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Nigeria’s Army Chief Lagbaja Vows To Defeat Insurgents, Bandits

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Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has on Monday, declared that the military establishment remained committed to defeating insurgents, armed bandits, and other non-state actors troubling the country.

Lagbaja reiterated the loyalty of the Nigerian Army to the country’s constitution and President Bola Tinubu.

His comments came as troops sustained the onslaught against armed bandits in Zamfara and Katsina states, killing 11 bandits.

Lagbaja, in his goodwill message at Easter, said the military was committed to routing non-state actors unsettling the country.

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He stated, “The Nigerian Army remains committed, determined, and focused on ensuring the total defeat of insurgents, marauding bandits, and all other forms of external and internal aggressions disturbing the peace of the country.”

He said the Easter celebration “reminds us of the duties and sacrifices we must make towards God, humanity, and our beloved country.

“It also provides an opportunity to appreciate the love of God displayed through the sacrifices of our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind.”

Lagbaja said the welfare of military personnel remained his priority.

He said, “ln line with my command’s philosophy, to transform the Nigerian Army into a well-trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities, I have ensured the implementation of quality training and equipping toward combating the myriads of security threats confronting the nation. 

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“Under my leadership, the Nigerian Army has continued to record tremendous successes in various operations at home and abroad. You all can attest to our achievements so far, especially in the ongoing Operation Hadin Kai in the North-eastand other internal security operations nationwide. 

“As we continue to push towards the final onslaught on the adversaries troubling our nation, I assure you that the welfare of officers and soldiers, including training and provision of the needed equipment, will always be prioritised to enable us to discharge our constitutional responsibilities effectively.”

Consoling the military on the recent death of their colleagues in Delta State, he urged them to remain committed to the discharge of their duties.

Lagbaja said, in a statement he personally signed, “While still grieving the recent unwarranted and gruesome murder of our colleagues in Okuama community of Delta State, which occurred on 14 March 2024, I urge you all to remain steadfast, diligent, and committed to the discharge of our constitutional responsibilities. 

“I encourage you to continue to pray for the repose of the souls of our departed colleagues, who paid the supreme price for the noble cause of keeping our beloved country safe. 

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“I will continue to prioritise the welfare of our officers, soldiers, and families, including those of our departed colleagues.”

Meanwhile, troops sustained the onslaught against armed bandits in Zamfara and Katsina states killing 11 bandits.

A separate statement by Nigerian Army Headquarters said troops deployed for counterterrorism, counterinsurgency operations in Katsina and Zamfara states, in a series of coordinated operations, raided terrorists’ enclaves, resulting in the elimination of 11 terrorists.

The statement signed by army spokesman, Maj Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, said, “In an operation in Zamfara State, on March 29, 2024,  troops successfully raided the den of a notorious terrorists’ kingpin, Hassan Yantagwaye, in Tsafe Local Government Area. 

“Yantagwaye and his group have been responsible for kidnappings and acts of terrorism in some parts of North-west Nigeria. 

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“During the operation, troops overpowered the terrorists in an ensuing gun battle, neutralising three of them and recovering a large cache of arms and ammunition. Troops also destroyed the terrorists’ camps.”

The statement further said that in Katsina State, the troops, on March 30, 2024, engaged in a fierce gun battle with terrorists in Shawu Kuka, Shinda, Tafki, GidanSurajo, and Citakushi in Kabai I and Kabai II within Faskari Local Government Area. 

It said, “The troops neutralised eight terrorists and recovered three locally fabricated guns, military uniforms and a large quantity of stolen grains.”

 Kingsley Nwezeh

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