Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Abuja: Army on red alert as Boko Haram plans fresh attack

The Nigerian Army, on Tuesday, said it has put new security measures in place to protect hotels and other national infrastructures and assets which are usually targets of terrorists in the Federal Capital Territory.

This is coming just as intelligence report has revealed a fresh plan by members of the Boko Haram terrorists group to launch another attack on the nation’s capital.

The Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who made this known when the received the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotel, Valentine Ozigbo, in his office, said the new security arrangement came about given the high profile visitor like foreign heads of states and other very important personalities who usually lodge in the hotel.

He said that hotels like Transcorp and other five stars hotels as well as other national assets are usually easy targets of terrorist because of the crowd that troop into such places on a daily basis.

Buratai, who said the army working in conjunction with other security agencies in the FCT, were working round the clock to ensure the terrorists do not have easy assess into the nation’s capital, said that aside deploying soldiers to keep security at such places, the army also has plain clothes intelligence officers deployed there to ensure safety and security.

He commended the Transcorp delegation for the visit and assured them of continuous protection of the army at all times.

Responding, Ozigbo, who said he was at the army headquarters to brief the Chief on steps taken by the management to secure the hostel which he said he would not want to talk about in the presence of journalists.

He commended the army for responding promptly to issues concerning Transcorp and called for collaboration between the two organization.

Meanwhile the Public Complaint Commission (PCC), has appealed to authorities of the Nigerian army to have a rethink over the recent dismissal of 524, soldiers from the service given the current security challenges facing the country.

Honorable Chief Commissioner of the Commission Chief Emanuel Ogbile, who made the appeal during a courtesy visit on Buratai, said that given the age bracket of the dismissed soldiers which he put at between 25-27, their dismissal could mean bad omen for the country considering what it is passing through in the hands of boko haram and other criminal groups terrorizing the country.

Ogbile, who said the dismissed soldiers had staged a peaceful protest to the CCB, office in Abuja, asking the CCB, to plead with the army authorities to reinstate them back into the service, urged Buratai, to use his good office to revisit their cases with a view to resolve it, and if necessary reinstate them “in the best interest of the Nigerian army and the country”.

He said given the involvement of the army in fighting the counterinsurgency war and other security challenges, the country cannot afford to allow another kind of terror.

Buratai, in his response, while noting that the soldiers were dismissed from service having committed one offense or the other, said “we are going to revisit their case and look at each case at his own merit with a view to resolve them in the best interest of the army and the nation.

The army chief who described the number as huge, said their dismissal has greatly affected operations of the army saying “524, is almost a battalion. We felt the impact of their dismissal but I can assure you we will look into it, which we have already started”,
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