Gen Ewansiha takes over as JTF commander in Borno State, urges cooperation from residents

On 13 January, Maj Gen John Ewansiha assumed office as the new Commander of the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, Borno State, pledging to sustain the tempo of the anti-terrorism campaign and urging residents to cooperate with the military mission.

Speaking at the JTF’s headquarters in Pompomari, Maiduguri, while taking over from the former commander, Maj Gen Jack Nwaogbo (now redeployed to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja), Gen Ewansiha said he would sustain the work JTF had been doing under his predecessor.

He observed that as a result of JTF’s security measures and operations in Borno State, most members of the militant Islamist sect widely known as Boko Haram, as well as violent criminals that had been terrorizing the state, had relocated to other states. He pledged that, under his command, the task force would spare no effort towards stopping serial killings and bombings in the state.

“People terrorizing the state should have a rethink, turn up their weapons and come out for dialogue with the appropriate authorities”, he declared.

The new commander also urged residents of Maiduguri and other violence-scared towns not to flee the state. He said the task force was applying comprehensive security measures to protect lives and property, particularly in the five local government areas under the state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan on 31 December 2011. He appealed to residents to shun rumour peddlers and cooperate with JTF by offering information that could facilitate the arrest of terrorists and criminals.

On the reported excesses of JTF personnel while carrying out their duties, he said the nation’s military does not condone indiscipline and that he would deal decisively with any of his men found violating the ‘Rules of Engagement’ or committing extra-judicial killings. He said: “The soldiers are not mad men and we have our code of conduct, and anyone who falls short is made to face the music”.

However, he also added that troops will defend themselves whenever they are attacked or endangered by terrorists and criminals.

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Posted on January 14, 2012, in EXECUTIVE POLICY AND ACTION, MILITARY SERVICES, NORTHERN VIOLENCE and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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