Posted by News Express | 21 January 2014 | 3,558 times
Nigeria’s new Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, took office yesterday with a promise to end the Boko Haram insurgency by April. The insurgency was once widespread in the northern part of the country but is now restricted to the North-East – mainly in Borno State where Boko Haram originated.
Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, Air Marshall Badeh said: “The security situation in the North-East must be brought to a stop by April so that we do not have constitutional problems on our hands. If we do our work cohesively, I can tell you, we will finish that thing in no time.”
Badeh warned the terrorists that the military would come after them no matter where they were hiding. He pledged to ensure the welfare of officers and soldiers to enhance their performance.
During the ceremony, the new Service Chiefs received the symbols of authority from their predecessors. Under the shake-up announced last Thursday (January 16) by President Goodluck Jonathan, Air Marshal replaced Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim; Major General Kenneth Minimah took over as Chief of Army Staff from Lt.-General Azubike Ihejirika; Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin succeeded Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu took over from Air Marshal Badeh as Chief of Air Staff.
The new military commanders assumed office hours after gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members on Sunday night attacked Alau Ngawo Fate village in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, killing 18 people.
An eyewitness, Isa Yakubu, said: “We were shocked and terrified with the night attacks by suspected Boko Haram insurgents, as some of us were asleep when the attackers set our houses ablaze.
“My neighbours fled into the nearby bush, but the gunmen chased some of them and tied their hands to the back, before slitting the throats of some of the villagers.
“I cannot tell you the exact number of casualties of Sunday night’s multiple attacks, but the truth is that these insurgents don’t want us to live here in peace. Now that everything is destroyed by these gunmen, how do the surviving ones continue with life here in this village?”
Spokesman of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Mohammed Dole, and Borno State Police Commissioner, Lawal Tanko, confirmed the incident, but said they were yet to get detailed information on the number of casualties.
•Photo shows Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh.
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