Weather Slowing Anti-terror War, Says Defence Chief | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Weather Slowing Anti-terror War, Says Defence Chief

Posted: Oct 19, 2015 at 9:07 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa, Abuja
The Nigerian military says adverse weather conditions in the Northeast have been a major challenge to its efforts defeating Boko Haram terrorists.?

Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi ? Olonishaki, made this known at the Presidential Villa on Monday after he led other service chiefs to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He reiterated the President’s position in a recent interview granted to a foreign television station that heavy rains ?were slowing the anti-terror game-plan.

Olo?nishaki told journalists after the meeting that nonetheless, there has been no consideration of an extension of the three-month deadline – which ends this December – that Buhari gave to the military to defeat the Boko Haram insurgents.?

?He disclosed that another challenge was in terms of logistics but that the President gave directives for action to be taken on that to boost the military operations.

The defence chief said the team was in the Villa for “a normal consultation to intimate him (Buhari) of the issues on ground. We briefed him on the security situation on ground after a 60-day review and we had to brief him on the challenges we have and ensure that the mandate we have is properly delivered.

“The challenges we are looking at are the issues of probably, the weather as it were and some other logistics that we feel we should have so that the mandate can be quickly delivered.”

Asked what the President’s response was, he said “he is very excited, very happy. As for our request, he gave the mandate.”

Also asked if there was any consideration of extension of the deadline, Olonishaki said “we have not said that.

“The mandate is that we should clear Boko Haram from the occupied territories and ensure that we reclaim all the lost ground. That is exactly what we are doing.”

On whether the the December deadline mandate was still feasible, he replied: “It is a military operation and military operations have time-lines and these time-lines, we are working on them assiduously.”

?He added that the US and United Kingdom were assisting Nigeria with some capacity building but no hardware yet.

According to him: “When we get there, we will let you know. They have been involved in some capacity building and of course when we get the tangible ones, we will let you know about it.”?

?Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Aliyu Ismaila, who accompanied the military chiefs to the meeting, concurred that the parley was essentially to brief the President on the efforts made so far and that he directed that the generals to continue the onslaught as he was confident in their ability.

“We are here to brief the president on the situation of what the armed forces have been doing in the Northeast and the South-South. That is exactly what we discussed with Mr. President.

“The directive (from president) is that we should continue what we have been doing and in the next few days, there will be another meeting.

“But by and large the president is excited and confident that the leadership of the Nigerian armed forces that he puts in will do us proud”, he stated.