Nigerian soldiers in the shade of a Mali-bound Nigerian Air Force C130 Hercules plane

Nigerian soldiers in the shade of a Mali-bound Nigerian Air Force C130 Hercules plane

21 May, 2013

The Nigerian troops sent to Mali for peacekeeping operations are to remain in Mali for now, contrary to speculations that they would be withdrawn to face the domestic crisis in the country. This was contained in a press statement by the Director Defence Information Brigadier General Chris Olukolade in Abuja.

There were media reports that Nigerian
troops were being withdrawn from Mali
to face the insurgency in some parts of
Northern Nigeria is not true. “The report therefore in a section of the press that Nigerian troops are to be withdrawn from Mali to face the ongoing insurgency is complete falsehood.’’

“There is certainly no need for such
action now as the human and material
resources of the Armed Forces of Nigeria
are being meticulously deployed and
quite able to meet its present internal
and external assignments.’’

Rotation of troops

The story of troop withdrawal from Mali
may have been brought about by the
rotation of troops in various missions
which is a normal practice in military circles, he said. The Defence spokesperson said this is a routine and should not be misunderstood or misrepresented to misinform Nigerians and the international community.

‘’As a matter of fact the normal and scheduled rotation of troops in various missions will continue.’’ ‘’This routine should not be misunderstood or misrepresented to misinform Nigerians and the international community.‘’These times are too sensitive for anyone to engage in unnecessary sensation, speculation or rumour mongering on military affairs please.’’ Nigerian troops are currently deployed for the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA)

Brigadier General Chris Olukolade
reassured Nigerians that the troops were capable of tackling the current challenge of insurgency in some parts of northern Nigeria.

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. triqqah says:

    With army of 100,000+ personnel and proper planning we can handle all our internal and external assignments

  2. Yagazie says:

    I am really impressed with the way DHQ is handling the media aspect of this campaign, giving regular updates and being quick to rebut with concise and factual information any false stories that are being put out about our millitary. Please Keep up the GOOD WORK!!

    • beegeagle says:

      Brother, you took that right out of my mouth. That was the thought I had on my mind as I dropped off to sleep at 0130hrs. But I expected no less and provided an insight into the man’s antecedents here.

      For those of us who followed his ECOMOG era communiques from Freetown, we know the man, Gen Olukolade, to be gifted in the art. No dulling, no sleepy talk. He makes newshounds come to him. Standing in front of the flag of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the DHQ standard and releasing details, you are led to believe that he is telling you the gospel truth because he tells you the gains – whether you like it or not, and he tells you what the setbacks have been. So credibility is at once on offer

      We are very lucky to have him do this for us at a time like this. Sierra Leoneans can tell you more about how reassuring he sounded during the defining Battle of Freetown II (December 98-Jan 99). He and the immortal General Khobe made those days truly unforgettable for interested Nigerians and Sierra Leoneans. Thank God he is still in service. Tis a boon to our efforts really.


  3. freeegulf says:

    once again, commitments and responsibilities.
    what if the situation in Mali gets out of control, or the Tuareg interpreting the french withdrawal as a cue to initiate their drive to kick out Bamako govt troops? will Nigeria withdraw her contingent? wait for the blue hats?
    given the proximity factor, and security risk of further violence spilling to our borders, we either increase our commitment under AFISMA, or hope the re-hatted troops under UN will be more robust (which i doubt). waiting for the french or the Chadians isn’t an option.

    there’s need to always keep the mindset of multi deployment in several flash spots. some countries can others cant, we know where we fit in

  4. ifiok umoeka says:

    Goodmrng brothers,Triqqah I do agree with you. However, add to that force multipliers like reliable airlift, surveillance and the proper command and control to properly direct activities in all fronts. If we get this right, we get all else right

  5. jimmy says:

    “Brigadier General Chris Olukolade”
    In times of crises you can define a MAN by his actions. Nigeria is blessed to have him. Let us also not forget LT GEN. Ihejirika who i.m.h.o will go go down as one of Nigeria’s GREATEST GENERALS. This is an army that ironically has undergone gone such a transformation that bears very little resemblance to the ARMY OF THE ECOMOG years.THE COIN TRAINING and the training given to the S.F. is showing a lot of dividends.
    Part of winning the hearts and minds is the way information is disseminated and by whom it plays a major role. This has to be the mantra from day one till it ends let other foreign media say whatever they want ( they say it erroneously anyway).

  6. beegeagle says:

    I agree with you, JimmyHollyee.

    Concerning Ihejirika, you might recall that I pointedly campaigned for the man and the CDS to be retained in the system because I believed in the CTCOIN repositioning and SF grooming which both services were undertaking and all of that needs time to crystallize, we opined.

    It is unfortunate the Air Marshal Dikko had to make way for geopolitical balancing to be effected. He was no laggard either and he established the Air Mobility Command, Quick Response Force(SF),61 NAF Detachment, repositioned the 207 Special Mobility Group and Executive Airlift Group, reopened the FOBs at Minna and Sokoto, among others.


  7. freeegulf says:

    yea gen jimmy, the present COAS is definitely one of the best that ever held this distinguished position of army boss, bless him.
    NA has real top crop officers that re so forward thinking. the top brass is bristling with competent and flamboyant generals. the transformation presently going on is all thanks to these current brass and those before them.

  8. Henry says:

    The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, on Wednesday said that the army, in collaboration with the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM), would establish a Special Operation Unit.

    Ihejirika announced this at a seminar on Nigerian Army Transformation in Abuja, adding that the army was expanding in many ways to face the current security challenges.

    The Chief of Army Staff said, we are going to have a standing special operation unit that will transform to a special operation brigade in collaboration with AFRICOM.

    He said the army would also establish an Army Headquarters Reserve Battalion to be known as 101 Battalion.

    We are just putting finishing touches as they have been equipped with 50 per cent of their basic requirements, and their strength is 100 per cent to be led by a colonel, supported by 25 other officers.

    The army chief said that the army had agreed to set up an Army Virtual War College, as part of its personnel development programme.

    He said, this implies that the students will be electronically linked with other war colleges abroad as they will have periods for live interactions.

    He added that it was discovered that a gap existed in the training system between when an officer passes out from the Armed Force Command and Staff College and the attendance of National Defence University, which is a strategic level course.

    So, we want to train officers who will attain the national operational knowledge to command troops in the field and the course will be meant for lieutenant colonels and young colonels.

    The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, said transformation was a process of regeneration and reorganising the totality in terms of processes, systems and functions, to make it more efficient in tune with contemporary challenges.

    He said the navy had realised that one of the pillars of such efforts was a very sustainable collaboration and cooperation among the services.

    Ezeoba said the navy had built a synergy with other services, particularly the army and the air force, to develop capacity that would ensure synergy of efforts and economic resources so that we can operate more in a joint setting for efficacy of action.

    So, this seminar is in furtherance of the processes so that we can consolidate on the gains so far made so that we can be more efficient and fight as a composite unit in delivering the security challenge of this country.

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