Nigeria’s military to support civilian authorities on COVID-19

By Martha Obi, Abuja

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche.

The Armed Forces of Nigeria is making efforts to support the Civil authorities in curbing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche said this was a Constitutional requirement in Nigeria empowering the Military to assist the civil authorities.

Major General Enenche was speaking at a news briefing in Abuja.

He said; ”the Armed Forces has constituted a committee at the Defence Headquarters to ensure that at this period the Military provides the necessary support to the Nigerian Government of Nigeria.”

”It is mainly a non-kinetic military operation with major features of Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities and that it is in line with the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin concept of operation in Nigeria,”Major General Enenche stated.

Two-Pronged approach
According to him, the Armed Forces has developed a Two-Pronged approach to fight the pandemic; the medical and security approaches. Medical approach is the deployment of military personnel to all Ministries Departments and Agencies through the provision of land, maritime and air assets, for transportation of emergency cases and medical supplies, which was donated by the Jack Ma Foundation.

Furthermore, under the medical aid, they have 17 medical facilities spread across the country, which have been designated for isolation and treatment of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 as they concluded plans to recall their retired medical personnel to complement those in active service.

Also, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, noted that on security related support, the Nigerian Armed Forces would activate its Disaster Response Units across the country in conjunction with National Emergency Management Agency.

Major General Enenche said these units would be responsible for security management of emergencies other than medicals.

”Now, let us move to updates on Military Operations: Following the encounter between the Armed Forces of Nigeria and insurgents in Operation Lafiya Dole at Gorgi between 21 and 23 March 2020, a team was sent to carry out the due operational After Action Procedure, which include, reconfirmation of causalities and immediate medical evacuation required among others,” he stated.

Major General Enenche said; ”after the exercise, the team made the following findings; 29 Nigerian troops were killed in action and 39 were wounded as a result of the explosion of the truck carrying logistics and ammunition resupply for operations due to the fog of war and conflicts.”

He said this was contrary to the figures from the first contact situation report of 47 killed in action and 15 wounded in action.

Major General Enenche noted that this was a common occurrence during combat, stressing that “the team also found a casualty of over 100 Boko Haram terrorists neutralised as a result of direct fire action and encounter with gallant troops of the Land Component of the Armed Forces of Nigeria during the clearance of Gorgi”.

According to him, this figure was against the scores given during the briefing, 500 and 200 respectively provided by secondary sources.

He said “the Land Component of the Nigerian Armed Forces in Operation Lafia Dole successfully cleared Gorgi and dealt a heavy blow on the enemy, and the end state of clearing Gorgi was achieved.”

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces has assured Nigerians that it would remain committed to tackling the security challenges in the country.


Mercy Chukwudiebere