The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, on Saturday reassured Nigerians that the army will take every necessary step to restore normalcy across the northeast.
He says the Boko Haram militants that have in the last seven years pushed for the establishment of an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the region ‘picked the wrong fight against the wrong enemy’.
The COAS gave the assurance in Goneri and Buniyadi, two prominent frontline locations the Nigerian Army is currently prosecuting the Boko Haram war in Yobe State.
Represented by the head of Logistics of the military headquarters, Major General Pat Akim, the Buratai said the army would work hard to defeat those undermining the nation’s security.
The highest military hierarchy had deplored very senior officers to celebrate the Christmas with troops fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, with the aim of giving them a sense of belonging while at the battle field.
The Chief of Army Staff, who tasked officers and men within the theater of the operation on putting an end to every form of terrorism in the region, also praised the soldiers for their gallantry, stressing that although the war is being won, they must stand firm in the fight until the militants are completely defeated.
“We are proud of you for sacrificing your sleep, leisure and working under the sun and in the rain to ensure that those undermining the nation’s security are taught lessons that will serve as deterrent to others.
“Let me seize this opportunity to call on Nigerians to appreciate the role being played by these gallant officers and men who are putting in their best by ensuring peace is maintained across the country so that their labours will never be in vain.
“We are sad that you are spending Christmas in trenches, that is why we are leaving the comfort of our homes to share with you this moments and I can assure you that everything will be done possible to ensure your welfares and logistics needs are taken care of.
“Don’t retreat and don’t give room for any laxity that you are winning the war despite the successes,” Buratai stressed
He assuresd them that more troops would be deployed to increase the manpower needs of the military formations across the theater of war.
The Army Chief’s statement came on the same day Nigeria’s presidency announced that the last Boko Haram Sambisa Forest bulwark had been cleared by troops fighting the terrorists.
President Muhammadu Buhari had said that the sect members have nowhere to hide and would be pursued until they were brought to justice.