The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the days of the rump of Boko Haram terrorists are numbered, in spite of occasional attacks of Nigerian targets.
Buratai gave the assurance while addressing troops of the 8 Division at Monguno, headquarters of Monguno Local Government Area of Borno.
He, therefore, charged the troops to be determined in the efforts to stablilise their area of operation and finally overcome the Boko Haram challenge in the country.
“We must remain here to stabilise it.
“You all know that we have some few attacks here and there by the same elements – Boko Haram, but I assured you that their days are numbered.
“With your efforts, with your determination, we will finally overcome the Boko Haram challenge,’’ he said.
The chief of army staff noted that the creation of the 8 Division was a “major strategic decision’’ which had helped in addressing the challenge of Boko Haram terrorism in Borno north.
“I want to say that this division has lived up to its expectation of containing the Boko Haram challenge in this part of the country.
“What remains is for us to continue to stabilise and continue to operate, to prevent any element that may raise their heads in the future.
“This part of the country or this part of the region, especially the Lake Chad region has always been volatile.
“That is why members of the Lake Chad Commission created the Multinational Joint Task Force.
“So, we will see ourselves performing similar duties even after the final clearance of the Boko Hartam terrorists,’’ Buratai added.
He warned the troops to refrain from all acts of indiscipline as peace was gradually returning to the area and displaced people returning to their communities restart their lives.
The army chief further warned that those caught engaging in trading and extortion would be dealt with according to the law.
“Issues of indiscipline must also be checked within the division.
“As the people here gradually return to their communities, return to their businesses, they should be allowed to do their businesses free without any interference.
“Report of extortion or soldiers engaging themselves in trading activities with the people here must be resisted.
“We do not want any distraction. Trading in fish or cattle, if anyone – soldier, is caught, he is going to be dealt with according to the law.
“You are here to maintain the peace, you are here to perform your duties as soldiers; you are here not to trade or do any other business.
“Very soon, those that are in the IDPs camps will go back to their homes and re-establish themselves and the economic activities will increase.
“Do not fall into that temptation to be involved (in trading),’’ he further warned.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 8 Division was created as a task force in 2016 to boost military operations against the Boko Haram menace, particularly in the Lake Chad region.
But the division will move to Sokoto State in the North West, where it would be operationalised soon, according to Buratai.
NAN also reports the army chief visited one of the camps in Monguno, holding 20, 000 IDPs and donated some relief materials, including food items, detergents and clothes to them.
He used the opportunity to address the elderly men and women IDPs in the camp, including the 700 recently rescued by troops during operations in the Chad basin.
A total of 2, 700 captives were rescued in the last one week.
While 700 were rescued on Tuesday, 2,000 were freed on Thursday morning after intensive artillery and aerial bombardment of the terrorists’ enclaves in the Lake Chad region.