The Defence Headquarters has said the recent promotion of Chief of Training and Operations at the Army Headquarters Lamidi O. Adeosun to the rank of Lieutenant general has implications.
Commander–in-Chief of the Armed Forces President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday approved the accelerated promotion of Adeosun and Brigadier-General A.B Biu, General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander Sector 2 Operation LAFIYA DOLE Maiduguri, to the rank of lieutenant general and major-general respectively.
Acting Director Army Public Relations Colonel Sagir Musa said Tuesday in a statement in Abuja that the officers were promoted “for their extra-ordinary feats, courage, exemplary leadership, loyalty, uncommon commitment and valour in the counter insurgency operation in the North-eastern part of the country.”
Following Adeosun’s promotion, there were speculations in some quarters that the elevation which put the army chief on the same rank with Chief of Army Staff Yusuf Tukur Buratai might upset the military hierarchy.
Clearing the air however, Acting Director Directorate of Defence Information Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said the promotion of the CTOP was a reward for excellence and commitment and dedication in the service of the nation, especially in the quest to degrade Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east.
Nwachukwu, who spoke Wednesday when he led a team of directorate of defence information personnel to the corporate headquarters of Blueprint newspapers, Abuja Wednesday, said Adeosun’s promotion was an acknowledgement of hard work by a relentless officer whose resolve remains the success of the counter-terrorism operations against Boko Haram.
Rather than having any negative implications, the defence spokesman said, it was one with “implications plus,” as it would spur officers and men to dedication and commitment to service.
“Here is an officer who was the pioneer General Officer Commanding the 7 Division based in Maiduguri, Borno state, Commander Operation Lafiya Dole and was later redeployed to head the Multi-National Joint Task Force headquarters in Chad,” Nwachukwu said.
Nwachukwu said the army chief also led operations that “successfully degraded Boko Haram and boxed the insurgents into a corner.”
“Boko Haram is now reduced to pockets of attacks, particularly on soft spots, and Lt-General Adeosun’s operations had pushed the insurgents further into the forest. So, we are talking about a man of valour, dedicated, committed, who would spare nothing to root out these terrorists. Officers and men rejoiced on his elevation,” he said.
While dismissing claims that the elevation suggests the likelihood of having two captains in a ship, Nwachukwu said that could not be possible in the military where hierarchy is not taken for granted.
He said the implications in respect of being equated with the COAS would be farfetched, saying this would rather ginger other officers and men to commit their all in the defence of the nation having seen that their selfless endeavours would be meritoriously rewarded.
“There are no negative implications to this promotion, rather it is implications plus and nothing negative as these will promote loyalty, dedicated service, valour, commitment and excellence among the rank and file. It is also an acknowledgement of uncommon commitment with far reaching implications for the morale of rank and file.”
He further said every officer has Adeosun’s elevation as reference point for hard work, stating that not only would they be committed to service of the nation in the battle field, but that in event of fatality in the course of this service, they would be rewarded and in event of death, their dependants would be taken care of.
Nwachukwu also said the promotion further demonstrated and showed Buratai as “one person with a large heart” by recommending his subordinate to the same rank with him.
On the operations in the North-east, he said troops were now on the offensive as the insurgents were increasingly being decimated, thus weakening their base and factionalising their ranks.
The defence spokesman who said troops were paying a price in the fight against insurgency lauded Blueprint’s coverage of the troops operations and called for further support from the media and the entire citizens in an effort to stem the tide of insurgency and other security challenges in the country.
He also said the coordinated operation against the bandits under the supervision of Chief of Defense Staff Abayomi Olanisakin had started yielding the required results with the hoodlums being smoked out from their dens.
Welcoming the team, Chief Operating Blueprint Newspapers Officer Salisu Umar, commended the military for standing for the citizens at this period of the nation’s life.
Umar, who said the company would always be ready to give necessary support to the military, also called on the defence headquarters on the need to partner the organisation on some vital areas.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the federal government would continue to give priority attention to the operational requirements and welfare of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Osinbajo, who was the reviewing officer, made the remark Wednesday during the Passing out Parade of 187 Direct Short Service Course 28 at the Military Training Centre (MTC), Nigerian Air Force Base Kaduna.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant Media, Laolu Akande said the vice president said in a few years, Nigeria would become “by far, the greatest military force in Africa.”
