Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Nigerian Army has rewarded 37 officers and soldiers of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) in recognition of their gallantry in the ongoing counter insurgency campaign in the North-east.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, made the disclosure in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja.
Iliyasu disclosed that 37 officers and soldiers were identified by the military authorities in its periodic assessment of the conduct of troops under the OPLD.
He said that the personnel were found to have distinguished themselves on the battle field for outstanding gallantry; professionalism, profound commitment, exemplary conduct and other sterling qualities in the face of the adversary for meritorious awards.
According to him, while the distinguished officers were to be given Special Letters of Commendation, the soldiers on the other hand would each be granted special promotions to their next higher ranks.
Iliyasu said that: “The rewards are typical of the Nigerian Army’s usual practice of duly recognising unique acts of undeniable gallantry as well as commitment to the service of our fatherland.
“It is meant to inspire their colleagues to always strive for excellence in the discharge of their professional undertakings.
“The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai on behalf of officers and men of the Nigerian Army congratulates and commends the beneficiary officers and soldiers for their resilience, doggedness and patriotism in the fight against Boko Haram and ISWAP criminals.
“He urged them to keep up with the good work as the Nigerian Army is committed to ending the insurgency and other security challenges confronting the country”.
Iliyasu disclosed that among the officers awarded include two Brigadier Generals, one Colonel, four Lieutenant Colonel, two Majors, five Captains and four Lieutenants.
He added that the soldiers rewarded include two staff Sergeants, six Corporals, three Lance Corporals and 8 private soldiers.
Iliyasu listed the officers to include Brig. Gen. Olufemi Oluyede, Commander 27 Task Force Brigade; Brig. Gen. Ahmadu Mohammed, the immediate past Commander 26 Task Force Brigade Gwoza; and Col. Mohammed Babayo, Commandant Army Super Camp, Benisheik.
Others are Lt. Col. Isah Yusuf, Commanding Officer 158 Task Force Battalion; Lt. Col. Abayomi Biobaku, Commanding Officer 159 Battalion; Lt. Col. Jerry Maigari, Commanding Officer 251 Task Force Battalion and Lt. Col. Tajudeen Lamidi, Commanding Officer 192 Battalion.
Also on the list are: Maj. Michael Ndubuisi, Army Headquarters Strike Group; Maj. Abdullahi Muhammad, 212 Battalion; and Capt. Emeka Chukwu, Headquarters Theatre Command.
“Others are Capt. Audu Kure – 192 Battalion; Capt. Alhassan Abdulkadir – 192 Battalion; Capt. Festus Fatunberu – 212 Battalion and Capt. Haruna Dabai – Headquarter 7 Division.
“Also, Lt. Baba Mala, 3 Battalion (Main); Lt. Osazee Asemota, 144 Battalion; Lt. Jeremiah Abomchi, 212 Battalion and L.t Suleiman Kirikpo, 231 Battalion are among the officers rewarded,” he added.