Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
In a renewed bid to regain lost grounds, the Nigerian Army Thursday effected a massive reorganisation of its operational commands just as troops of 117 Battalion, 28 Task Force Brigade, Operation Lafiya Dole engaged and pushed back suspected Boko Haram terrorists in a hideout, along Yachida, Korongelen, Bombula and Forfor axis of Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.
Those affected by the new posting and appointments, according to the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, include some staff officers and commanders at various levels.
Specifically, the newly promoted Major General OT Akinjobi, Head of the Operations Monitoring Team at the Office of the Chief of Army Staff, has been appointed Commander, Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole while Major General MG Ali, Commander 9 Brigade has been appointed Commander of the newly created Nigerian Army Special Forces Command; Brigadier General BR Sinjen, Commander, Integrated Fire Support and Brigadier General FO Omoigui, have been moved from 2 Division Nigerian Army to Army Headquarters Department of Training and Operations and appointed Director of Operations.
Brigadier General TA Lagbaja is to take over as Commander 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army; Brigadier General OR Aiyenigba, Director Land Warfare at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College is to move to the Office of the Chief of Army Staff as Head of Operations Monitoring Team; while Brigadier General AU Kuliya is to take over as Director Land Warfare at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College.
Similarly, new Brigade Commanders have been appointed for some of the Brigades at Operation Lafiya Dole. These include Brigadier General EF Oyinlola, 22 Brigade; Brigadier General VU Okoro, 25 Task Force Brigade; Brigadier General AB Mohammed, 26 Task Force Brigade; Brigadier General AO Oyelade, 27 Task Force Brigade; Brigadier General MT Usman, 28 Task Force Brigade; and Brigadier General MG Kangye, 37 Brigade; while Brigadier General AS Ishaq has been appointed as Coordinator, Nigeria Police Force for Operation Lafiya Dole.
New commanders have also been appointed for the various Army Headquarters Logistics Commands at the theatre. These include Brigadier General AG Ibrahim, Brigadier General PN Okeson and Brigadier General OA Aminu for Logistics Base I, II and III, respectively. Similarly, the posting has affected several commanding officers of the various units in Operation Lafiya Dole amongst others.
The Chief of Army Staff also directed that all those affected by the posting in the theatre, must remain committed and fully in charge until they are properly relieved in line with standard operating procedures and military professional ethics.
Meanwhile, during the encounter, one of the Boko Haram terrorists was neutralized; two were arrested while several other terrorists fled with gunshot wounds.
According to a statement from the Army, “The gallant patrol team recovered one AK-47 rifle, a magazine, 21 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition, a 36 Hand Grenade, magazine pouch and a Motorcycle.
“Unfortunately, two soldiers sustained injuries and have since been evacuated to 28 Task Force Brigade Field Ambulance for medical attention.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had at the wake of Boko Haram deadly attacks on 157 Task Force Battalion at Metele, Borno State a couple of weeks ago, during which 23 soldiers and the commander were killed, demanded a containment plan from the service chiefs, ordering them to effect changes in their operational command.
Earlier in the week, the president approved immediate procurement of essential military hardware required to defeat the insurgents even as he asked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to relocate to the North-east and remain there until the security situation improves.