Former Chief of Army Staff during President Olusegun Obasanjo, Lt Gen. Victor Malu is dead. Malu died in the early hours of Monday at Cairo hospital in Egypt, aged 70. His cousin Bem Adoor, who confirmed the news in a telephone interview in Makurdi, said that the late General travelled to Cairo two weeks ago for medical check up before he died. Malu was a former commander, ECOMOG Peace Keeping force in Sierra Leone and Liberia in August 1996 to January 1998 . He was appointed the Chief of Army Staff in May 1999 to April 2001, when he was removed by the same government. General Malu was born in January 15, 1947 in Adoor village in Katsina Ala local government area of Benue state. He enrolled into the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna in 1967 as part of the 3rd regular course and was commissioned second Lieutenant in 1970. Malu chaired the military tribunal that tried former Chief Gen. Oladipo Diya in 1998 over alleged coup plot against the head of state, Gen. Sanni Abacha
The Nigerian Army says it has deployed troops for the commencement of “Operation Crocodile Smile” in the six Niger Delta states. Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udoh, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, said this on Saturday while addressing troops to signal commencement of the exercise. Udoh said the operation was confidence building patrol rather than a show of force as widely reported. “Operation Crocodile Smile is not a show of force but a confidence-building patrol that seeks to reassure the people of Rivers state and the Niger Delta that the army is ready to work. “We are ready to work in close synergy and collaboration with other security services and agencies of government to ensure that there is peace and security for the people. “Our operation aims to reassure the public that we are ready to fight crimes like cultism, militancy, and kidnapping so that people can go about their business without fear,” he said. Udoh said that troops would carry out collaborative patrols with the Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service and the Department of State Security (DSS). Others are Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Nigerian Customs Service and personnel of the Nigerian Prison Service. He said the division would carry out the exercise in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states while another formation would cover other states in the Niger Delta. “Army, police and other security services was established to ensure peace; enforce law and order and create the enabling environment for economic activities to thrive. “This is our ultimate mandate, and, as such, we urge Nigerians to give us the necessary support to enable us to succeed,” he said. The three weeks exercise is slated for Oct. 7 to Oct. 28.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector to improve health care delivery in the country. Comrade Chinonso Obasi, NANS’ National President, made the call on Saturday in Abuja after receiving the remains of Mr Mohammed Dauda, a former president of the association at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Obasi said that Dauda passed away on Oct. 1, on an Ethiopian Airline few minutes to landing at the New Delhi International Airport. He said that Dauda was on his way to receive further treatment and possible liver transplant due to a diagnosed liver carcinoma which could not be treated in any Nigerian hospital. The NANS president blamed Dauda’s death on the poor medical facilities in the Nigerian hospitals. “If people like us cannot stand firm at our youthful age, there is a big challenge. “Our unborn children may not have a country to call their own because when they are sick, the only option for them is to die. “We are disappointed with where we found ourselves, Dauda did not die because he has HIV; he died because there are no good medical facilities to treat him,” he said. He lamented the increasing number of death among women on daily basis because of pregnancy related issues and other diseases that could ordinarily can be handled. “We want to charge the president of the country who has also enjoyed the privilege of travelling abroad for medical treatment that what he has seen there could be brought back home. “He was sick, no hospital in the country could attend to him and he flew abroad. “So we expect him to bring in those facilities he saw outside the country back home for ordinary Nigerians,” he added
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) is disturbed by the news of the deployment of soldiers to the Niger Delta which includes Ogoniland. In a Press Release made available to Prom Newsonline and signed by Fegalo Nsuke, the Publicity Secretary of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP),the group notes that a military operation of this kind simply refreshes memory of the years of state repression under Major Paul Okuntimo of the Nigerian Army, an experience they wish never to be reminded of. According to the group, it is disturbed that with the poor state of health prevalent in Ogoni following years of living with Shell's environmental pollution, military operations that send fierce reminders of our painful experiences with the Nigerian soldiers will only result in deteriorating health conditions of their people and eventual/sudden death. “It will be recalled that in February 2017 when military raids on some Ogoni communities only resulted in over 35 deaths including a pregnant mother Mrs Ledee” he added, He said”Our experience with the Nigerian army had unfortunately been very sorrowful and pathetic with each leaving us in pain and human losses.The only memory we have of the Nigerian Army is about the repression, deaths, pains and torture they leave with us”. The release further said that MOSOP completely rejects the deployment of the military in Ogoni and maintains that effective policing, which the government has failed to do, is a more effective remedy to the security situation in the entire Niger Delta and added that it is therefore pertinent to call on the authorities of the Nigerian Army not to throw Ogoniland into another round of morning and sorrow with its planned military operations.
