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Published On: Tue, Dec 19th, 2017

Terror war: Buhari extends tenure of service chiefs

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• As B/Haram ambushes UN workers, kills 4

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the tenure of the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, confirmed the approval in a statement by his Public Relations Officer, Colonel Tukur Gusau, on Monday.
He said that the President extended the tenures “having carefully reviewed the ongoing military operations across the country.”
This means that the CDS, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin, the army chief, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, the Air Chief, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the Naval Chief, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, will continue in office He was, however, silent on the number of years by which the president extended the tenure of the service chiefs.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has confirmed the killing of four civilians as Boko Haram attacked World Food Programme (WFP’s) trucks on Saturday in Borno.
The Army gave the confirmation yesterday even after it had denied the killing of civilians in an attack coordinated by the Boko Haram insurgents against the WFP trucks.
Recall that a convoy supplying trucks alleged to be of the UN World Food Programme carrying IDP foods on their way to Gamboru Ngala came under attack Saturday afternoon around Musuni village in northern Borno.
An agency of the UN, the World Food Programme (WFP), had said its driver and his assistant were among four people killed when Boko Haram attacked food trucks despite military escort.
The WFP made the claim in an email to an online news medium on Sunday.
It also said food trucks were taken to an unknown destination by the insurgents.
In a statement released by Col O Nwachukwu Deputy Director Public Relations Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole on Monday, the Command dismissed the report of the killing and ambush of UN staff by the terrorist group.
But the statement confirmed that four died in an encounter with the Boko Haram, but were not staff of the UN.
The statement reads:
Contrary to the information currently making the rounds in a section of the media that four United Nations staff had been killed and four trucks conveying food for internally displaced persons were carted away, the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole wishes to state that the report grossly misrepresents the true situation of the incident as none of the casualties in the encounter has been identified as a staff of the UN.
In setting the record straight, it is necessary to state here that a patrol escorting a convoy of civilian vehicles to Logomani encountered an ambush staged by elements of Boko Haram insurgents at Maula village along Dikwa-Ngala trans sahara highway which resulted in a firefight between troops and the insurgents.
The troops however fought through the ambush, overpowered the insurgents and killed six of them.
The troops also captured 3 AK 47 rifles, 3 locally fabricated fire arms, 4 magazines and a belt of 7.62 mm ammunition. Sadly four persons died in the encounter. Although none of the persons killed in the ambush has so far been identified as a staff of the UN, this Headquarters considers the lives of all citizens and indeed all humans sacrosanct, which must be protected by troops even at a supreme price.
The situation has been brought under control and further exploitation of the general area is currently being carried out by Mobile strike Team of Operation Lafiya Dole.

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