Abuja and Maiduguri — Apparently worried by the challenges the country is facing in sourcing weapons to prosecute the ongoing war on terror, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Federal Ministry of Defence to produce a plan for the establishment of a modest Military Industrial Complex for the local production of weapons to meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces.
Also on Friday, eight members of the terrorists Boko Haram sect in Mussa, Askira/Uba Local Government Area of troubled Borno State denounced their membership of the sect.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the National Defence College, Buhari described as unacceptable, Nigeria’s current over-dependence on other countries for critical military equipment and logistics.
The President said: “We must evolve viable mechanisms for near-self-sufficiency in military equipment and logistics production complemented only by very advanced foreign technologies.
“The Ministry of Defence is being tasked to draw up clear and measurable outlines for development of a modest Military Industrial Complex for Nigeria.
“In this regard, it is to liaise with other strategic MDAs and industries to re-engineer the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to meet national military hardware and logistics requirements.”
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said Buhari told the gathering that his administration had since assumption of office, reviewed the nature and character of Nigeria’s security threats and challenges.
“We recognised first and foremost, the external dimensions of these threats and the need for international cooperation and common security mechanisms to tackle them,” Buhari said.
The President added that in the light of this realisation, his administration was convinced that the best approach was to work within the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to mobilise a collective regional effort in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
He urged the graduates, officers and men of the Armed Forces to work harder to win the war against Boko Haram, terrorism and insurgency. “We must apply a comprehensive strategy and coordinate all elements of national power against terrorism and insurgency; we must show result oriented leadership at all levels of military command; we must set up an optimal organisation to manage and sustain operational performance; and we must show confidence and winning mentality,” Buhari told them.
The President assured that the federal government under his leadership would strive to meet the operational, logistic, training and welfare requirements of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
He also reaffirmed his commitment to ameliorating the hardships of people living in areas most affected by insurgency and terrorism. “We have the will, resolve and conviction to apply a comprehensive strategy and coordinate all elements of national power against terrorism and insurgency,” the President reassured Nigerians and the international community.
Buhari said that the National Defence College had fulfilled the vision of its founding fathers, by becoming a strategic human capacity-building institution, making credible contributions to Nigeria and other friendly countries.
The President urged graduates of the College’s Course 23 to resolve to “make a marked difference in your future deployments and contribute your quota to the evolution and implementation of national security, defence and military strategies.”
“You should be the source that lights up the environment wherever you find yourselves”, he charged.
Repentant Terrorists Renounce Boko Haram Membership in Borno… Eight Boko Haram members in Mussa, Askira/Uba Local Government Area of troubled Borno State have denounced their membership of the sect, the Chairman of the youth vigilance group in the town, Apagu Istifanus told journalists on telephone on Friday.
He said the eight claimed they were tired of killing innocent souls. Istifanus said the eight were arrested in Mussa and after interrogations, they said they were tired of killing innocent people, “that was why they denounced the membership of the sect and moved into the town.”
“Yes we arrested eight Boko Haram in Mussa around 4pm on Thursday and when we interrogated them, they said they were tired, they don’t want to wage Jihad again and we handed them over to the military in Mubi, Adamawa state,” he said
He revealed that six out of the arrested members of the deadly sect were from Gwoza.
Meanwhile, residents of Miringa Town in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State have decried the locking up of the town by the military authorities for the last six days, lamenting that they had been made to go without food, water and other basic necessities of life.
A resident of the town, Abubakar Aliyu told journalists on phone that they were locked up in their homes since last Saturday, 1st August 2015 without prior notice and not allowed to replenish basic necessities.
“The military authorities should allow us go out and look for food and water. They should also allow us to go to our farms, as we are in August and if care is not taken, our farms will be taken over by weed,” Aliyu pleaded.
A security source who does not want his name in print told our correspondent on phone that they locked up the town because they were conducting house to house search and that there was also an ongoing operation in the bushes of the area.