Chief Of Army Staff’s Press Briefing To Kickstart Exercise Harbin Kunama III
I am delighted to be in your midst today for the Press Briefing preparatory to Exercise HARBIN KUNAMA III. The exercise was planned to hold from 2 – 27 Jun 19 in the Nigerian Army Forecast of Events but current threat assessment necessitated the re-scheduling of the exercise and the expansion of its mandate to cover forest areas that have served as SAFE HAVENS for bandits. As you may be aware, the menace of banditry activities has continued to persist in some parts of the North West region and along the border areas. The unwholesome and dastardly acts of these bandits have adversely affected the socio-economic activities in these areas with attendant effect on human and economic security. It has also led to deaths and maiming of innocent people with the attendant wanton destruction of properties.
It is on this premise that Ex HARBIN KUNAMA III is planned to mitigate the current threats to security in Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States. Specifically, the exercise is designed to decisively eliminate all forms of banditry activities with a view to ensuring lasting peace in the affected areas. In this regard, the exercise would complement the existing Op SHARAN DAJI security architecture emplaced in the affected states. I wish to assure the good people of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States that the NA will carry out its constitutional mandate professionally and within the ambit of the law while adhering to the ROE. Additionally, the Nigerian Army will continue to support the non-kinetic efforts of the civil authority to combat criminality and banditry as well as prevent it from gaining traction and spreading to other relatively peaceful regions of the country.
I must also commend officers and men of the NA for their display of courage and gallantry in dealing with the myriad of security challenges confronting the nation especially the insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West and other forms of criminality in other parts of the country in a most professional manner. I want to re-assure you that the Nigerian Army leadership will continue to provide troops with all the equipment and necessary support to combat all of these menaces within available resources. I also want to acknowledge and appreciate the support of the Nigeria Police and other security agencies for your excellent collaboration and cooperation with our troops. We are all encouraged to ensure this synergy towards leveraging our collective security efforts continue unabated.
I will like to appreciate the Executive Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari as well as the Executive Governors of Katsina and Sokoto States, for their continued support to the NA. I want to once again thank the Government and good people of Zamfara state for being wonderful hosts in providing and supporting us with infrastructural development at the Nigerian Army Barracks in Gusau. This magnanimous gesture has ensured the seamless relocation of 1 Brigade and its affiliate units from Sokoto to Gusau. I also want to use this opportunity to appeal to the good people of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states to cooperate with the NA and other security agencies by providing useful and credible information on activities of criminal elements in order to ensure focused application of our kinetic efforts to achieve our campaign objectives. Indeed, I urge you to claim ownership of this endeavor because we can never succeed in ridding your states of bandits and criminal elements without your active support. I will not end this address without expressing our immense gratitude to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces, Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the NA. Indeed, Mr President’s continued support has significantly enhanced the combat effectiveness and morale of troops.
It is on this note that I am pleased to thank members of the press and all those who have taken time to grace this event. Be rest assured of the commitment of the Nigerian Army to sustain the existing liaison and synergy that have ensured seamless media operations over time.
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