From Mustapha Isah Kwaru Maiduguri
The newly deployed Theater Commander for Operation Lafiya Dole, Major Gen Rogers Nicholas has vowed to unveil fresh counter-insurgency mechanisms to curb the lingering suicide bombings being waged by the Boko Haram elements in Borno state.
Major Gen. Nicholas dropped the hint in Maiduguri yesterday at a brief ceremony marking his formal take-over from the outgoing Theater Commander, Major Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, who was redeployed to Defence Headquarters.
He explained that terrorism and insurgency require unique security and intelligence strategies, saying the theater under his command is equal to the task.
According to him, the Nigerian Army has succeeded in disseminating the capability of the Boko Haram terrorists to launch open attacks on civilian or military locations.
The theater commander observed that for their desperation to remain relevant, the militia group resorted to suicide attacks on soft targets.
“Our troops remained committed and combat ready to ensure that terrorists continue having a sleepless night. Presently, they are disseminated; they are incapable of carrying out deadly attacks as they used to do. Their only tactics to show that they are relevant is through attacking soft targets through suicide bombings. The theater is assuring the public to remain calm as all necessary measures have been unmasked to deal with the ugly trend”, he declared.
Nicholas also noted that the theater command is poised to combat the pockets of ambush being carried out on its troops on various locations.
While highlighting his achievements, the outgoing Theater Commander, Major Gen. Attahiru, said he initiated several strategies targeted at dislodging the insurgents from their hide-outs and boosting the morale of the troops.
“On assumption of command based on the Chief of Army Staff campaign plan for Operation LAFIYA DOLE, I carried out a quick evaluation of the operational situation of the theatre was carried , resulting in the crucial decision to swiftly conduct the clearance operations that neutralised identified immediate threats posed by remnants of insurgents who were still seeking refuge in some remote areas within the theatre, particularly in the fringes of the north eastern international borders”
“This evaluation, also identified the need for each of the sectors in the theatre of operation to immediately establish Fire Support Coordination Cell (FSCC) which were employed continuously to degrade the BHT in their enclaves and staging areas”, he declared.
“These FSCC carried out artillery and aerial bombardments in conjunction with the Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on isolated Boko Haram enclaves killing several of them and destroying their logistic base”.
“Another upshot of the evaluation is the creation of dugouts along Boko Haram crossing points to deny the group freedom of action and stem the conduct of their nefarious activities. Additionally, the security architecture of the theatre was rejigged with the inauguration of Mobile Strike Teams (MSTs) in August 2017 to reinforce the Mobile Brigade Concept (MBC) adopted in the Theatre to facilitate the quick defeat of the insurgents.”
“In improving general operational vibrancy and troops’ responsiveness, a Special Forces In-theatre Training Team was set up in August 2017. The team has since then been touring units and formations within the theatre to retrain and refresh troops on the fundamental concepts and skills of marksmanship, convoy and anti-ambush drills among others,” Attahiru further added.