Premium Times (Abuja)

16 February 2013

Nigerian Army to Set Up Reserve Force for Emergency Situations - Ihejirika

The Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, has said the Nigerian Army will establish a "reserve force" to be able to respond to emergency situations quickly.

"We want a situation where if there are some emergencies, we will have a force we can just call upon and immediately there will be response, whether the emergency is internal or external," Mr. Ihejirika told newsmen on Saturday in Kontagora, Niger State.

"About 600 of the 2,904 soldiers who just graduated from the basic counter terrorism course at the Nigerian Army Training Centre in Kontagora will form the basis of the reserve force.

"Senior officers will be posted from the field to ensure that this force is staffed properly," he added.

The army chief said the force would be engaged mostly in training all the time, adding that members were not likely to be involved in peace-keeping or internal security duties.

He said they would be available once there is a dire need for them.

Inaugurating 10 refurbished communication vehicles at the Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery, NACA, Mr. Ihejirika, a Lieutenant General, said the vehicles would be used for effective communication to enhance the corps's operational capabilities.

He said he would continue to ensure that the army is transformed into a force that could meet contemporary challenges.

Earlier, the Commander of NACA, Amnon Kwaskebe, commended the army chief for the transformation in the army.

Mr. Kwaskebe said that on his assumption of office, he decided to reposition the corps in line with the army chief's vision, which is to "transform the Nigerian Army into a Force better able to meet contemporary challenges".

"It was based on this that I directed formations/units to carry out stock taking of guns, equipment and vehicles in their inventory.

"This is with a view to determining their serviceability or otherwise for repairs and upgrading," he said.

Mr. Kwaskebe said the result of the exercise was the realisation that the corps was highly deficient in serviceable vehicles such as communication and troops-carrying vehicles.

He said the situation compelled the corps to request for intervention of the army chief for reactivation of vehicles and equipment in order to enhance the corps' operational capability.

NAN

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