Abiodun OBA

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has expressed appreciation to the citizens and residents of the North-east region for genuinely supporting the ongoing intensive clearance operations by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

The CDS gave the kudos while speaking at a parley with military veterans in the North-east held in Yola, capital of Adamawa State.

In a statement issued by Defence Headquarters Irabor also allayed fears over the 1,200 insurgents, who recently surrendered to troops in the North-east.

North-east communities have protested the development and the likelihood of reintegration of the terrorists after they left a trail of blood and destruction in the region.

He assured the people that the military would deal with the matter in the interest of the region.

“On the recent fear and apprehension making rounds about the mass surrendering of BH/ISWAP ex-members, the CDS reassured residents and Nigerians in general to trust the relevant agencies that have been tasked with responsibilities of planning the rehabilitation of repented insurgents.

“According to him, the AFN would deal with the matter for the good of the region, as there will be no loose ends”.

Gen. Irabor posited that the solutions to the region’s security challenges lie in the region as he was optimistic that the situation would get better and better in the days ahead.

The defence chief urged the military veterans to take full advantage of the security parley in evaluating the various military operations as their patriotic and constructive assessment of the general security situation would add value to the ongoing military offensive and clearance operations.

“What remains very clear is the desire and will of the AFN to speedily turn around the fortune of the NE to a state where everyone will be happy again,” the CDS averred.

The CDS described the attack on Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) officers’ residential quarters, as more of criminal activities associated with the normal banditry action which the military was already on the matter.

The Chief of Defence Civil Military Cooperation (CDCIMIC), Rear Admiral Fredrick Ogu, announced that the one-day security parley included the Chief of Defence Intelligence brief on the general security situation in NE, group presentations by the participants and the interactive session.

Earlier in his welcome address, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Division Nigerian Army (NA), Major General Ismaila Ali, who was represented by the Commander 23 Brigade NA, Brigadier General Aminu Garba, commended the Defence Headquarters for the laudable initiative of tapping from the wealth of experience of the retired senior officers.

The CDCIMIC urged the veterans to make useful contributions towards the goal of securing the NE zone and the country at large.

According to the GOC, the cross fertilisation of ideas between the current leadership of the Armed Forces and its veterans was tailored to finding workable ideas in surmounting the contemporary security challenges bedeviling the Nation.

Notable among the top military brass that attended the parley were the Chief of Defence Administration, Rear Admiral Mohammed Adamu and the Air Officer Commanding, Special Operations Command, Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo.

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