Lagbaja: Army will upscale operations against criminals

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja has promised that the Nigerian Army would upscale its manpower and equipment in all the theatres of operation to ensure that no zone of the country is left unprotected.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja has promised that the Nigerian Army would upscale its manpower and equipment in all the theatres of operation to ensure that no zone of the country is left unprotected.

Lagbaja who spoke at the Combined Second and Third Quarters COAS Conference, on Tuesday in Abuja said the initiative will bring the much-desired peace, stability and relief to law-abiding citizens across the country.

According to him, the Nigerian Army will focus on banditry, kidnapping and other sundry crimes in the North West; insurgency and terrorism in the North East; farmers-herders clashes and kidnapping in the North Central and the insurrection in the South East.

Lagbaja added that economic sabotage and associated crimes in the South-South region would also receive serious attention.

He said Operation Hadin Kai in the North East had effectively curtailed Boko Haram and other terrorist activities in the region resulting in the large-scale surrender of members of terrorist groups and the submission of a large cache of arms and ammunition.

According to him, the good people of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa are steadily picking up their livelihood as the military, in collaboration with the government, is helping to restore governance to hitherto ungoverned areas.

Lagbaja also said the operational activities of troops of Operations Hadarin Daji and Whirl Punch, had greatly checkmated banditry and insurgency in the North West and North Central regions.

“We have equally heightened our efforts in containing criminalities perpetrated in the South East Region by the Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network.

“Through Operation UDO KA, our troops have, in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, put an end to the infamous sit-at-home order that has almost crippled socio-economic activities in the region.

“Law-abiding citizens of the region now go about their businesses and everyday life.

“Similarly, our joint efforts with various government agencies have quelled attempts by criminals to disrupt economic activities in the South West Region.

“Our troops’ upscaled anti-illegal oil bunkering operations in Operation Delta Safe in the South-South Region, which have also yielded tremendous outcomes.

“Although we are not there yet in terms of the level of success we hope to achieve in our anti-illegal bunkering operations; there is no denying the fact that we have seen appreciable improvement in the country’s daily crude production,” he said.

The COAS said the military had suffered some painful setbacks and paid for their successes in blood and treasures.

He however assured that troops have remained resolute in the drive to deny all criminal elements freedom of action and have intensified their onslaught against them.

Lagbaja said the Nigerian army had established Special Forces units specially trained to tackle various criminalities across the country and further enhance the army’s operational efforts.

According to him, the special forces units have continued to record impressive performances through intelligence-led operations and the use of special equipment.

“As we continue to procure and induct more sophisticated platforms and equipment into the various theatres as force multipliers, I charge field commanders to ensure the maintenance of these platforms and equipment to prolong their life span and enable the nation to optimize its investment.”

Lagbaja said the quarterly conference was designed to provide a veritable platform to review the conduct of the army’s administrative, training, logistics, and operational activities, as well as other key issues relating to the service.

He urged the senior officers and commanders to brainstorm and holistically review all operations and related activities carried out by the army in and outside Nigeria within the period under review.

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