CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF ASSURES ON MILITARY CAMPAIGN AGAINST INSURGENCY; NEW ‘INTERPOSITION’ FORWARD OPERATING BASE AT EZILLO MIGHT BE UPGRADED TO A BATTALION

Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Onyeabo Azubuike Ihejirika presents an award to a graduand from the Basic CTCOIN Proficiency Training Course at the all-new Nigerian Army Training Centre at Kontagora, Niger State

PHOTO CREDIT: NIGERIAN ARMY

THE GUARDIAN
6 June, 2013

CHIEF of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General
Azubuike O. Ihejirika, says military
operations against insurgents in the
three states where the Federal
Government declared a state of
emergency, are bearing good fruits, even as he commended soldiers for their
exemplary conduct.

Ihejirika, who made his opinion public
while fielding questions from journalists
at Abakaliki, noted that although the
commanders in the field who are
attending the second quarter Army
Conference in Ebonyi State are expected to provide the Army Headquarters with
facts and figures from the operations,
preliminary estimation shows that so far
the exercise is yielding positive results.

His words: “We reviewed ongoing
operations. The commanders in the field
provided Army Headquarters with facts
and figures…It would be very interesting
to note that so far, casualty has been very minimal on the part of the security forces. And it would also interest you to note that the communities in places where these operations are being conducted are very happy and they have been expressing their joy to the officers”.

In allusion to the inter-communal clash at Ezza/Ezillo that necessitated the
construction of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Army in the area, the COAS explained that the facility has the
potential of being raised to a full battalion even as he called on the warring factions and militants to change their ideas so that development can take place.

His words: “One of the primary
conditional tasks of the Nigerian Army is
keeping the peace to ensure that troublemakers are put in check. Like I said earlier, what we have to render is service. It is the desire of the Nigerian Army that we don’t have to fire a shot on any civilian to bring about peace. So I call on all warring factions, on all militants to change ideas so that development will take place.

“But in practical terms, we would soon take over the FOB at Ezillo; as time goes by, it stands the chance of being raised to a full battalion.

“So these are the kind of reports we give. But like I said before, it is my wish that we don’t have to fire a single shot to bring about this peace. But certainly
because we are there, should there be
anybody that would try to test our will… Our reciprocal gesture to the state is in
terms of peace and we have been able to demonstrate this.”

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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One Response to CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF ASSURES ON MILITARY CAMPAIGN AGAINST INSURGENCY; NEW ‘INTERPOSITION’ FORWARD OPERATING BASE AT EZILLO MIGHT BE UPGRADED TO A BATTALION

  1. beegeagle says:

    Well, it gets better. We might recall that the Artillery Regiment attached to the new 14 Infantry Brigade is to be garrisoned in Ebonyi State.

    This idea of a FOB – which I imagine would be a company-sized formation is one which would be very useful in some of the small but strategically positioned desert crossroads communities of the Far Northeast. Given the fact that military units are not supposed to be located within 10 kilometres or so of international frontiers, we can still deploy compact but well-armed infantry companies, artillery batteries and armoured squadrons 12 kilometres from our borders.

    To my mind, these would be outposts of the battalion and regiments. None of the said battalions or regiments should however deploy more than 300 men independently of the parent unit at the Bn/Regt HQ garrison. A maximum of two separate 150-man detachments encamped in two FOBs is okay. So the battalion or regiment in these crucial areas could have one or two company-sized detachments in permanent encampments described as FOBs and whose Officer Commanding should be a Major.

    So in Greater Borno(Borno+Yobe), we could have such FOBs at Yusufari, Geidam, Zari, Kukawa, Banowa, Marte, Gwoza and Kala. Expectedly, the development of the encampments would be inexpensive enough and easy for the NA and state govts to handle.

    We need to think about this. The era of leaving huge tracts of remote border-facing territories unmanned must be put behind us. Remember that the first joint military-police security outfit came to be on account of threats emanating from the border areas and manifesting in gun violence, arms trafficking and other vices which had become militarised on account of the remoteness of the affected areas. No thanks to weak state presence and control in those outlying areas.

    That was what gave rise to OPERATION ZAKI in 1990 when Lt. Colonel(later Brig. Gen) Buba Marwa held sway as Military Governor of the pre-partition Borno State(now Borno and Yobe)

    Now BH have again cashed in on the same security void to endanger the national interest. About time we plugged these loopholes once and for all.

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