Military Needs $1bn To Meet The Challenges Of The Moment- Olukolade
The leadership of the Nigerian Military on Wednesday has reiterated the need for the $1bn loan sought by the presidency saying that it is imperative as the funds are being used to upgrade their equipment to meet the challenges of the moment.
Speaking on telephone to newsmen on the necessity of the loan and how it would impact on the war against insurgency, the Director, Defence Information, Major General Olukolade, also noted that “on a regular basis we require and we are sure we will get the regular upgrading that is required to conduct this operation properly” adding that “we are encouraged that the political authorities and Nigerians have appreciated the need for the military to be properly equipped to handle this operation”.
Olukolade also declared that the Nigerian Army will soon re assert Nigeria’s sovereignty in portions that have been violated illegally by Boko Haram.
“We are definitely working to reverse all those tendencies. We are not conceding any portion of this country to a group of terrorists and the required operation to reverse that is ongoing”, he said, assuring that the Army “will re assert in a short while the sovereignty of any part of the country that has been violated illegally by some irresponsible elements.
“We are working to ensure that not just Gwoza as a town, its surroundings and other portions that terrorists seem to be moving around is secured”. He further assured Nigerians “that we are sure we will accomplish in a short while”, he said.
He said the military are already receiving upgraded weapons but stressed the need for the soldiers to “upgrade their response”.
He further noted that the help received from allies “is improving” at the moment, but added that “most importantly is the understanding we enjoy both from our allies in the neighbourhood as well as those who have come from other countries to assist us.
“In many instances we exchange ideas, we are exchanging intelligence and much of the cooperation we continue to get and we believe it will keep improving until our situation for as far as our situation is understood”, he said.
He further opined that the cooperation by the Multi National Joint Task Force (MTNJTF) has been enhanced by the Security Summit convened by French President, Nicholas Sarkozy.
He however, stressed that the partnership to fight insurgency within the “neighbourhood” has been in place before the Summit, adding that “the patrol allows us to exchange ideas and various elements of containing terrorism in the neighbourhood.
“There has been improvement in various elements of patrol, in terms of equipping, even from the part of Nigeria, to enhance the capability of our men to join in the patrol to contain the various movement of terrorists particularly in the Chad Basin area; we have captured a lot of these terrorists recently” insisting that “there operations has largely been contained in that area”.
The Army Spokesman further revealed that “we have more patrol boats to patrol the lake and we are having more joint operations with the troops from Chad, Niger and Cameroon in both land and water patrol in that area”
He also debunked reports that Nigerian soldiers fled to Cameroon after a gun duel with suspected Boko Haram insurgents in Gamboru-Ngala, Borno State.
The Defence Headquarters had on Tuesday confirmed the return of the troops from Cameroon, adding that they were addressed by the General Officer Commanding, 3 Division, Major General John Zaruwa, as they embark on another mission in the Counter Terrorism campaign.
The Nigerian Defence headquarters on Monday clarified issues concerning Nigerian troops who found themselves in Cameroon during a fierce battle with terrorists.
The BBC, quoting Cameroon’s army, said that about 480 Nigerian soldiers fled into Cameroon following fierce fighting with Boko Haram militants.
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