© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Boko Haram: Nigerian military confirms deployment of police to ‘liberated’ towns in North-East
THE Nigerian military has confirmed the deployment of officers of the Nigerian Police to the North-East as part of operation Lafiya Dole peacekeeping mission.
The news had caused an uproar among sections of the society including video of selected police officers protesting against the development claiming that they were enlisted for civil duties and not to perform military functions.
Some of the officers reportedly fled with their rifle after the training following information that they would be posted to the crisis region in order to complement the efforts of the military.
Dozens of attacks have been carried out on the military at various military formations including a recent attack which claimed scores of lives of the soldiers. Some of the surviving soldiers also claimed that the insurgents still remain a threat in some parts of the northeast.
Sadly, the military has not been able to give an exact figure of the casualties claimed to be over 700.
But Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Benson Akinroluyo was specific about the function of the new Police detachment which is to stabilise liberated towns and communities.
Theatre Commander Akinroluyo had earlier confirmed the development while inducting the new officers after four weeks training at the Nigerian Army Special Forces School, Buni Yadi, Yobe State.
On 22nd December 2018, Gabriel Olonisakin, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), accompanied by Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, the Chief of Naval Staff; Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff among other principal officers visited to assess the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents.
However, no categorical statement was made by the military chiefs regarding the current status of the battle and considering claims of insufficient, substandard weapons, non-payment of military allowances among other concerns.
Prior to the new Police deployment, some officers have earlier been sent to Damaturu and Biu before the new detachment.
“I believe you have fully imbibed the requisite training aimed at building your confidence, and are now better equipped to carry out the task of stabilizing liberated towns and communities to which you will be deployed.
“Soon after my address today, you will be conveyed to your respective places of primary assignment in designated towns, including Bama, Gubio, Dikwa, Damboa and Maiduguri, ”Akinroluyo said during the police induction.
He said the necessary logistics, including sleeping kits, ration cash allowance for feeding, as well as operational allowance have been provided for the policemen.
“The Nigeria Police Force Coordinator and the Component Commander have intimated me of your exemplary conduct and high morale demonstrated since your arrival in this camp.
“I must add, however, that the Force Headquarters and indeed Headquarters Operation Lafiya Dole expect nothing less than professionalism from each and every one of you, as you go about your duties,” he stated.
As part efforts to secure the crisis region, troops of 112 Task Force Battalion, 22 Brigade, Operation Lafiya Dole, along with some members of the Civilian JTF, 3rd January 2019 discovered and destroyed Boko Haram terrorist hideouts around Gawa and Boskoro villages, Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State.
During the search on the hideout before destruction, the troops reportedly recovered 3 pieces of 36 Hand Grenade, 4 Dane Guns, and 26 rounds of Anti-Aircraft ammunition.
According to Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, the troops also recovered three gas cylinders and a set of bow and arrows.
“The gallant patrol team also rescued three women at Boskoro who were later handed over to the Internally Displaced Persons camp officials at Dikwa.”
On 2nd January 2019, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Diran Mikiya destroyed another armed bandits’ hideout and neutralized their fighters near Doumbourou Hill in Zamfara State.
“The attack was executed on 2 January 2019, following human intelligence (HUMINT) reports, which were later confirmed by Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, indicating that a large number of bandits, armed with high calibre weapons, regularly assemble at a compound around the foot of the Hill before going out on operations,” Nigerian Air Force, Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola
A recent effort was the launch of motorbike squads for the military operations. The move initiated by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai is meant to complement the efforts of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
Deputy Director Public Relations, 7 Division Nigerian Army, Colonel Ado Isa stated that it is meant to take the war to enclaves of the insurgents and ‘flush out the remnants of the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs).
The Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu charged troops under command to redouble their effort with renewed vigour, gallantry and doggedness in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in the Theatre.
Towards achieving this, the Commander 28 Task Force Brigade Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, Brigadier General Mohammed Usman stated that the motorbikes will certainly boost the fighting capacity and morale of the troops in the fight against the terrorists, especially around Chibok
“…the creation of the Special Motor Cycle Section will enable the troops to chase the terrorist completely out of their enclaves.”