Covid-19: Nigerian military restates support for government efforts

*Deploy 80 medical personnel

*Sustains fight against criminal activities

By Chuks Oyema-Aziken

The Nigerian Armed Forces has restated it’s commitment to ongoing efforts to curtail spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

To this end 80 medical personnel are being trained to complement the number of health workers fighting the Virus.

Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, said this on Friday during a media briefing at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

According to him, “in continuation of our briefing on the Armed Forces of Nigeria support on COVID-19, the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to assure the public of its commitment to the Presidential directives on COVID-19.

“In this regard, I wish to state that we have provided an additional isolation and treatment centre, located at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Navy Town, Ojo in Lagos, bringing the number to 18 centres. Equally, the training of 80 medical personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to manage COVID-19 cases has since commenced. They are being trained in batches and would soon be deployed to the various units they would serve. In addition, the recalling of retired Armed Forces medical personnel is in progress”.

He added, “I wish to also inform you that a strategic level preparation by the Armed Forces of Nigeria in support of COVID-19 effort by the Federal Government of Nigeria is on. Currently, Nigerian Air Force is operating at full capacity, its Liquefied Oxygen (LOX) Plant at the 103 Strike Group (103 STG) at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Yola.
The plant is on 24 hours operation to ensure uninterrupted production of pure Liquefied Oxygen. ”The Liquefied Oxygen is being gasified and will be stored in cylinders for immediate supply to isolation centres and designated hospitals as will be directed.

“Furthermore, the Defence Headquarters wishes to once again clarify that the viral videos trending online showing men in uniform are not genuine. The general public should please disregard these videos and consider it as actions of mischief makers who intend to tarnish the good image, integrity and sterling achievements of the Armed Forces of Nigeria”.

According to him, “I am to state here that, the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to thank the general public for their understanding and compliance with the Presidential Directives in respect of the lockdown.
It is should be understood that the directives are in the best interest of the Nigerian populace, in order to prevent the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic”.

He also disclosed that an additional treatment centre has been provided at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Navy Town, Ojo in Lagos, bringing the number to 18.

On the controversy that followed recent redeployment of former Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, Maj-Gen. Enenche, said it was based on administrative procedure and not a conspiracy theory as being insinuated in the media.

He said the Nigerian Military considers his intelligence, doggedness, and resourcefulness hence his redeployment to the Nigerian Army Resource Centre.

In his words, “Posting is a regular process in the services once you’ve attained the rank of General.

Enenche disclosed that the military has intensified battle against all forms of criminality, saying troops of 16 Brigade Garrison have destroyed seven reservoirs used by vandals to store stolen crude oil at Degema Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers.

He said eight Cotonou boats laden with illegally-refined crude oil were also destroyed by the troops during the raid.

He disclosed further that troops of Operation Awatse recovered eight 33,000 litres oil truck, a Toyota Saloon car, hoses, and tools for vandalizing a pipeline at Wawa area of Ogun State, but could not nab the suspected vandals.

He said though the troops swiftly moved to Wawa following intelligence reports on some trucks assembling to load Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from a vandalized NNPC pipeline, the vandals and truck drivers quickly fled on sighting the troops.

General Enenche, while also speaking, noted that the land troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OLD) neutralized one Boko Haram terrorist and also recovered one magazine with 12 fabricated rounds, after conducting a robust robust clearance operation along Gwoza-Pulka road in Borno State.

“In the same vein, on 31 March 2020, troops of Special Response Area in Pulls, 26 Task Force Brigade, men of Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters neutralized six terrorists, and rescued ten civilians who were held in captivity. Additionally, two dane guns, one terrorist flag and other items were recovered from the camp,” he added.

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