Soldiers of 72 Special Force Brigade intercept 73 young men travelling to Imo State

Soldiers of 72 Special Force Brigade, Nigeria Army, Makurdi on Monday night intercepted 73 young men from Nasarawa State on their way to Imo State.

The able-bodied young men who were loaded in five trucks were intercepted at Agan Toll Gate, Makurdi by the military working on a security report.

Also seen with the young men were 47 Bajaj motorcycles. The trucks were said to be conveying some minerals from Plateau State to a Port Harcourt based company.

Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, who visited the barracks on Tuesday commended the Special Forces for their diligence and professional conduct.

The deputy governor expressed joy that despite the attempts to evade arrest, the soldiers were able to apprehend the trucks and arrest the men.

Abounu said that the arrest was contrary to speculations in town about the confiscation of a truck loaded with arms and men who were trying to attack the town, saying, “no arms were found after a thorough search conducted by the soldiers.”

He expressed surprise at how such a large number of young men from the same state could be found together going to a place like Imo State, which is known to be experiencing serious security challenges at the moment.

The deputy governor charged the security men to carry out detailed profiling of the passengers for further action as the answers coming from them do not add up.

The Commander of 72 Special Forces Brigade, Lt. Col. AD Alhassan said that his men acted based on security report.

He said that as soon as they got the report that some trucks were heading to Makurdi they moved to intercept the trucks immediately.

Lt..Col. Alhassan said they spent a couple of hours waiting for them before they finally arrived at night.

He said that the soldiers had conducted a thorough search on them with all goods on the trucks offloaded and their motorcycles dismantled for proper search but said no arms were found.

One of the young men, who said his name is Ayugwa, said they were all going to Imo State to do okada business, adding that they were aware of the serious security challenges there but decided to go because their brothers there told them that everything had calmed down.

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Source: Tribune

Buratai to Soldiers: Don’t be afraid of ICC war crime charges

Buratai to Soldiers: Don’t be afraid of ICC war crime charges

Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai has instructed Nigerian soldiers to not be afraid of war crime charges at the International Criminal Court.

Mr. Buratai, at a meeting of military brass-hats on Monday, said Nigerian soldiers should be aware that their activities were carried out in line with the Nigerian Constitution.

Nigerian soldiers have “every right under the Constitution to carry out assigned and legitimate roles of maintaining law and order in aid of civil authorities and other security agencies,” Mr. Buratai said according to transcripts of the meeting circulated by Army spokesman Sagir Musa.

Mr. Buratai’s comments came a week after Nigerian soldiers opened fire at unarmed protesters in Lagos, killing at least nine. The attack has been widely condemned around the world, with top voices like Bill Clinton and Donald Trump demanding immediate investigations.

President Muhammadu Buhari has yet to hold anyone accountable for the massacre, fuelling speculation that he ordered it as the commander in chief. In 2015, the Nigerian president justified the massacre of over 1,000 Shiites in Zaria, saying they were wrong to have tapped military generals in the chest at a checkpoint.

The Nigerian Army has been under pressure to come clean on its decision and release bodies that are suspected to be in its custody for proper burial.
Some Nigerians at home and abroad also filed complaints to the Netherlands-based ICC, receiving an acknowledgement from its top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda last week.

Mr. Buratai was also the military chief at the heart of the Shiite massacre of December 2015, which analysts said had set him up for potential trial at the Hague when added to civilians killed as they sang the national anthem in Lagos on October 20.

The military action in Lagos sparked thug violence across the capital, which saw valuable assets looted or set on fire. At least 27 police stations were also burnt during the rage.

But Mr. Buratai, who repeatedly lobbied Mr. Buhari to quell protests against police brutality with the military, remained defiant on Monday and urged his subordinates not to be afraid of defending the country at all cost.

Mr. Buratai said anyone who doubts their commitment to their constitutional responsibilities must be made to know that they remain committed, loyal and unwavering in ensuring the unity, stability and security of our dear country Nigeria, Mr. Sagir reported.

The Army chief urged soldiers to dismiss critics of their activities as agents of destabilisation who care little about the country’s overall interest.

