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Nigeria: Military Operations in 36 States Draining Resources, Defence Chief Irabor Says

The Chief Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Monday, said military operations in the 36 states of the federation have constituted a drain on the finances of the military.

The Chief Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Monday, said military operations in the 36 states of the federation have constituted a drain on the finances of the military.

The defence chief spoke as he inaugurated the maiden Joint Operations Planning Exercise (JOPEX) codenamed “Exercise Sky Lock” for participants of Army, Naval and Air Force War Colleges in Abuja.

At the same time, the Nigerian Army has said the ongoing military operations in parts of the country did not amount to an occupation of the South-east region.

However, speaking on the impact of the operation on Army’s finances, Irabor said the military was engaged in internal security operations in all the 36 states of the nation as well as the FCT.

“This has put a strain on our available resources committed to the ongoing counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations in the North-east”, he said.

According to him, the exercise was built around contemporary, realistic, and real-time security event in Nigeria and also marked the culmination of several moments of significant efforts towards developing the skills of participants of the three colleges in operational arts, design and decision-making process amongst others.

According to the CDS, the exercise was another milestone in the professional military education and profile of the Nigerian military in its quest to properly equip its officers for present and future assignments.

“As think tanks of the armed forces of Nigeria, our war colleges are indeed laboratories and incubation centres for the production of military operational level plans as well as measurement of performance and effectiveness of subsisting plans with a view to reviewing them for enhanced effectiveness.

“To this end, the product of this joint operations planning exercise will form part of the military decision making cycle for some ongoing and future operations. This further underscores the significance of this science and the resources committed to each actualisation.

“Today’s event, therefore, provides an opportunity to kick start an enduring tradition for the colleges that will enshrine joint planning culture at the military operational leadership level,” he said.

Also, speaking at a briefing in Abuja, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said the ongoing Nigeria Army Exercises Still Water, Golden Dawn and Enduring Peace led to the arrest of 76 suspected criminals nationwide and rescue of 37 kidnapped victims.

“It is crucial to dispel the unfounded narrative that the ongoing exercises are aimed at military occupation of the South-east. Contrary to this insinuation, the deployment of troops of the Nigerian Army is not only in the South-east Nigeria but also in the troubled parts of the country, particularly, in the North-west and North-eastern Nigeria, where troops are conducting major operations to tackle more threatening national security challenges,” he said.

He, however, said the exercise covered 20 states and the FCT, adding: “Note that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya on 4 October flagged off Exercises Still Waters Enduring Peace and Golden Dawn in the South-South, South-west, North-central and South-east zones respectively.

“On the whole, these exercises cover 20 states and the FCT. Furthermore, these exercises are traditionally scheduled to hold in the last quarter of the year to checkmate all forms of crimes as the yuletide season approaches.

“As it stands today, troops have maintained an offensive posture, conducting several kinetic operations in the forms of raids on criminal hideouts and patrols amongst others. So far, all the exercises have recorded significant successes. I will go through each subsequently by way of reporting,” he said.

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