Nigerian Army has begun the review of its ongoing counterterrorism operations against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East region, even as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai has revealed that the army under his watch had made appreciable progress in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram.
The army admitted that it has numerous challenges confronting it in the course of discharging its constitutional roles, but said the logistic deficiencies, which had hindered the optimal conduct of its counterterrorism operations in the past, were being addressed.
General Buratai stated this in Abuja yesterday during an opening remark at the 2016 COAS first quarter conference, urging officers and soldiers to remain professionally responsive and loyal to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said, “By the special grace of God, I look forward to an army that would be better equipped and better organised, well-motivated and professionally responsive in the discharge of the constitutional responsibilities it owes the Nigerian people.
“Let me reiterate that I have issued sustainment and logistics directives for Operation LAFIYA DOLE and have to a large extent made resources available to meet operational requirements for effectiveness. I have also taken necessary steps to ensure the optimum utilisation of scarce resources while we await delivery of more platforms very soon. I am confident that I have the followership that would make this great country Nigeria come out from the precarious situation we have found ourselves.”
Buratai also hinted that one project that was dear to his heart was the take-off of the Nigerian Army Aviation.
“All activities towards building the NA aviation corps is still in progress. It is hoped that very soon the NA would be able to acquire its own platforms to enable the corps kick off wholly. So far, the main activities being undertaken are training of the pilots and technicians and also necessary negotiations towards acquiring the helicopters.
“On the issue of training, the trainee pilots comprising of one x Capt and 9 x Lts are still undergoing flying course at International Helicopter Flying School, IHFS, Enugu. They were initially meant to complete the training by December 2015 but could not be achieved due to unforeseen circumstances like weather and other factors. It is however expected that the training will end sometime before the end of May 16, except if decided otherwise by HQ NAF that is anchoring the training. We are also looking at the possibility of earmarking the trainee pilots for type-rating course immediately they complete the ab-initio training.
“For the 20xNA aviation technicians who recently completed the six months refresher course on aircraft maintenance at AFIT, they have been attached to 75 STG Yola for on-the-job training. Yola was considered most suitable for the training because most of NAF helicopters are currently deployed there as part of Op LAFIYA DOLE.”
Our defence correspondent reports that COAS quarterly conference is a forum for self-audit of the Nigerian Army’s performance and this year, the first quarter is a means of taking stock of the activities outlined for the first quarter.