Fishermen in Borno, whose means of livelihood were disrupted by insurgents, have hailed the military over the victory against Boko Haram insurgents.
They are also full of praises for the gallant soldiers for reclaiming Baga and other communities in northern Borno from Boko Haram fighters.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian Army had on Thursday announced the defeat of the fighters and recapture of Baga and other communities in the ongoing clearance operation against the jihadists .
Malam Muhammad Labbo, the Vice Chairman of the Lake Chad Basin Fishermen Association of Nigeria, made the commendation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Maiduguri.
Labbo, who was among thousands of persons displaced by the recent conflict, said that the military under the Operation LAFIYA DOLE, demonstrated valour and professionalism to defeat the insurgents, leading to the liberation of communities in northern Borno and Lake Chad region.
He described the defat as “commendable’’, adding that it indicated the Nigerian Armed Forces’ commitment to defend the nation’s territorial integrity as well as protection of lives and property.
“Some of our people who were still in Baga told us how the military defeated the Boko Haram insurgents after a fierce battle on Wednesday.
“Boko Haram insurgents fled, leaving behind their ammunition and scattered toward the axis of the Lake Chad and border with Niger Republic.
“Frightened by the superior might of the military, the insurgents fled in other communities without any resistance. It is a great victory by our gallant military.”
Labbo urged the military to take the fight to various Islands in the Lake Chad, noting that the call was imperative to clear remnants of the criminals hibernating in the area and end insurgency.
He disclosed that there were several high density Islands in the Lake Chad, where the insurgents hide to commit atrocities against the citizens.
Labbo listed the Islands to include Madari; Mari, Kaukiri, Duguri, Shuwaram, Kirta-Wulgo, Kwallaram and Dabar Masara.
The fisherman stressed the need for practical operations to rout out the insurgents’ hide outs in the Island, to end insurgency and ensure lasting peace in the war-torn region.
“The insurgents fled into the Lake Chad Islands, the military should continue its pursuit to eliminate them and make it safe.
“It is also good to utilize the Air Task Force component due to the grass that outgrown and blocked the river and made movement difficult for the troops.
“The insurgents could be better be defeated from the air, as they were taking advantage of the terrain to escape onslaught by the ground troops,” he added.
According to him, over 10, 000; registered fishermen were displaced due to the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in Baga and adjourning communities.
Labbo further expressed the hope that the war would soon end to enable them to return home and resume their normal fishing activities.
He also prayed for the repose of the souls of the departed heroes and wished the wounded soldiers quick recovery.
Statistics by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) showed that about 30,000 persons were displaced in northern Borno and Lake Chad region due to resurgence of Boko Haram insurgency in the past few weeks.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had distributed food and non food items to over 20,000 displaced by the conflict at the Teachers Village and Gubio Internally Persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri.