The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.- Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has urged officers and men of the Nigerian Army to be in war mood to handle the current security challenges in the country, particularly the increasing activities of the Boko Haram sect.
According to the COAS, every act of terrorism will squarely be handled, saying that the Army will soon launch a specially trained troop in the use of dogs to fight terrorism.
The COAS stated this in Kaduna yesterday while declaring open, a one -week First Commanding Officers workshop with a theme titled, “Enhancing Military Professionalism in the Nigerian Army to Meet Contemporary Challenges”.
He said, “It is high time for you and your men to be in war mood to be able to deal with the current challenges. Otherwise, how do you explain that troops on checkpoint duty would be attacked by these dissidents? And they sometimes do that and get away with it. This is an area you must work on.”
On the use of special dogs, Ihejirika said that the second batch of trainees on the use of dogs in the fight against terrorism have just completed their training and would soon be launched to join the existing troops to further complement efforts to win the war against terrorism.
The COAS, therefore, urged the soldiers to engage in intelligence gathering at every point in time until the war against terrorism is totally won.
Meanwhile, the United States government has described Boko Haram as a frustrated group.
Speaking through the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, the US added that it was regrettable that the members of the sect were capitalising on popular frustrations with the nation’s leaders and poor government services.
Carson, who spoke in a keynote address during the event organised on the US engagement with Nigeria.
He also said that Boko Haram had created a large spread of insecurity in the country over the years, saying that the development was capable of frightening off foreign investors from coming to do businesses in the country.
He said, “Boko Haram has been responsible for daily attacks some parts of the country”.
He berated Boko Haram’s attacks on churches and mosques, saying that these attacks were disturbing and intended to cause religious tensions in the country.
He said, “Boko Haram is all over Nigeria but they have not offered any practical solution to the problems of the country. Just a growing minority see the group as a favourable one. Boko Haram seems to humiliate and undermine the government and cause religious crisis and to as well make the country ungovernable”
Speaking on the solution to the activities of the sect , Carson said, “Eradicating Boko Haram will be much more difficult as it was four years ago since they now have links with several other international terrorist groups. In order to practically curb the activities of the sect, the government should also win the population of the country by addressing the socio-economic problems that Boko Haram is using as excuses to effectively strike” He said.
In a related development, a 38-year- old man, Monday Davou, was yesterday arrested, following his alleged attempt to plant an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Makera weekly market in Riyom Local Government Council of Plateau State.
LEADERSHIP gathered that Davou was sighted by a Good Samaritan who raises the alarm which attracted people to the scene just as the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crisis was informed of the development.
The operatives of the STF quickly arrived at the scene, arrested the suspect and took him with the explosive to their headquarters in Jos for further questioning.
When contacted, the STF’s spokesman, Captain Markus Mdahyelya, confirmed the development, saying that the suspect is in the custody of the STF and waiting for the police Anti- bomb unit to examine the explosive.