NAF deploys special forces to Zamfara Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and Paul Obi in Abuja
The military has set up a four-man committee to investigate what could have been responsible for the high number of casualties during Easter Sunday attack on Maiduguri, Borno State
Residents of the North-east region were equally warned against coming out onto the streets anytime there is exchange of fire between the military and the terrorist in order not to fall victim of a crossfire.
Speaking during the inauguration of the committee to investigate the attack and advise on way to curb future reoccurrence, Maj. Gen. Rogers Nicholas said 29 persons, including a soldier, was lost during the attack at the outskirts of Maiduguri.
He explained that the soldiers were able to ward off the threat of 10 suicide bombers who attempted to penetrate Maiduguri last Sunday by gunning down seven of them.
Nicholas said the remaining three fled and could have been apprehended if not that the people came out onto the streets during the attack, and the terrorists detonated their bombs right in their midst killing 18 people.
He regretted that the only soldier who was lost was cut down in a crossfire as he left the trenches to pick his phone that he was charging minutes before the Boko Haram sect terrrorists launched the attack.
Nicholas gave the committee led by Brig. Gen. Henry Wesley three days to investigate and submit their report.
The military commander, who also lamented that 75 persons were injured in the attack, said: â€œThe people need to be careful and watchful as well as remain indoors whenever there is an incident because if people had remained indoor, we could not have had this large number of casualties.â€
He said the military Theatre has decided to set up a committee to unraveled what happened and how it happened and the way to ensure that it does not happen again.
Nicholas urged various communities to assist the military with information as the terrorists move within their settlements.
Meanwhile, following the increasing rate of killings in Zamfara State, the Nigerian Air Forces (NAF) yesterday deployed Special Forces to ensure peace in the area.
According to NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, â€œFollowing the recent attack on Bawan Daji community in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State where some lives were lost, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has directed that NAF Special Forces be deployed to Gusau as part of efforts to stop the incessant banditry in the area.
â€œAccordingly, the NAF Special Forces agents who were trained in asymmetric warfare, were airlifted from Kaduna with the NAF C-130 Hercules aircraft to complement the efforts of other security forces on ground to prevent further attack on innocent citizens.â€
Adesanya explained that â€œthe personnel and other supporting staff would operate from the recently established 207 Quick Response Group in Gusau, where they would reinforce the existing regiment personnel in the unit in support of the ongoing operation Sharan Daji in the state.
In his address to the troops at Gusau shortly before their deployment yesterday, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, Air Vice Marshal Ismaila Kaita, announced that the Special Forces would be further deployed to remote areas of Zamfara State, where they would be engaged in internal security operations.
He therefore urged them to effectively utilise their experiences and training to protect the lives and property of the people of the state.
Abubakar added that the NAF leadership expects the Special Forces to exhibit the highest standards of professionalism and respect for human rights in discharging their duties.
He further added that â€œthe NAF has taken additional measures to enhance its contributions to tackling internal security challenges in the country in fulfillment of its constitutional responsibility.
â€œIn addition to earlier established Quick Response Groups and Wings as well as the deployment of NAF Special Force to various states, the NAF recently established Quick Response Wings at Agatu, Doma and Nguroje in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States respectively, to bring security closer to those in the relatively remote areas.
â€œArrangements are also ongoing to establish a new Quick Response Group in Jalingo in Taraba State to superintend over the activities of the three new Quick Response Wings,â€ he disclosed.