The Nigerian Army has appointed Major General Yusha’u Mahmood Abubakar to lead “Operation Lafiya Dole,” an offensive aimed at crushing Islamist insurgents operating in the northeastern zone of the country.
The appointment was contained in a short press release circulated late yesterday by the army.
General Abubakar had previously served as the Commander of Nigerian Army Armored Corps. His appointment takes immediate effect.
The announcement stated that General Abubakar was appointed to head the military offensive in order to “meet up with the established time line of bringing to a successful conclusion the fight against terrorism and insurgency.”
The military statement, signed by Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, acting director of Army Public Relations, disclosed that the operation would be operate as “a unified command coordinating 3 and 7 Divisions of the Nigerian Army as well as other elements of Operation Lafiya Dole.”
The statement pointed out that the appointment was “the first time the Nigerian Army in its history is deploying Corps Headquarters in the field.”
Boko Haram insurgents have intensified suicide bombings and other armed assaults at different locations in the beleaguered northeastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. The group has also launched attacks in such neighboring countries as Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been meeting with leaders of neighboring countries to coordinate counter-offensives to dislodge the insurgents.