He appreciated the armed forces for effectively containing the territorial ambitions of the Boko Haram terrorists by substantially degrading their capacity to attack and wreak havoc.
He assured Nigerians that threats of ISWAP, bandits and other criminals would be effectively contained to secure the country.
The vice president said the military should deploy effective propaganda to diminish the efforts of insurgents now using the social media to dish out falsehood to shore up their non-existing strength.
“There is also the threat of the Islamic State of West Africa Province ISWAP in the Lake Chad Islands and part of Southern Borno.
“Also, more often these days, these insurgents are focusing on soft targets, opportunistic attacks on isolated military units, as well as on increasingly sophisticated propaganda aimed at making them out to be more organised and lethal than they really are.
“This ever-increasing reliance on propaganda is a reminder that this is not only a ‘battleground’ war; it is just as much an information-and-narrative war.
“Winning hearts and minds has always been important in military warfare; it is even more so in a century defined by information and communication technologies.
“As 21st century military officers, how you project your strength and confidence to your enemies and the world, especially using social and digital media tools, is as important as the sophistication of the conventional arms and ammunition that you wield.
“But to do so effectively also means that you must take the time and trouble to fully understand the nature of the threats that confront us, the narratives and philosophies that underlie those threats,” Osinbajo said.
Osinbajo said the clashes between crop farmers and pastoralists, as well as the incidences of kidnapping, armed banditry and militancy were being effectively contained.
He said the federal government, in collaboration with state governors, were reviewing the security architecture of the country.
He said: “This has involved not just the armed forces but in particular the police who have recently announced their community policing strategy.
“This initiative involves the recruitment and training of policemen in each local government and ensuring that such new policemen remain in their local governments working with local and traditional authorities to maintain peace and security.
“As the president has said, security is a 24-hour occupation involving continuous investments in strategy and innovation.
“We will continue to take all necessary measures to tackle all forms of criminality across the country, and to safeguard lives and property of all Nigerians.”
He said the Nigerian Air Force had continued to be at the forefront of national security interventions, using “extremely successful digitally accurate bombings of terrorist hideouts.”
He listed such efforts to include the April destruction of Boko Haram mechanic workshop in Borno.
“Also in May, the air strikes on Tumbun Hamma on the fringes of Lake Chad, inflicting heavy casualties on ISWAP forces under Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE and the air strikes on Sambisa Forest further eliminating insurgents.”
To the cadets, Osinbajo reminded them of their responsibilities to Nigeria.
“We are Africa’s largest economy by GDP – states of Nigeria have larger economies than many African states. We have become the last frontier for major economic growth.
“We are the world’s largest growers of cassava and yams, we are top 5 in the world in sorghum, millet, we are approaching self-sufficiency in paddy rice production.
“Our potential in technology and entertainment has been attracting huge attention, first is the market. At 174 million GSM phones we are top ten telephone users in the world, and we have the highest percentage of people who use internet on their phones in the world.
“We are also number two in mobile internet banking in the world, 17 million Nigerians are on Facebook.
“Microsoft has announced that it will establish a 100 million dollar African Development Centre in Nigeria.
“We are already building our own drones. But not only are we building drones, we are also making spare parts for our aircrafts.
“We are also manufacturing armoured personnel carriers, and all sorts of different military platforms.
“All of these are things that Nigerians are doing in this country. Just last week, we saw, at the Army Day, sophisticated mine sweepers that are manufactured in this country.
“In a few short years, this country will be, by far, the greatest military force in Africa and certainly the most developed economy in Africa.”
“This is both the end of one important journey, and the start of another, longer and potentially more fulfilling one. We rejoice with you and with your families, friends and loved ones.
“As you already know, this profession you have chosen requires discipline, loyalty and hard work.
“It is much more than just securing a job, or earning a salary; and more than just getting the chance to wear a coveted uniform or wield coveted weapons,” he said.
Osinbajo added that the ultimate aim of the service was to defend the territorial integrity of the country, “and to put your life on the line for the safety and welfare of millions of your country men and women,” he said.