In its continued efforts to tackle the current security challenges faced in the country, the Nigerian Army Counter Terrorist and Counter Insurgency Centre has inaugurated 500 soldiers and para-military agents who are experts in counter-terrorism.
The ceremony took place at the Nigerian Army Base Camp, Kachia in Kaduna State, where the trainees are undergoing training.
The trainees numbering about 500 are made up of 299 soldiers and 200 personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Speaking during the inauguration, the director of the centre, Brigadier-General Tijjani Golau, said the contemporary security situation in Nigeria has brought a challenge which was alien to Nigerians.
This, he said, is evidenced in the spate of bombings and armed attacks on security operatives and innocent Nigerians which brings to the fore the need for all security personnel to be versed in counter-terrorism operations.
Brigadier-General Golau told the trainees that they would be actively engaged in internal security duties upon the completion of their training programme. The course, he said, would cover physical training, mental alertness, weapon handling, roadblocks, fighting in close quarter battles and VIP protection.
He said other aspects of the training include: attacking terrorists’ hideout/camps, airport duties, aircraft and bus rescue and terrorist targeting process, amongst others.
Earlier in his welcome address, the senior instructor of the centre, Captain James Anthony, said the joint training of soldiers and defenders would engender the inter-service cooperation needed to effectively combat terrorism in the country.
FG records 308 deaths from 118 Boko Haram attacks
Going by the statistics reeled out yesterday by the minister of police affairs during the ministry’s Ministerial Platform and Press Briefing, an average of 308 persons lost their lives from 118 Boko Haram insurgency in 2011.
Minister of police affairs Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, who addressed local and international press, also disclosed that so far only 33 persons have been arrested in respect of 118 attacks. Some reports put the deaths at over 2,000. The Human Rights Watch put it recently at around 800.
The minister, who lamented that the Nigeria police’s population, put at 370,000 is not enough to securely police the country’s 160 million, affirmed that the country has embarked on measures to equip the police to confront the menace of insurgency.
Olubolade, while speaking on the police reform programme, disclosed that the federal government is targeting to increase the police population from the current 370,000 to 650,000, pointing out that 90 per cent of this population would be equipped with professional training in modern policing tactics and weapon handling.
The minister further revealed that part of the reform programme includes establishment of a main forensic laboratory in Abuja and six other laboratories in each of the six geopolitical zones. Also, the programme included the preferential use of non-lethal weaponry in riot control with option to resort to live ammunition in critical situations.
According to the minister, the sum of N9 billion was appropriated for the ministry in 2011 for the completion of 12 projects but the ministry received only N6 billion.
Olubolade, quoting police records, said 879 robbery cases and 366 cases of kidnapping occurred in 2011. The report further said a total of 1,609 suspects were arrested across the country while 766 firearms and 31,175 ammunition were from suspects. Also, 140 kidnapped victims were rescued while 208 kidnap suspects are facing prosecution.
Northern governors meet in Kaduna over security
The regular meeting of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) is scheduled for Thursday, May 17, 2012, at Gen. Hassan Usman Katsina House, Kawo, Kaduna, at 11am.
The meeting is expected to, among other issues, discuss extensively strategies for ending the security challenges bedevilling the country, particularly the northern region.
A statement issued by Mr. Daniel Clifford Shashere, secretary to the government of Niger State and coordinating chairman, Forum of Secretaries to the Governments of Northern States, disclosed that the meeting will consider, among other issues, report of the committee on agriculture and New Nigerian Newspapers as well as the security situation in the region.
The coordinating chairman further revealed that the NSGF meeting will be preceded by the meeting of the Forum of Secretaries to the Governments of Northern States today at 10am at Gen. Hassan Usman Katsina House, Kawo, Kaduna.
A communiqué is expected to be issued at the end of the meeting, the statement added.