By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Army has deployed four newly acquired Mine Resistant Anti-Ambush Personnel (MRAP) Vehicles to the theatre of counter insurgency operations in the Northeast.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udoh, inducted the vehicles on Tuesday in Maigumeri super camp in Maiduguri.
The ceremony also included sallah celebration and lunch with troops of special forces in their camp as well as the tour of the camp under renovation by the army.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the MRAPS which was handed over to the Special Forces Command, was unveiled by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, in July.
Buratai said the MRAP vehicles would offer increased firepower, enhanced force protection against small arms as well as improved capability.
He said that the induction ceremony was a boost to operational capability to decisively prosecute the ongoing counterterrorism operations.
He, however warned that deploying the equipment without strong will and determination by men, cannot win war.
“You must therefore remain resolute in the discharge of your duties while strengthening your commitment to end this war in no distant time.
“Let me assure you that we shall continue to give due priority and attention to specialised training as well as improve welfare for effective employment of special forces.
“You will recall that the Nigerian Army Special Forces Command was established recently to coordinate deployment and employment of all Special Forces across the country.
“This has brought about effective and efficient utilisation of special forces within the theatre of operation.
“The recent recapture of Baga by the special forces is most instructive in this regard,” he said.
While commending efforts of the special forces, Buratai said their acts of gallantry, selfless sacrifice and professional conduct had been instrumental to numerous successes recorded by the army in recent time against Boko Haram Terrorists.
He pledged that the army authorities would not stop at providing them the needed equipment, training and resources to deliver on thier mandates in the defence of the nation.
Earlier, the Commander, Special Forces Command, Maj.-Gen. Mhounday Ali, said the provision of the MRAPs would spur the command to ensure that remnants of ISWAP and Boko Haram were swept off Nigeria’s territory.
He said the command had resolved since its establishment in 2018 to look inward in fabricating the needed weapons and vehicle spares.
According to him, the command has also resolved that the hunt for ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorists and their leaders will continue to soar until it is brought to an end in favour of the country.
“The provisions of these dearly required armoured vehicles has further buttressed the Chiefs unflinching support to the command.
“It is against this backdrop that, I on behalf of officers and men of the command wish to reiterate our commitment and assurance that, we will not relent in our effort to shape the battle situation in the theatre.
“To my Muslim brothers in whose honour we are gathered this morning, I pray that, Allah will answer our supplications, give us the strength, wisdom and knowledge to execute this war to a logical end in our time.
“I also pray that God Almighty will forgive and grant our colleagues who have paid the supreme price in the course of this war against the terrorists,” he said.