Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai is to return to the Northeast where he will stay until Boko Haram insurgents are crushed, the Federal Government ordered yesterday.
It also asked Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin and Gen. Buratai to effect changes in operational commands of major operations in the country, especially operations Lafiya Dole in the Northeast, Operation Delta in the Niger Delta, Operation Sharan Daji in Zamfara and Katsina states and Operation Awatse in Southwest.
This development is coming on the heels of the attacks on troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in Northeast, the latest of which is the attack on the troops of 157 Battalion stationed in Melete, northern Borno in which 23 soldiers died.
The Army chief had as a result of the attacks moved the Chief of Army staff 4th Quarter Conference slated for Benin, Edo State capital, to Maiduguri, Borno State capital, to enable him motivate troops for the challenges of Boko Haram.
Defence Minister Mansur Dan Ali directed the military top hierrachy to effect changes that would restore peace and orderliness to the troubled states and zones of the country.
He also directed the General Officer Commanding the 8 Division to relocate his tactical headquarters to Gusau, Zamfara State, from Sokoto and directly oversee the conduct of Operation Sharan Daji.
A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer to the minister, Colonel Tukur Gusau, said the decisions were taken at the end of the meeting of the minister, the chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) and Service chiefs yesterday.
It stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the emergency procurement of critical equipment for the armed forces.
The statement reads:
“ The Honourable Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali met with the CDS and Service Chiefs today Monday 3 December 2018 at the Ship House, Headquarters of Ministry of Defence and consequently directed the Chief of Army Staff to remain in the Northeast until security situation improves.
“ Similarly, the General Officer Commanding the 8 Division, Nigerian Army, was also directed to relocate his Tactical Headquarters from Sokoto to Gusau, Zamfara State to oversee the conduct of Operation SHARAN DAJI.”
The Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff were also mandated to effect changes in the operational commands of Operations DELTA SAFE in the Niger Delta, LAFIYA DOLE in the Northeast, SHARAN DAJI in Zamfara and Katsina states and AWATSE in the Southwest.
This is to enable them meet up with the current threats and security challenges in their areas of responsibility.
“The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has also directed the emergency procurement of critical equipment for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in line with the Federal Government policy of procuring equipment from Original Equipment Manufacturers through government to government basis.
“ The Council/Board also considered and approved the promotion of qualified senior military officers to their next higher ranks.
In a related development and a show of concern to the welfare needs of members of the Armed Forces, the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has directed the enhancement of the welfare of troops, particularly those serving in operational areas within the country.”