The Nigerian Army said it has made progress in the fight against terror within the North Eastern part of the country. The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Onyeabor Ihejirika declined to list the gains already made, he urged the Army personnel deployed in the fight against terror to avoid being complacent and remain vigilant.
He spoke at the 2012 West African Social Activities (WASA), urging soldiers and officers deployed to check insurgents within the North Eastern part of the country and those deployed in internal security operations to avoid being taken unaware as they perform their constitutionally assigned duties. Ihejirika, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Major General Obi Umahi commended the Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NAEME) for producing the first locally manufactured Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) nicknamed “Igirigi” and for refurbishing many APCs within the force’s inventory.
The Army chief also commended the corps of engineers for successfully refurbishing Air Defence System within the country and manufacturing and installing electronic target display machine at Jaji Shooting Range. Earlier, the Commander, Nigerian Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Major General Nnaemeka Maduegbunam listed the achievement of the force in 2012, explaining that the corps had been able to save considerable foreign exchange for the force.
He said the refurbishment exercises of the APCs “has made a huge amount of foreign exchange savings for the Nigerian Army in particular and the Federal Government as a whole.” He attributed the success of the corps in the area of refurbishing the APC and the Air Defence System to the ingenuity displayed by officers and soldiers, who had to resort to modification and outright manufacturing of parts that could not be sourced from the open market.
“In fact, an EME team is currently in Darfur, Sudan to repair armoured fighting vehicles and other equipment for use by the Nigerian contingent there,” he added. General Maduegbunam said the production of the first indigenous Armoured Personnel Carrier had contributed in no small measure to the actualisation of the vision of the Chief of Army Staff, which was to transform the Nigerian Army into a force capable of meeting contemporary challenges.