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Bandits attack: Reps panel grills Defence Minister, NDA Commandant

Reps

Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, on Tuesday, quizzed the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.), and the Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Major General Ibrahim Yusuf, behind closed doors.

The Minister and the Commandant were in the Green Chamber to present the report on the August 24, 2021 attack by bandits on the NDA in Kaduna State, to members of the House panel.

Two army officers were killed in the incident, while another was abducted when bandits attacked the military institution, located in the northwestern state.

The Defence Minister was also said to have briefed the lawmakers on the agreement between the Nigerian government and the Russian Federation on the fight against banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and all other vices and also its implications on national security.

Addressing journalists, briefly before the meeting, the Commandant, the NDA Commandant said efforts were in top gear to rescue the abducted officer and ensure such an incident never occurs again.

He said he would be travelling to Owerri in Imo State after the briefing for the burial of one of the officers who was killed in the incident.

He said, “I assumed command of the academy on the 9th of July this year and barely six weeks later this unfortunate incident occurred.

“I am really delighted to be given this opportunity to be here to shed light about the occurrence and perhaps more importantly the ongoing efforts we are making to recover the abducted officers.

“Also, measures the academy is currently emplacing to ensure that this not ever occur again.

“On the day the incident occurred, the Chief of Defence Staff visited the academy the same day, while the Chief of Army Army Staff, visited three days later.

“By the following week, all the service chiefs were all in the academy just to commiserate with the academy community and also to get more information on what the academy is doing to ensure that this incident does not occur again.

“Many senior, retired and serving military officers have called, they have also visited the academy because the academy is very dear not only to the military but to Nigeria as a whole.

“I also want to appreciate you for accepting that I make this presentation this morning.”

The Chairman of the House Committee, Babajimi Benson, said the report would shed more light on the incident as well as the measures being put in place to deter another occurrence.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers who were scheduled to resume on Tuesday after their two months annual vacation, adjourned plenary to Wednesday, in honour of their late colleague, Adedayo Omolafe who died on August 15.

The adjournment was sequel to a motion moved by the House leader, Ado Doguwa and seconded by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu. Punch

 

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