Defeating insurgency, banditry my priority – COAS

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Farooq Yahaya, on Tuesday, declared that the defeat of insurgency, banditry and other acts of criminality remains his top priority.

The COAS stated this during the opening ceremony of a workshop on the ‘Future Improvised Explosive Device Challenges and Threat Mitigation’  held at the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

The COAS, who was represented by the Force Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke, Maj. Gen. Sunday Igbinomwanhia, said the army had embarked on a massive acquisition of weapons as part of sustained efforts to shore up troops’ morale and fighting spirit.

Yahaya said, “Some of the equipment acquired include vallon handheld detectors, MRAPs, TCVs, Husky vehicles, APCs as well as UAVs, and efforts are  ongoing to purchase some Husky vehicle mounted with mine detection systems amongst, several other equipment.

 “The defeat of insurgency, banditry and other acts of criminality remains my top priority. It is with this commitment in mind that the procurement of equipment and realistic training of personnel were embarked upon.

 “Similarly, the research and development drive for indigenous production of some of our equipment is ongoing. The local production of the Ode rechargeable blasting device and the remote control jammers are commendable but more can be done.

 “To this end, the Nigerian Army will continue to sustain its stride of supporting local production of our defence needs to augment our procurement.”

 He said the workshop, with the theme ‘Capacity Development in CIED for Robust Support to NA Operations,’ was necessary in order to understand the future of Improvised Explosive Device, its challenges, how the enemy operates and knowing how to mitigate the IED threats.

“I am, therefore, glad that the objectives of this workshop are in line with my desire to defeat insurgency by ensuring that our troops have freedom of action through effective CIED operation,” Yahaya said.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Commander Corps of Engineers, Maj. Gen. Philip  Eromosele, noted that the use of IEDs by insurgents as force multipliers had become a trend with unpleasant effects on the outcomes of NA operations.

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