â€¢ CAS visits troops in North-east
Paul Obi in Abuja
Amid the controversy trailing the comment by former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), urging Nigerians, particularly indigenes of Taraba State, to defend themselves from killer herdsmen, the Nigerian Army yesterday said it would extend its operation in Taraba State by two months.
Speaking on the extension, Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, said: â€œYou will all recall that exercise Ayem Akpatuma was flagged off on February 20, 2018 to assist troops in North-central and parts of North-west on planning and conduct of Â â€˜Military Operations Other Than Warâ€™.
â€œThe exercise was also aimed at further sustaining Nigerian armyâ€™s constitutional roles of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as aiding the civil authority to maintain peace and security.â€
Chukwu explained that Exercise Ayem Akpatuma has recorded tremendous successes in spite of some challenges.
He noted that the exercise needed to be sustained in some areas in order to consolidate on the initial gains.
â€œIn view of the development, the ongoing exercise Ayem Akpatuma in Taraba State has been extended by two months.
â€œThe extension becomes necessary in order to further consolidate on the gains achieved so far and due to calls by well-meaning Nigerians.
â€œThe extension would facilitate the Nigerian armyâ€™s effort of ridding the affected areas of militants and other criminal elements.
â€œThe public, particularly residents of Taraba State, are therefore requested to cooperate with the troops by giving useful and timely information to enable them carry out their constitutional duties effectively,â€ he said.
Also, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has visited troops on the frontline in the North-east as part of the Easter festivities.
The CAS, who was represented at the occasion by the Commander Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Idi Lubo, commended the contributions of personnel towards prosecuting the fight against insurgency in the country, and urged them not to rest on their oars.
He said although a lot of successes had been recorded in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists, the personnel needed to put more effort towards completely eradicating the menace.
The representative of the CAS later had lunch with the other NAF frontline personnel serving in Yola.
At Yola, Lubo thanked Air Marshal Abubakar for the kind gesture in facilitating the lunch.
Addressing the troops after the lunch, the representative of the CAS commended the troops for their relentless efforts and sacrifices, which had greatly degraded the capability of the insurgents.
He equally tasked the troops to redouble their efforts to ensure that the entire country and the North-east region in particular, becomes a safer place for Nigerians.
Lubo later presented the award of the Best Officer of the Quarter to Group Captain Samuel Eyoma, who is the Head of the Data Collection and Analysis Team in the Tactical Operation Centre.
He encouraged the senior officer to remain focused and diligent in the discharge of his duties.
According NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, he also charged other personnel to emulate those qualities that won Group Captain Eyoma the award.
The CAS also seized the opportunity to inaugurate some projects at 103 Strike Group aimed at enhancing the protection of NAF critical assets in NAF Base Yola.