FG creates new army division to battle Boko Haram

A new division of the Nigerian Army will on Monday August 19 take over control of the federal government’s drive against militant group, Boko Haram, in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, the defense headquarters said on Sunday.

The new division, codenamed BOYONA, and to be headed by a Major General, will, beginning Monday, be based in Borno, and will take over the duties of the military’s Joint Task Force.

A statement by the Director of Information, Chris Olukolade, said BOYONA, is an acronym representing the troubled three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

The Division will take off as an effort meant to constitute the first phase of the counter-terrorists operation, as the new division will continue with counter insurgency operation immediately.

The development is coming three months into the federal government’s military operation to stamp out terrorism in the north east, where Boko Haram and splinter groups have continued to stage deadly attacks.

The military said the creation of BOYONA is in line with the plans laid out for the conduct of the operations to execute the mandate spelt out in the State of Emergency declaration by the President Goodluck Jonathan.

“The phase of the operation being concluded on Monday was executed by a Joint Task Force composed by troops drawn from the Services of the Armed Forces as well as other security agencies who conducted Operation BOYONA,” Mr. Olukolade said.

Mr. Olukolade also said henceforth, only the Nigerian Army will be solely in charge of the anti-terrorism operations in the three states, while the defence headquarters will provide routine guidance.

A General Officer Commanding (GOC), in the rank of Major General is being proposed to command the new Division which will have its Headquarters in Maiduguri.

The GOC is due to take over the Command and the assets of the Headquarters of the Joint Task Force. The new Division is to continue with the conduct of counter-terrorists operations in the North East which comes under its area of responsibility.