by crossriverwatch admin
The outgoing Commander of the Nigerian Army, 13 Brigade, Calabar Brigadier General Shehu Yusuf is widely commended in Cross River and neighbouring Akwa-Ibom state for achieving great strides in controlling the spate of piracy and illegal bunkering in the eastern water ways. Crossriverwatch caught up with General Yusuf recently and he spoke of his achievements as the Brigade Commander of the 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army:
CRW: Congratulations for the successful ending of your tenure here in Calabar
Yusuf: Thank You.
CRW: How long have you been here in Calabar?
Yusuf: For about two years
CRW: What has been your experience as the Commander of 13 Brigade this last two years in Calabar and what will you say have been your major achievements?
Yusuf: It’s been very eventful, full of ups and down, in the sense that I’ve known Calabar before as a junior officer and I know the terrain, but as a junior officer you know I’m limited to my area of duties but as a Brigade Commander, I command all the barracks in Cross River, Akwa Ibom and some part of Taraba, you know that is a huge responsibility; but we thank Allah that I have capable hands to work with. I have to contend with the challenge of illegal oil bunkerers which rest on my table as sector three commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Puolo Shield. This is aside of my duties as the Commander 13 Brigade. But we have made them (the illegal bunkerers) to relocate. You remember the notorious Lato Marine? My command with the support of the sister agencies arrested him and handed him over to the federal government. We secured the release of all the Sinopec oil workers he held hostage without any hurt. These are just some of the major achievements we’ve been able to record within two years. Aside all that I’ve told you, I wouldn’t have achieved all without the support of my Chief of Army Staff. He knows and approved what I do on a daily basis.
CRW: We gathered you are also a sport enthusiast?
Yes, Sports is synonymous with the Army. Part of the Chief of Army Staff vision is to develop sport in the Nigerian Army and it is in line with this vision that I started it in Calabar as the 13 Brigade Commander and we have done a lot in developing sports in 13 Brigade. For the first time we built a squash center not for the Army alone but for all the squash lovers in Cross River State. For the first time we brought in the United State National Squash Referee and World Squash Referee Association assessor in person of Meherji Manda to train the locals , both Army and civilian on rules and refereeing of squash. We organized street jams three by three basket ball national competition for the Army, civilians and other basketball lovers in Nigeria where they met with the international players and shared ideas. This is part of the vision of the Chief of Army Staff and good enough Cross River State government has keyed into the 3-on-3 basketball tournament to be part of the 32 days annual Calabar festival. So, basically my interest in sport is to build civil military relationship which we have achieved in Calabar. And I believe my Chief of Army Staff saw my passion for sports that is why he has appointed me as the new Army Director of Sports and Physical Training with the headquarters in Kaduna.
CRW: How will you describe Calabar and Cross River State?
Yusuf: Calabar for me is a second home any day any time. I have made many friends here. The people are warm and hospitable. The government is responsive and always partner with us in whatever we were doing. Cross River State will forever be part of me.
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