Nigerian military re-strategises against terrorism, piracy, bunkering

Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika19 October 2013, Lagos – The Military on Friday said it would re-strategise in the ongoing war against terrorism, piracy, sea robbery and bunkering.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, told newsmen in Lagos.

They spoke at the ongoing combined “African Winds’’ exercise with the American; British, Spanish and Dutch Navy in Lagos.

Ihejirika said the skills acquired by the Nigerian Army and Navy during the exercise, alongside the experiences shared with the navy from four nations, would enhance the war against insurgence and illegal bunkering.

“We went into the operation in the North-East without joint deployment training. Nevertheless, I am impressed with level of cooperation so far.

“We have taken concrete measures to improve the level of effectiveness of the operation, such as ground to air communication to enable the Nigerian Army and the Air force to communicate,” he said.

“Though, there has been limited success with the operation in the North-East, but I hope there will be improvement soon,” the COAS said.

On his part, Ezeoba described the joint exercise as a milestone achievement in the area of strategic partnership in the country, aimed at trying to ensure a secured and safe maritime space.

“Maritime security is a primary responsibility of everybody because the oceans and seas of the world are common heritage to mankind.

“The concerted efforts at the sub-regional and multi-regional levels are to ensure that we continue to cooperate and collaborate because that is a new paradigm in terms of security imperatives.

“There is no country that handle the challenges alone,” Ezeoba said.

The CNS, however, said that the exercise would further enhance human capacity and develop technical expertise.

According to him, this will further create the needed impetus to enhance maritime security, not just in Nigeria but in the Gulf of Guinea.

The exercise, which took place at Tarkwa Bay Island and featured beach landing of the troops, attack on enemies’ stronghold and their successful arrests, would be replicated in Calabar.

The troops are drawn from the 65 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Bonny Cantonment, Victoria Island, and the Special Boat Service, Navy Town, Ojo.

Area cover was provided by the Nigerian Naval Air Station, U.S. Marine Corps, Nigerian Naval Ships and special landing boats.

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