The Nigerian Army has launched a free medical outreach in Ovim, Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia, as an integral part of the ongoing Python Dance II exercise in the South-East of the country. A statement signed by the Deputy Director of Public Relations, 82 Division, Col. Sagir Musa, and made available to newsmen in Enugu, described the programme as a success. Musa said that the programme followed a directive by the Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Tukur Buratai. He said that the former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and other dignitaries were present at the event. “One interesting aspect of the exercise is the generous donations of rice, dental and optometry services, malaria and de-worming tablets, eye glasses, treated mosquito nets to the locals, among others. “In addition to the de-worming tablets, school children were given packets of biscuits, chewing gum and chocolates,” Musa said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ihejirika is from Ovim. Meanwhile, Musa said that various formations and corps commanders of the Nigerian Army training institutions had been visiting areas covered by the Python Dance II. He said that the visits, as directed by Buratai, were designed for interaction with the troops and assess the success of the ongoing exercise. He said that the commanders were conducted round some field locations and check-points along Enugu-Nsukka and Enugu-Abakaliki axis. “The Commander of Nigerian Army College of Logistics, Maj.-Gen. RC Duru, visited Sector 2 Operational Headquarters, where he was briefed on the exercise. “The commander was later conducted round the hitherto volatile areas of Ohaji Egbema in Imo State. “So far, the entire South-East has been peaceful and people are seamlessly carrying out their normal businesses,” Musa said
Five Nigerien soldiers and three U.S. Army Special Forces troops were killed and two wounded in an ambush on a joint patrol in southwest Niger, near Mali. The attack occurred on Wednesday, according to Nigerien and U.S. officials. The five Green Berets were attacked while on a routine patrol in an area known to have a presence of insurgents, including from al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Islamic State, a U.S. official told Reuters. It was unclear who fired on the U.S. and U.S.-backed forces, the official said. Those forces were not patrolling the area with any specific objective, such as a high-value target or rescuing a hostage, the official added. A spokesman for U.S. Africa Command confirmed the attack after Radio France International (RFI) reported a lethal ambush near the Niger/Mali border. “We can confirm reports that a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” said the spokesman. Namatta Abubacar, an official for the region of Tillaberi in Niger, said five Nigerien soldiers were among the dead. A Niger diplomatic source said the attackers had come from Mali and had killed several soldiers, without saying whether any of the U.S. troops stationed in the West African country were among the victims. U.S. President Donald Trump was briefed by telephone on the attack by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly while Trump flew back on Air Force One from Las Vegas, where he had been visiting victims and first responders affected by Sunday’s mass shooting. RFI said earlier on Wednesday a counter-attack was underway. African security forces backed by Western troops are stepping up efforts to counter jihadist groups forming part of a growing regional insurgency in the poor, sparsely populated deserts of the Sahel. A relatively new militant group called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has claimed some of the attacks. Geoff D. Porter, head of North Africa Risk Consulting, said that any confirmation of Islamic State’s role in Wednesday’s strike would lead to a strategic shift from Libya toward the Sahel band, stretching eastwards from Senegal to Chad. “The emphasis … will now shift south,” he said. The U.S. Africa Command has hundreds of soldiers deployed across the region, including at an air facility in Agadez, and offers training and support to Niger’s army in aspects such as intelligence gathering and surveillance.