wounded in action, as a result of the explosion of the truck carrying logistics and ammunition resupply for the fighting echelon.

“This is contrary to the figures from the first contact situation report of Forty Seven (47) killed in action and Fifteen (15) wounded in action.

“This is a common occurrence during combat operations due to the fog of war, encounters or conflicts, when first contact reports are released to higher quarters in contemporary times, in order to counter false reports and fake news by mischief makers.

“The Team also found a casualty of over one hundred (100) Boko Haram Terrorists neutralized as the result of direct fire action and encounter with the gallant troops of the Land Component of the Armed Forces of Nigeria during the clearance of Gorgi.

“This figure is against the scores given during the briefing, Five Hundred (500) and Two Hundred (200) respectively provided by secondary sources.

“Ultimately, the Land Component of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in Operation Lafiya Dole successfully cleared Gorgi and dealt a heavy blow on the enemy, and the end state of clearing Gorgi was achieved.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria hereby assures the general public that it will remain committed to tackling the security challenges in the country to ensure that the Country is peaceful”, he added.

Speaking on plans to bury the slain officers and soldiers, Major General Enenche said, the fallen heroes will not be buried until each personnel’s family has been notified official of the death adding that a high ranking officer of a Brigade Commander’s status or higher is usually sent to perform that task.

He said it is only after that has been done that they would be given a heroic burial that is very deserving of troops who paid the ultimate price in sacrifice for the nation.

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