By John Ikani
The newly appointed Force Commander, Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Abdul-Khalifah Ibrahim, a Major-General, has taken over the command of the force from erstwhile commander, Jeleel Ogunlade, a Major-General.
This was made known in a statement issued by the Chief of Military Public Information for MNJTF, Muhammad Dole in Ndjamena, Chad and made available to newsmen in Abuja.
The outgone force commander, Mr Ogunlade, said the successes and milestones achieved together were the result of the mutual respect, collaboration and cooperation of all the stakeholders.
Mr Ogunlade commended the contributions and outstanding performance of the officers and men of MNJTF for exhibiting professional skills in the course of their duties.
He urged the Military Staff Officers (MSOs) at the headquarters to extend same support and cooperation to his successor and to always remember and support the gallant forces in the field.
He acknowledged the support from the strategic partners of MNJTF such as the European Union (EU) and Centre for Coordination and Liaison (CCL) towards attainment of operational objectives in the field.
In his remarks, the new commander extolled the command and leadership qualities of Mr Ogunlade, whom he described as a distinguished teacher and an accomplished general, with tremendous track records of achievements.
Mr Ibrahim said he felt honoured to take over the command of MNJTF from an accomplished and seasoned infantry general like Mr Ogunlade.
Mr Ibrahim noted that the time had come to redouble efforts and employ new strategies to end the menace of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in Lake Chad region.
He called for more cooperation, teamwork , purposeful leadership and innovation as key elements towards realising the mandates of the MNJTF.
The new commander expressed readiness to consolidate the exploits and unprecedented successes recorded by the previous distinguished generals who commanded MNJTF with distinction.
According to him, through these successes, the situation in the Lake Chad region has improved tremendously, though there is still some work left to be done.
He expressed gratitude to the government and people of Chad for providing safe and conducive working environment for the MSOs at the HQs in N’Djamena.
While decorating the outgoing Force Commander with the MNJTF Medal, the Head of Mission of MNJTF, Mamman Nuhu, commended Mr Ogunlade for his outstanding contributions in restoring peace and security in the region.
Mr Nuhu added that even though Mr Ogunlade’s tenure was short, he significantly and diligently piloted the MNJTF towards attaining its mandates.
He commended his frequent operational field visits to troops’ location, which kept him abreast with the situations in the field.
Mr Nuhu also welcomed the new commander and assured him of his total support and cooperation to discharge his duties.
According to him, Mr Ibrahim is coming with enormous operational knowledge and field experience being a previous General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 in the theatre of operations.
“This makes him familiar with the terrain and operational environment,” he said.
The MNJTF is a combined multinational formation, comprising units, mostly military, from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. It is headquartered in N’Djamena and is mandated to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency.