MNJTF Captures Damasak,Clears Boko Haram Remnants

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• S/Africa hails DICON reforms, modernisation
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The troops of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) yesterday captured the boundary town of Damasak in northern Borno State, which is one of the last frontiers of Boko Haram terrorists.

The Chief Military Public Information Officer, MNJTF, Col. Muhammad Dole, disclosed this in a statement, saying the troops have also cleared the terrorists from the surrounding villages.

“In continuation with the clearance operation of the towns and villages by MNJTF, the troops of the Sector 4 in Diffa (Niger) has successfully cleared Dutse Village, captured and occupied Damasak town today by 1000hrs,” he stated.

Dole said the forces are coordinating to stabilise the immediate environs.
According to him, the  troops fought their way into the town with close air support from MNJTF member states.
“Operation Lafiya Dole is conducting an operation to link up with sector 4 at the location,” he said
He assured Nigerians that the troops’ morale remained very high.

In another development, the South Africa Secretary of Defence and Military Veterans, Dr. Sam Gulube, has commended what he described as the giant stride and great potential of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to emerge as a powerful military industrial complex in Africa.

Gulube, in a statement issued yesterday by the Public Relations Officer, DICON, Maj. Emmanuel Adeniyi, said the corporation was at the cross roads of history, judging from its current efforts to reposition itself to meet the  needs of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies.

He made these observations when he led a delegation of participants in an inaugural seminar and exhibition of Nigeria- South Africa Defence Industries (NIGSA 2016) held at the National Defence College Abuja and DICON’s Ordnance Factories, Kakuri, Kaduna.

According to him, the importance of their visit to DICON became real because they came at a time when the corporation was reorganising itself and coming up with a new logo, vision and mission aimed at increasing the tempo of military industrial development with measurable success.

He said: “Nigeria and South Africa have a lot of things in common, it therefore becomes necessary to work together, considering each other’s comparative advantages in terms of military products.
“Our direction in our collective efforts to collaborate should be towards  specialised areas based on each country’s specific requirement.”

The South Africa Secretary of Defence said he was looking at a situation where DICON would specialise in a particular type of arms and ammunition while South Africa would also specialise on another, stressing that this type of arrangement would yield more tangible result and it would reduce time and cut cost.

“Modernisation of technology of defence industries of various countries is currently in vogue and Nigeria as well as South Africa must not be seen to be lagging behind. When our collaborative efforts become operational, DICON will now have the capability to produce some of the modern military hardwares within the country,” he stressed.

Gulube also disclosed that during the apartheid regime, almost all the efforts of South Africa was channeled towards containing the onslaught of the regime from the North adding that as a result, the coastal part of the country was now witnessing a lot of criminal activities which the assistance of the Nigerian navy might be required.

He said: “The naval dockyard in Nigeria, I was told, is very advanced and South Africa could benefit from it, especially in areas of building ships and patrol boats.”

According to him,  DICON has comparative advantage in reverse engineering, while South Africa is vast in technology as well as electronic engineering, stressing that he was looking forward to immediate action that would culminate into a synergy between the two countries since the two countries occupy strategic positions within the continent of Africa.

Earlier, the Director General, Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, Maj-Gen Bamidele Ogunkale, disclosed that much efforts had been made by the Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), in ensuring the Abuja seminar and exhibition as well as South Africa’s delegation’s visit to DICON’s ordnance factories became a reality.

According to him, besides the presidential visit to South Africa, he had personally visited the country for an on-the-spot assessment of their defence and allied industries to see where the two countries could collaborate.
The DG said that DICON is being repositioned to power all industries that are into military products to meet the ordnance needs of the Armed Forces and other security agencies stressing that the Corporation was looking at holistic corporation with South Africa.