The Nigerian army says specially trained Military Dogs would assist military personnel in fighting Boko Haram members.
This development was revealed on Tuesday by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika at a workshop on “Enhancing Military Professionalism in the Nigerian Army to Meet Contemporary Challenges,” in Kaduna state, at the One Division of the Nigerian Army.
Lt. Gen. Azubuike noted that the Army would train a special squad in the art of using dogs to fight Boko Haram, a fundamentalist group which has been staging violent insurgency against government and security establishments.
“I’m glad to inform you that our second batch of our trainees on the use of dogs in the fight against terrorism have just completed their training and will soon be launched to join you to further make your work easier” the Army Chief said.
“The use of dogs in this kind of operation is not new. With experience gathered from operations both in Afganistan and Iraq has shown the efficacy of dogs in the detection of explosives. Hence, Nigeria adopted that to complement human intelligence and the use of technology. The dogs are quiet very effective in the detection of explosives and they will be launched soon.”
He criticized the failure of the military in engaging the sect members in battle, while urging officers of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) combating the Boko Haram group in the North to be “alive to their duties”
The Chief of Army Staff told troops “be in war mood to be able to deal with the current challenges”
All soldiers must be combat ready at all times he said, adding that it is unacceptable for members of the Boko Haram sect to engage troops at checkpoints without much resistance.
“As you are out in the field at every point in time, make sure you are either conducting an operation or you are gathering intelligence. You must be doing any of the two at any point in time. If your area is too quiet, you have a reason to get worried.” Lt. Gen. Azubuike said.
He also emphasized the need for Commanding Officers to be innovative in tackling the worsening state of insecurity across the country.
“We believe that how your troops performance is a direct reflection of the qualities of their Commanding Officers. That is why you are assembled here for the next four days to brainstorm on matters of service interest in order to improve and sharpen your professional skills.”
He however commended the troops for the recent respite in what he called terrorist attacks in the North-West and North-East regions of the country.