House Urges Service Chiefs to Collectively Tackle, Reduce Insecurity

•Troops intercept truckload of ammunition from Mali  

•’Signal directing withdrawal of orderlies from VIPs fake’

Kingsley Nwezeh and Juliet Akoje in Abuja

The House of Representatives leadership, yesterday, urged all the service chiefs to work collectively to deliver more on the goals of the current administration to drastically reduce cases of insecurity across the country.

This was as the Nigerian Army Headquarters had disclosed that troops of 192 Battalion operating in 81 Division of the army, overseeing Lagos and Ogun States, intercepted an international ammunition smuggling syndicate in Ogun State.

Also, the Nigeria Police, yesterday, denied reports of a signal that emanated from Force Headquarters directing the withdrawal of police aides attached to politicians and VIPs, prompting the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to order a probe of the fake signal.

Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee to screen the Service Chiefs, Hon Babajimi Benson, said this during the screening of Major General Christopher Musa as chief of Defence Staff and Major General Tiamiyu Lagbaja as Chief of Army Staff.

He said for more than 16 years, Nigeria has witnessed diverse and unprecedented level of insecurity in which the Armed Forces of Nigeria had been fully involved, prompting the launch of several theatres of operations and exercises as well as providing support for tackling several domestic security challenges.

“We acknowledge these robust achievements, which is a proof of the level of professionalism often displayed by our military in the discharge of their duties. We urge you to effectively collaborate with sister security agencies to ensure that all security threats are completely neutralised, and Nigerians can live peacefully,” he said.

The lawmaker said, the role of securing lives and property of Nigerians is the collective task for all arms of government and that the House of Representatives was delighted with the successes recorded so far, especially in the last years.

His words: “While the House will continue to support this vision through our legislative activities, we shall also embark on rigorous oversight exercises, beginning from this screening, to ensure that the Armed Forces of Nigeria adhere strictly to the provisions of all Appropriation Acts as will be eventually passed by the National Assembly and accented to by Mr. President.”

The Chief of Defence Staff, Maj Gen Christopher Musa said that the Armed Forces would rely on inter-agency collaboration to deal with emerging security challenges under his watch.

He, however, promised that his leadership of the Armed Forces would be hinged on three pillars of people-centricity, prioritizing troops’ welfare and deepening joint and interagency collaboration.

The  Chief of Army Staff, Maj Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, also promised to run a proactive, adaptive and inclusive leadership if confirmed.

“I consider my nomination as a call to higher responsibilities and I am determined not to betray the trust and confidence reposed in me. It is an open secret that our country has faced a challenging security environment in the past two decades.

“It has impacted adversely on our socio economic and political lives. The episodic crises of the past have now become enduring thereby making governance and the rule of law more challenging for successive administrations. Today’s painful reality is that insecurity has distorted our developmental plans and aspirations of a strong, prosperous, globally competitive and influential nation.

“Never in the recent past is the requirement for proactive, adaptive and inclusive leadership more needed than Nigeria’s security environment of today. These requirements are what I intend to carry out as COAS if confirmed. I am mindful that the Nigerian Army, which I am being screened to lead, is a crucial component of our military instrument of national power.”

Troops Intercept Truckload of Ammunition from Mali

Nigerian Army Headquarters, yesterday, disclosed that troops of 192 Battalion  operating in 81 Division of the army, overseeing Lagos and Ogun States, intercepted an international ammunition smuggling syndicate in Ogun State.

It said troops, based on actionable intelligence, conducted a meticulous and rigorous stop and search operation along Ajilete-Owode Road in Yewa North LGA of Ogun State and uncovered the illegal ammunition in a truck with Registration number  ENU 697 XY.

A statement signed by Army Spokesman, Brig-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, said the truck was loaded with 720 packets of red star cartridges of 12 calibre, containing 25 cartridges per packet, totalling 18, 000 cartridges and an additional 250 packets of live (black) cartridges containing 10 packets each, totalling 2500 cartridges of  same calibre.

“The suspects, identified as Mr. Eric Seworvor, a Ghanaian national, and the driver, Mr Lukman Sani, have been taken into custody and are helping with ongoing investigations.

“Information gathered during preliminary investigation revealed that the ammunition, which were surreptitiously concealed in a supposed empty truck were imported from Mali, via Idiroko International Border,  where the criminals had successfully beaten several other checkpoints en-route their final destination in Onitsha, Anambra State, where they intended to deliver the illegal ammunition.

“Timely intervention by the vigilant troops, however, thwarted the chaos that such volume of ammunition would have unleashed on innocent members of the public, if the criminals had succeeded,” it said.

Police: Signal Directing Withdrawal of Orderlies Attached to VIPs Fake

The Nigeria Police, yesterday, denied reports of a signal allegedly emanating from the Force Headquarters, directing the withdrawal of police aides attached to politicians and VIPs.

A statement by Force Public Relations Officer and Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Muyiwa Adejobi, said the purported signal was fake.

“The Nigeria Police Force wishes to address the ambiguity surrounding a signal that has been in circulation on social media, purportedly originating from MOPOL 45 FHQ ABJ, ordering the removal of police aides from certain top politicians and their relatives.

“The police hereby unequivocally clarifies that the signal is fake and did not emanate from the NPF or any of its formations.

“More emphatically, the signal deviates from the police’s telegraphic message structure and standard as the signal bears the signature of a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), which is highly irregular, as a signal of this nature would typically be signed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), who heads such formations, and not a higher-ranking officer,” it said.

The statement, however, affirmed that Egbetokun, “has taken immediate notice and ordered a thorough investigation into its source and assures that appropriate action will be taken against those responsible for its creation and dissemination.”

Related Articles