*As he celebrates Sallah with wounded soldiers.
*GOC 3 Division blames stakeholders on Taraba crisis
By Tunde Adetunji , Abuja
The Acting General Officer Commanding, (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen Ibrahim Yusuf, has urged troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, fighting insurgency in the North East to quicken the clearance of remnants of Boko Harm terrorists.
This came as the Acting General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Benjamin Ahanotu blamed stakeholders in the latest ethnic crisis in Taraba State,saying their inability to nip the crisis in the bud at the initial stage deteriorated to the level that lives and property were lost and destroyed.
Yusuf, who made this remarks during the Eid el Fitr celebration with wounded soldiers at 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital, said time was of essence in the ongoing final onslaught against the terrorists.
A statement issued Monday, by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, said Yusuf, at the occasion, commended officers and soldiers for their dedication and loyalty in discharge of their constitutional role.
He described the wounded soldiers as heroes of the war and pillars of the Nigerian nation while praying for their quick recovery.
“You are fighting a just cause and God will always be by your side’’, the statement quoted him as saying.
The GOC, who was accompanied by the Acting GOC 8 Division, Brig. Gen. Steveson Olabanji, thanked the 7 DMSH Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ndidi Onuchukwu for the luncheon initiative with the wounded soldiers and promised to always support the victims of the war.
Earlier, in his opening remark, the Commander 7 DMSH congratulated the muslim faithful for successful completion of Ramadan fasting and prayed that the Almighty Allah to open doors of blessing on Nigeria and all who participated in the spiritual exercise.
The Eid El Fitr celebration was attended by the Commander 37 Artlllery Brigade, Brig Gen Boniface Sinjen, Commander 47 Engineer Brigade, Brig Gen Joseph Chima, Commander 57 Signal Brigade, Brig Gen Gbemiga Adesina, the Chief of Staff 7 Division Brig Gen John Ochai and the Commander 8 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brig Gen Aliyu Sambo.
In a related development, the Acting General Officer Commanding 3 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Benjamin Ahanotu has urged all residents living at the Mambilla Plateau to live in peace and harmony with one another.
He made the statement at the Palace of the Chief of Mambilla, His Royal Majesty, Dr Shehu Audu Baju ll, during a stakeholder meeting with local government chairman, councillors and district heads of Sardauna Emirate / Mambilla Traditional Council, yesterday.
The Acting GOC expressed his dismay and disappointment over the crisis between Mabilla’ s and the Fulani’s who he noted,over the years, had been living peacefully and harmoniously with each other.
Brigadier General Ahanotu told the stakeholders that soldiers had been deployed to curtail any breach of security and urged them to report any threat to the troops for immediate action. He also urged the leadership of the local government to provide immediate succor to the people affected . He advised the traditional rulers to carry out intense sensitization to enlighten their people to be their brother’s keeper.
Earlier in his remarks, the Madaki Mambilla, Alhaji Isa Musa who represented the Chief of Mambila, Dr Shehu Audu Baju ll, commended the Nigerian Army for their quick intervention to prevent the escalation of the crisis. He said the Emirate Council on his part would do everything possible to prevent further occurrence of this ugly situation.
Responding the Chairman of Sarduana Local Government, Honourable John Yep said the incident was quite unfortunate and promised to work out modalities for peace.
He also said all wounded persons in the hospital would be given free medical treatment. He added that food items had been procured by the Local Government togive those displaced and vowed to sensitize the locals to live in peace.
The Acting General Officer Commanding 3 Division Nigerian Army was accompanied during the stakeholder’s meeting by the Commander 23 Brigade Brig Gen BA Muhammad, Ag Comd 3 Military Intelligence Brigade, Col ASO Onilenla, Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Col KO Ogunsanya and Commanding Officer 20 Battalion Lt Col A Abdullahi as well as Acting Commander 3 Division Provost Group Maj EO Otakpemehi.