The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has said its troops now quarantine and give face masks to Boko Haram terrorists, bandits and other suspects arrested in the line of operation.
The Coordinator of the DHQ’S Media Operations, Maj Gen John Enenche, stated this during a press conference in Abuja.
Enenche said the military would be training a total of 300 medical personnel and will deploy them to 21 military hospitals nationwide to support government’s efforts at tackling COVID-19.
He said, “We quarantine; we have these facilities. The COVID-19 has changed the way things are done. Before two weeks into the pandemic, we already produced our face masks and it is a mixed family when you are on operation – the domestic and the extended.
“The extended family are the visitors you will get, the captured enemies and surrendered enemies and you have to treat them. So, again for the overall safety, these measures have to be put in place. If someone is surrendering, the best you do is to first maintain social distancing.
“Once you maintain social distancing, you give them the directive to move forward, and then you give them the face masks to wear. We have many face masks produced by the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria. The army ordered for several thousands of face masks too and sent them to the North-East.”
He added, “We don’t just get the suspects and carry them raw like that. No, those are the measures we put in place. COVID-19 has changed the face of our operations and made us compliant with the new health standards.”
The coordinator noted that the armed forces would be conducting further medical COVID-19 training for personnel in eight military centres nationwide.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria COVID-19 case management training will be conducted in eight centres which are Headquarters 1 Division, Kaduna; 6 Division, Port Harcourt; 7 Division, Maiduguri; 81 Division, Lagos; and Headquarters 82 Division, Enugu.
“Others are Headquarters Eastern Naval Command Calabar, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Makurdi and Headquarters Guards Brigade, Abuja. At the end of this training, the total number will be 300 personnel,” he added.
On the allegation of abandonment of communities in Sokoto and North-West to bandits, Enenche said the 8 Division of the Nigerian Army and the DHQ-led Operation Hadarin Daji were taking care of the situation.
He noted that some communities and tribes in the North-West have relations in Niger Republic and thus, the Nigerian military was collaborating with the Niger Republic forces.