- Military battles Boko Haram terrorists in Mallam Fatori
- Sect claims 40 soldiers killed
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Nigerian Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) NNS Unity which was under construction in China has been completed and on its way to join the Nigerian Navy fleet.
The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, in a statement signed yesterday by the Director of Information (DINFO), Commodore Chris Ezekobe, conveyed the appreciation of the navy to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving all steps taken towards the departure of NNS Unity.
Ibas represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Jacob Ajani, at the handing over and departure ceremony in China, stated that the NNS Unity would strengthen NN fleet in the efforts against all maritime crimes and illegalities in the nation’s territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea in general.
He also added that areas hitherto unable to be covered by other NN ships would now be covered by NNS Unity which will no doubt enhance the NN’s effectiveness and responsiveness to the maritime security challenges within Nigeria’s waters.
The Naval Chief disclosed that NNS Unity enroute Nigeria will pay ‘port calls’ on some ports of friendly nations before arriving Nigeria.
This, he said, would further boost the existing cordial relationship with sister navies around the world and the Gulf of Guinea in particular.
Ibas concluded by soliciting the maintenance and improved cooperation between Nigeria and the respective China Ship Building Corporations further beyond the departure of NNS Unity.
Meanwhile, the ceremony which was adjudged a success was attended by Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Isa Misau; Chairman, House of Representative Committee on the Navy, Hon. Abdulsamad Dasuki, Representative of the Minister of Defence, Hajia Rabi Tedman, the Consul General of Nigerian Mission in Shanghai and senior officers of the Nigerian navy.
The vessel departed China on September 21, 2016 and expected to arrive in Nigeria in the first week of November 2016.
In another development, the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have as part of the ongoing Operation Gama Aiki, captured Mallam Fatori in northernmost part of Borno State.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, said the town was captured after a fierce battle with terrorists, closely covered by air operations.
Usman, however, stated that the terrorists reinforced around border with Niger Republic.
“This was while the troops were consolidating on this success,” he added.
He said the troops killed several of the Boko Haram terrorists in the resulting encounter and subsequently had to withdraw to a vantage position.
The army spokesman stressed that operation was still ongoing as at the time of this report.
But the terrorists claimed they killed more than 40 troops during the attack.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online jihadist activity, cited a communique last Tuesday as saying the Islamic State’s West Africa Province annihilated “a convoy of the African Coalition Crusader forces” in the town of Malam Fatori, though there was no way to independently verify the claim and no word from Nigeria’s military late Tuesday night.
According to AP, 18 people were killed last Sunday and Monday when insurgents ambushed another convoy, gunned down Christians and beheaded a village head and his son.
Tuesday’s was the first Nigeria attack claimed by the IS group since August, when it named a new caliph in Nigeria and provoked a leadership struggle.