The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has assured residents of the North-east Nigeria of a more peaceful region in 2016.He gave the assurance on Thursday after his operational visits to troops’ locations in parts of Borno and Yobe states.
He said joint forces had within the timeframe given by President Muhammadu Buhari, decimated the Boko Haram sect and substantially destroyed its enclaves on Nigerian territory.
He added that “going by the present pace and momentum of the military operation, no insurgent or group will be able operate freely by 2016.
“Since Mr President’s mandate, we have done a lot to defeat these criminals; we have degraded them in such a manner that they can no longer hold any ground in our country.
“They can no longer coordinate any attacks; we will, in the coming few days, completely close in on them, so the outlook for 2016 is bright.
“I want to assure Nigerians, especially the North-east, that 2016 will be more peaceful.’’
Buratai said that the military would consolidate on the successes recorded in the operations so far, stressing that there would be no room for the insurgents to operate henceforth.
At the Army Brigade in Biu and the Armed Forces Special Forces Battalion stationed in Buratai town, the Army chief conveyed President Buhari’s congratulatory message to the troops for meeting the deadline.
He said that the President was pleased with the successes recorded, especially in meeting the timeline in fighting insurgency.
He, however, urged them not to be complacent as the insurgents would employ desperate measures to survive the onslaught by the military.
At the base of 21 Brigade deployed from Damaturu to Buni Yadi, Buratai commended the soldiers for their efforts in curbing the activities of the insurgents in the area.
He urged the troops to remain alert and make good use of equipment provided them for the operations.
The chief of army staff reiterated the commitment of the Army and other relevant authorities to provide the necessary logistics to enable troops to sustain the momentum of the operations.
Buratai, who held durbars in all the locations visited, also addressed issues raised by soldiers and officers.
Some of the soldiers who spoke at the durbar expressed their desire and readiness to end the counter-insurgency operations and return home as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, President Buhari had expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded by the military.