Zulum to army: Leave Ondo election, face B’Haram battle

•Army takes delivery of more equipment, hails operational successes
Zulum to army: Leave Ondo election, face B’Haram battle
Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, has charged the military to leave internal security during the next Saturday governorship election in Ondo State and concentrate more on counter-insurgency operation in the North East.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the combined Chief of Army Staff Quarterly Conference in Maiduguri, Borno State, yesterday, Zulum said he was a bit scared when the army chief mentioned the successes recorded by troops during the Edo poll and efforts to repeat same in the coming Ondo election.

“When the Chief of Army talked about the success story of Edo election and forthcoming Ondo poll, I was a bit scared because I want the attention of the military to be in the forefront fighting the insurgency,” he said.

He also asked the army to embark on confidence building and confidence sharing with the communities where they are currently carrying out various operations. He urged the military to take the battle to Boko Haram and embark on what he called clinical clearance of Boko Haram remnants after every operation.

He commended the military on renewed vigour in the counter-insurgency operation in recent time.

Lt.-Gen. Tukur Baratai had commended officers and men for the display of professionalism during the September 19 election in Edo.

Buratai said their performance was adjudged satisfactory and highly commended by all sections of the society.

He said their conduct was in tune with his strategic directive for 2020 which is “To Sustain the Professionalism and Responsiveness of the Nigerian Army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles.’’

He said he was happy that his directive on professional conduct was permeating through the ranks as was evident during the recent conduct of Operation Safe Conduct in Edo State.

“This is the standard that must be upheld always and I expect nothing less in the coming Ondo State governorship election on the 10th of October.

“We must continue to chart progressive paths towards tackling the security challenges confronting the nation,’’ he said.

As part of efforts to tackle the prevailing security challenges confronting the country, the Nigerian Army has taken delivery of more sophisticated platforms and war equipment for its operations.

The COAS said while some of the platforms were procured from foreign sources, some were sourced locally through local ingenuity and collaborations.

“To this end, the Nigerian army recently took delivery of key platforms to reinvigorate our operations.

“These include the VT4 and FT1 tanks, the KIA light tactical vehicles as well as the SH2 and SH5 self-propel artillery guns.

“Post treatment training is ongoing on this equipment and they would soon be inducted into the theatre.

“The Nigerian Army received some armoured personnel carrier from Jordan and we are expecting the delivery of other major capabilities.

“Furthermore, through local ingenuity, Nigerian Army facilitated the production and delivery of the pro-force MRAPs, Ezugwu MRAPS as well as the Conqueror and Champion barriers.

“Despite teething challenges in the new innovation, these platforms have no doubt enhanced the effectiveness of our troops across various theatres.

“We will continue to work assiduously to ensure that we support all operations with equipment and platforms,’’ he said.

Buratai, however, urged the commanders to ensure judicious deployment of the assets in order to justify the huge resources expended on them by the Federal Government.

He said the ongoing operations in different parts of the country to curtail the activities of criminals had witnessed tremendous successes.

The COAS said the military had done well in curtailing the activities of insurgents, armed bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers, as well as farmer-herder clashes and other crimes.

He urged the field commanders to sustain the tempo of operation to ensure the total decimation of all the inimical forces across the country.

According to Buratai, the Nigerian Army had done well in operation Lafiya Dole and the recently launched operation Sahel Sanity in the North West to rid the Katsina, Zamfara, corridors of marauding bandits.

Boko Haram attacks army convoy, kills 9 soldiers, a captain and lieutenant in Borno State

About 11 soldiers (including two officers) have been reportedly killed and many others injured following an attack by the Boko Haram terrorist group on the troops.

The soldiers ran into an ambush along Marte to Dikwa highway on Tuesday morning.

According to reports, the convoy stepped on a landmine before the terrorists opened fire on the troops.

“The troops while on their way to Dikwa; at about 7km from Dikwa, in the process of trying to scan the road, they mistakenly step on landmines planted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.

“The troops came under heavy gunfire of the enemies.

“We lost 11 persons who paid the supreme prize for their fatherland; two officers, a captain and lieutenant and nine soldiers all killed”, one of the security sources told DailyTrust (as seen on Daily Trust Newspaper).