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Banditry, terrorism may increase next year, Army Chief warns

THE Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, has warned commanders of various theatres of operation to brace up for a possible increase in attacks by bandits and terrorists among other criminal elements disturbing the peace of the nation.

He gave the warning yesterday in Abuja while addressing senior officers at the closing ceremony of the COAS Annual Conference 2021.

“We must take the fight to the adversary in order to neutralise and defeat them,” the army chief said in his charge to officers and soldiers fighting insecurity in various parts of the country.

“Commanders are also urged to develop contingency plans to ensure our forces always retain the initiative in all our theatres of operation. In that vein, commanders must plan for the possible increase in scope and dimension of the activities of violent state actors in the coming year.”

Yahaya added that the conference was declared open on Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Iraboh.

He stated that in the course of the event, participants discussed salient issues affecting the performance of the army’s constitutional roles and the sustenance of professionalism.

According to the army chief, participants also deliberated the various security issues plaguing the nation, including the activities of bandits, terrorists, and secessionists among others.

As a result, he hinted that the focus of the army for the coming year would be on developing more capacities for improved performances across board.

“Emphasis will be placed on both individual and unit training that will enhance teamwork and professionalism,” Yahaya disclosed.

“In this regard, I urge commanders and commandants of the Nigerian Army apropos to ensure they conduct realistic training in their various institutions to ensure our officers and soldiers are equipped with the right skills and competencies to confront criminal elements in the various theatres of operation

“Furthermore, commanders must ensure that their troops master the art of night operations and anti-ambush drills by engaging in effective night operations and anti-ambush drill training.”

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