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Dasuki Reels out Weapons

Senator Ireogbu 
The immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), has opened up on how the previous administration of President Goodluck Jonathan facilitated the acquisition of once elusive weapons in the last one-year and recovered many local governments in the North-east, which were occupied by Boko Haram terrorists.
Sambo, who has come under scrutiny since his homes in Abuja and Sokoto were invaded by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) three days after he was relieved of his post by President Muhammadu Buhari, named some of the acquisitions to include Alpha jets, armoured personnel carriers (APCs), mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, advanced artillery pieces, assorted arms and ammunition, highly sophisticated surveillance drones, T72 Russian battle tanks, and carried out modifications to F7 supersonic fighter jets.
In a statement by PRNigeria, a media advisory to federal government security agencies, Dasuki said: “The armoured tanks have comprehensive NBC protection system, just as we deployed mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles that we bought and could withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and ambushes. The vehicles protected our troops from the land mine threats.
“We are glad that we also provided assorted armoured personnel carriers to transport troops to the battlefield. They are armed for self-defence and to provide protection from attacks from shrapnel and small arms fire.
“All these were acquired in the last one year after years of frustration by Western powers who denied us of the equipment and sabotaged our efforts to acquire same from other sources which are reasons for some delay in delivery.”
According to him, some other arms already paid for by the previous administration are due to be delivered soon.
“It was unfortunate that some elements are frustrating the efforts, as we even had to query some suppliers for delay in delivery of arms and ammunitions,” he added.
The former NSA disclosed: “We utilised some of these equipment to recover more than 22 local governments under Boko Haram terrorists and ensured that Shekau did not disrupt the 2015 elections as he had threatened.
“Not only did we ensure that the elections were peaceful, Shekau has never spoken to threaten anyone again since then.”
Responding to critics of the past administration on security issues, he said: “In attempting to rubbish individuals for whatever reasons, political or otherwise, we should be careful not to rubbish sensitive institutions and their personnel that might still be in active service.
“It is unfortunate that some elements hide under the cover of anonymity in the media to rubbish some of the sacrifices we made. They should take the courage to come out publicly by identifying themselves with their baseless allegations.”
But as Dasuki provided clarity on the procurement of weapons by the immediate past administration, Nigerian troops on Wednesday made a startling discovery while combing and clearing terrorists in and around Dikwa, Borno State.
According to a statement by the acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, during the painstaking operation, the troops discovered piles of street lamp poles cut into pieces by Boko Haram members used in making IEDs.
In another development, the army spokesman said during a cordon and search operation in Jakana village, the troops of 7 Division Garrison recovered 15 cows, 174 goats and a donkey from rustlers. The animals have since been handed over to their identified legitimate owners.
“The rustlers were apprehended and are currently undergoing investigation,” he added.
Similarly, troops at Jehu near Jakana, arrested Mai Mustapha, a fuel supplier to Boko Haram terrorists, and Madu who coordinated the purchase of food items from neighbouring villages for the terrorists.
In addition, Usman disclosed that troops blocked elements that attacked Dumbuluwa village in Fika Local Government Area of Yobe State and had an encounter with the terrorists thursday morning.
“The gallant soldiers killed eight terrorists. Unfortunately, two vigilante members were wounded by fragments from IEDs,” he said.
Meanwhile, the British government has re-affirmed its resolve to help Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
The British Deputy Chief of Defence Staff on Military Strategy and Operations, Lieutenant-General Gordon Messenger, made the statement when he and other senior British military officers paid a courtesy call on the Nigeria Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Major-General Gabriel Olonisakin, at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja.
A statement issued by DHQ spokesman, Col. Rabe Abubakar, said: “Lt-Gen Messenger stated that the essence of the visit of the senior British officials to Nigeria was to broaden the deep relations and re-energise the bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and Britain.
“He pointed out that they came to Nigeria for deliberations towards identifying the ideal area of collaboration to be adopted in the fight against the insurgency and the best way to make it work.
“He stressed that the fight against terrorism is a multifaceted problem that demands strategy and careful exploration of grey areas in order to re-appraise the best support the British could offer.”
In his remark, the statement added, Olonisakin thanked the British officials for the visit and the determination of Britain to assist Nigeria.
“The CDS acknowledged all the assistance the Nigerian Armed Forces had enjoyed from Britain, especially in terms of training and retraining of our personnel for capacity building to crush the insurgents, Boko Haram.
“Major-General Olonisakin noted that the Nigerian Armed Forces is doing everything within its power to liquidate Boko Haram and its cells. This, the CDS said has received boost with the inauguration of new Multi-National Joint Task Force and the appointment of a Nigerian Commander.
“The MNJTF, he reiterated, is coordinating with the Nigerian military command and control centre in the North-east for effectiveness,” the statement added.
Present at the occasion were the British Assistant Chief of Defence Staff on Defence Engagement, Rear Admiral Simon Ancona, top officials of the British Embassy in Abuja and a list of high-ranking Nigerian military officers.

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