By Philip Nwosu and Vivian Onyebukwa
The Nigerian Army said logistics planning and deployment could influence the outcome of the war against insurgents in the North Eastern part of the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, who made the assertion, said in the annals of military history, logistics planning and execution have been well documented to influence the outcomes of military campaigns.
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He spoke at the graduation of officers of the Logistics Management Course 19 of the college, saying that the establishment of Nigerian Army College of Logistics (NACOL) was a vital part of the force’s strategy towards strengthening its capacity in the deployment of logistics in military operations.
General Yahaya said that the impact of the graduates from NACOL in shoring up the force’s logistics support potentials had been quite significant, noting that there are still considerable gaps to be covered in our logistics support architecture.
He said that NACOL shall continue to play a critical role in this regard, promising that the Nigerian Army will continue to be structured to address peculiar security threats, particularly, in North East, South East and North Central regions where insurgency and increased acts of banditry are prevalent .
He expressed happiness over the level of successes attained, so far, by the troops in the exercises, and the professionalism exhibited by their personnel which underpins the NA’s total commitment to its constitutional roles. “That is not to say that we have completely overcome the security challenges, as considerable traits still exist.”
He, therefore, urged all Nigerian training institutions to continue to come up with innovative ideas that would assist in addressing the myriads of security concerns confronting the nation as they continue to confront these threats. He stressed the need to evolve new strategy to sustain the successes gained, so far.
NDLEA sets up task force to dismantle cartel behind Mkpuru Mmiri
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has set up a special task force working across the country to track and dismantle drug cartels behind the production and distribution of methamphetamine, popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri, being abused by youths in parts of the country.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), disclosed this while addressing journalists at a press briefing at the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja, held to mark his first anniversary in charge of the Agency, on Monday.
According to a statement by NDLEA Spokesman, Femi Babafemi, Marwa challenged communities across Nigeria to take ownership of the war against drug abuse as those in South-East states are doing by standing up to those engaging in abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs.
Marwa was quoted as saying, “If you look at the preponderance of the dealers in drugs, I’m not saying anything new but the South-East has the predominance and that’s a fact. Who are the Boko Haram people? I know they are not Yoruba and I know they are not people from Edo, but if you go to the North-West and ask who are the bandits, I know they are not from Cross River or from Lagos. If you ask the people doing the human trafficking, the women, you know from where. So definitely, we have the preponderance of the drug dealers from the South-East, but what more do you have; the greatest efforts by communities to rid the country and their communities of drug use are from the South-East. Clearly, in the same South-East, they are doing two things; first, they are telling their fellow travellers who are not decent that look you are the very few who are spoiling our names here. Stop it!
“And more importantly, they are ridding their communities of drug abuse, they have taken the ownership of the war themselves against drug abuse especially the Mkpuru Mmiri. By the way, we have set up a special task force to face that challenge and very soon you would hear and see the results of our efforts.
“In essence, what I am saying is that I am now taking the South-East as an example for all the other communities in Nigeria. This war has to start from the bottom, from the communities; set up your War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, Committees. In every community, you are the ones who know those patent medicine stores that sell drugs, the mai shayi, those at the corner ends of the streets who sell and hawk drugs, you know the traffickers and you know those who use them. Take this war to your communities because you know these people, cleanse your communities, and take ownership of this war and the NDLEA will always be there to back you up. However, the NDLEA does not and will not support the flogging of the culprits and some of the other human rights abuses. We will be there to support you with counselling and treatments. And I urge the entire country to take an example of the ownership of the war against drug abuse from the South East.”
Marwa attributed the successes recorded in the drug war in the past year to God, support of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), National Assembly, Minister of Justice and other stakeholders including international partners such as UNODC, EU, and foreign governments as well as local CSOs and NGOs.
He listed the arrest of 12, 306 suspects, including seven drug barons; conviction of 1, 400 offenders; seizure of over 3.4 million kilograms of assorted drugs; drugs and cash worth over N130 billion and the counselling and rehabilitation of 7, 761 drug users as some of the achievements recorded in 2021 in the area of operation.
While promising to build on the foundation laid in 2021, Marwa said the Agency under his leadership now has a clear roadmap to the future.
He said, “The Agency has come a long way. And there is still a long way to go. We have a clear vision of where we are headed, and there is a roadmap to that destination. Today, the improvement in our fortune as an organisation is driving the NDLEA workforce to continue to push for the attainment of organisational goals and fulfilment of our core mandate of securing our country against the drug scourge. We all believe in the vision of the new NDLEA and we are committed to its mission. Our mandate is to ensure a drug-free Nigeria. We shall continue to play our role towards the achievement of that goal.”
Diri rules out payment of ransom for kidnapped commissioner’s release
Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has ruled out the payment of ransom to secure the release of the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr Federal Otokito.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Otokito was kidnapped on Thursday at his country home, Otuokpoti in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
A statement by Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Monday urged youths of the state to shun kidnapping, which the governor described as counter-productive.
Diri called for the immediate and unconditional release of the commissioner, vowing that the state’s laws against kidnapping would be followed to the letter.
He said, “I left Yenagoa for Abuja and within the period one of my cabinet members was kidnapped. A lot of people expected me to make statements but I am not a man of too many words.
“I advise those who settle scores by kidnapping and criminality that there are laws of Bayelsa State against kidnapping.
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“Let me call on those that kidnapped my Commissioner of Trade and Investment to immediately release him without any conditions.
“I have been on it from the beginning till now and I will ensure that he is released unhurt.
“I advise all others involved in that criminal, ungodly and inhumane act to have a change of mind and leave that illegitimate business.’’
It was gathered that the gunmen who abducted the commissioner had demanded the release of the father of their leader, who is in police custody as condition to free Otokito.
They were said to have contacted the paramount ruler of Otuokpoti to demand the swap of the father of their leader with the commissioner.(NAN)