Newsmen reported that the military authorities have, in compliance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s May 29 directive, started moving their command centre to Maiduguri, Borno State, to combat the activities of Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.
A statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, on Monday, stated that the advance team had already commenced work in earnest.
The team, which comprises officers and men drawn from the Office of the Chief of Army Staff, all the relevant Army Headquarters Departments and other combat support personnel, is led by a two-star General.
Buhari had during his inaugural address ordered the command centre be moved to Borno State to give bite to the fight against insurgency.
The President had said, “The most immediate is Boko Haram insurgency. Progress has been made in recent weeks by our security forces but victory cannot be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja.
“The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain there until Boko Haram is completely subdued.’’
Usman explained in the statement that the centre was an “elaboration” of an existing Army headquarters command and control arrangement.
The statement reads, “In compliance with the presidential pronouncement and the Chief of Army Staff’s directive, a reconnaissance and advance team for the establishment of Military Command and Control Centre for Operation Zaman Lafiya for the fight against terrorism and insurgency has moved to Maiduguri, Borno State.
“The team, which is led by a two-star General, has already commenced work in earnest and it is comprised of elements of the Office of the CAS, all the relevant Army headquarters departments and other combat support components. The centre will serve as a forward command base for the CAS and other service chiefs.”
The military stated that the centre would not create another layer of command structure, but would add impetus and renewed vigour to Operation Zaman Lafiya, which is “aimed at bringing terrorism and insurgency to an end.”
It added that an alternate command centre was also being established in Yola, Adamawa State.
Meanwhile, Buhari has sought greater support and cooperation from France and other friendly nations for his administration’s ongoing efforts to overcome the Boko Haram challenge and restore normalcy to the North-East.
Specifically, Buhari said on Monday that Nigeria would appreciate more intelligence on the sect’s link with the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria.
He made the request at a meeting he had with President Francois Hollande of France after his participation in Monday’s G-7 Outreach Programme, in Elmau, Germany.