*withdraws troops from less volatile
By Chesa Chesa
The Federal Government on Monday confirmed that the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and its affiliate in Nigeria, Boko Haram have launched no fewer than 27 terrorist attacks on Nigerian communities and terrorists in just past two weeks.
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, announced this to State House correspondents after a security meeting at the State House, Abuja which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ibas said the development was worrisome and required the redeployment of troops from safer and less volatile areas to places they are more needed.
According to him: “You will recall that just two weeks back we have had over 27 attacks from Boko Haram and ISWAP in the Northeast alone. Our gallant troops out there were able to repel these attacks and even take out some of their commanders.
“So, it is a thing of concern but the armed forces of Nigeria are doing all in their powers to ensure that together with other regional partners, that the menace of ISWAP is contained”.
Ibas further revealed that the President approved the withdrawal of the military from less volatile regions of the country and areas recovered from insurgents, in phases, so that civil authorities can take over.
“Results of assessment of current operations going on in various parts of the country. The nation’s armed forces are currently involved in various operations across the country, including the northeast, northwest, north central, the southeast as well as the southwest
“Threats assessment will be carried out to determine areas that are capable of being manned by the police and the Civil Defence; that is the position that was reached”, he said.
The Navy boss added that “Mr. President has directed that the council and the members of armed forces ensure a peaceful society in 2020, to that effect, we are more than determined to continue from where we stopped in 2019 and to ensure that we sustain our various operations to ensure a secured Nigeria for all of us.
“An assessment of what the military will do will be based on the situation on ground. It is not expected that the military will withdraw when it is apparent that there is still some threats in such locations.
“I’m sure we are also aware that the nation is procuring equipment for the military. It is is expected that before the second quarter of next year most of these equipment shall be in place.
“It therefore means that all our hands are put on ground looking at the technology backed surveillance that will enable the military react more efficiently and effectively.”