The Chief of the Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, has assured troops fighting to clear the Sambisa forest of insurgents that very soon additional equipment will be sent to them to boost their campaign against Boko Haram.
He said that with the approval of the one billion dollars by the federal executive council and the Commander in chief of the armed forces, President Mohammed Buhari, directives have been given for the purchase of lots of hardware and equipment to help them fight to finish.
He made these pronouncements while touring the Borno sector of the war theatre in his bid to evaluate and further boast troops morale and see things for himself so they can move to the next level in the complete depletion of the insurgents.
General Buratai alongside some Principal Staff Officers of the Army Headquarters and Commanders, undertook the operational visit to troops locations in the northeast with specific emphasis on Sambisa forest on Saturday 17th February 2018.
A statement by Army spokesman Brigadier General Sani Usman said that their first port of call was Bitta, where the chief was received by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander, Sector 1 Operation lafia Dole, Major General Yusuf and the Commander 26 Task Force Brigade, Brigadier General Obot.
While interacting with the troops along with the elements of Cameroonian Defence Forces, Chief Buratai noted that Sambisa forest has been an impediment in the fight against terrorism and insurgency over time adding that their clearance of the forest is considered a major milestone in the achievements of their operations.
He further added that the Commander-in-Chief, President Buhari is very pleased with their performance which is why with the “approval of the sum of $1 billion by the National Economic Council to the military, very soon the Nigerian Army would have more Mine Resistance and Ambush Protected (MRAPs) vehicles Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and other equipment injected into the theatre.”
Faced with the elements of the Cameroonian Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Buratai expressed gratitude to them for their efforts and support and urged them to continue to operate along with their Nigerian counterparts to attain the desired result which is a total clearance of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hibernating.
The Chief of Army Staff also went round other locations into the heart of Sambisa like Tokumbere and Sabil Huda. In each instance, he interacted with the troops and also addressed some of their complaints on the spot.
He urged them to maintain the pressure on the fleeing terrorists wherever they run to, adding that Sambisa forest has come to stay as Nigerian Army training area and urged them not to relent in their efforts.
He also said that “You must maintain this momentum and justify the confidence reposed in you by Nigerians”.
At Sabil Huda, chief Buratai was taken around the Battle Groups 1 and 2 deployments locations, the new borehole and shown some of captured Boko Haram terrorists Armoured Fighting vehicles and equipment.
In a related development, the Chief of Training and Operations (Army), Major General Ahmadu, Director Military Intelligence, Major General Tarfa and Provost Marshal (Army), Major General Hamman led other teams where they visited troops locations under 5 Brigade, 21 and 22 Brigades Nigerian Army at Gubio, Bama and Dikwa, respectively.
Their visits followed the same pattern with that of the Chief of Army Staff; they received a briefing, went round troops deployments, addressed and interacted with the troops in a bid to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
They were equally accompanied by other senior officers from the Army Headquarters and the Theatre Command office of operation lafia dole in marmalari barracks.