Brigadier General Chris Olukolade
Abuja, Nigeria – The Nigerian government has approved a new Army Division which will Monday take over counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations against the militant Islamic sect Boko Haram in the country’s North-East, Nigeria’s Defence Spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said in the capital city of Abuja Sunday.
The takeover of the operations by an Army Division means that the Nigerian Army will now be solely in charge of the operations, even though it remains under the routine guidance of the Defence Headquarters.
The Army already has five Divisions located in Lagos, Ibadan, Enugu, Kaduna and Jos.
A General Officer Commanding (GOC), with the rank of Major General, will command the new Division, which will have its headquarters in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, the spiritual home state of Boko Haram.
Code-named Operation BOYONA, an acronym derived from the names of the 3 states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in which President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in May, the military Joint Task Force (JTF) which will preceded the Division executed the mandate spelt out in the declaration.
“Coming three months into the mission to stamp out terrorism in the North-East, this development is in line with the plans laid out for the conduct of the operations to execute the mandate spelt out in the State of Emergency declaration by the President, Commander-in-Chief.
”The phase being concluded on Monday was executed by a Joint Task Force composed by troops drawn from the services of the Armed Forces as well as other security agencies who conducted Operation BOYONA,” Brig-Gen. Olukolade said in a statement on Sunday.