The Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Tukur Buratai, may have concluded plans to establish a Special Task Force Battalion to be located in the dreaded Sambisa Forest.
It was learnt on Sunday that the establishment of the new brigade was meant to take the battle to the insurgents in their stronghold and operational domain.
It was gathered also that the plan to establish the force brigade was part of efforts to re-organise the Army.
Sunday PUNCH had exclusively reported that the Army had dissolved its court-martial.a
According to the report, cases of some soldiers will also be revisited.
The Army spokesman, Col Sani Umar, had on Saturday said that the force was reviewing all recent disciplinary cases due to the wave of litigation by some aggrieved personnel.
It was learnt that the plan to establish a brigade at Sambisa forest was to flush insurgents out of the forest.
The latest move is believed to be part of the comprehensive plans to get the insurgents out of their Sambisa base and prevent them from having territories which they could use to carry out attacks in the Lake Chad Basin area.
A security source, who confided in one of our correspondents, said that the planned brigade to be named the 29th Special Task Force Brigade under 7th Division would be saddled with the responsibility of pursuing the insurgents in the vast area.
It was stated that the Army Chief decided to create the additional brigade to confront the insurgents in Sambisa because of the belief that some terrorists still maintain hideouts in the forest from which they carry out attack on civilian settlements.
The source said, “The new Chief is planning a new brigade in the mission area. The brigade is to be called 29th Special operations Brigade under the 7th division of the Nigerian Army.
“You know that the Sambisa Forest is very vast and they are still staging their attacks from the forest. What the Chief wants to do is to establish the brigade in the forest and take the fight to them.
“The brigade will be there permanently to go after the insurgents, destroy their stronghold and restore sanity in the area. The troops are very excited about the idea.”
The insurgents have launched four attacks on Buratai, the home town of the COAS in Borno State since the first attack in February 2014.
The last attack which was repelled took place last Monday.
A security analyst, Ben Okezie, frowned on the planned establishment of a brigade inside Sambisa Forest, saying he did not understand the rationale behind the decision.
He noted that the move was unnecessary since the army has a division in Borno State where the forest is located.
Okezie stated that what the army needed were better strategies to tackle the insurgents, noting that the military could re-engage retired major generals to assist with the battle against terrorists.
He also dismissed the relocation of the Command and Control Centre to Maiduguri, saying it might not achieve any result.
Meanwhile, the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force, Dele Alonge, has said that the fighter pilots of the NAF and the ground forces repelled an attack on Bita town by the insurgents on Sunday.
Alonge said that the Air Force deployed its Alpha Jets to aid the ground troops to prevent the Boko Haram’s incursion into Bita.
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