The Coalition of Human Rights and Monitoring Groups in Nigeria (CHRMGN) has hailed the Nigerian troops for displaying sheer gallantry to abort proposed attacks on Yobe and Borno States.
Between 22nd and 24th December, the Nigerian military averted what would have been a major disaster, repelling Boko Haram attacks on Damaturu and Biu.
The gallant troops overwhelmed the insurgents, inflicting heavy casualties in their hundreds.
In a press conference on Friday in Abuja, the Coalition of Human Rights and Monitoring Groups in Nigeria described this latest feat as a “success”, deserving of adulation.
According to a statement by President, Gabriel Agibi, this was made possible through prayers, intelligence gathering, improved quality of weaponry, high morale of troops and exemplary leadership by the military too brass.
The coalition, hence, singled out Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and other top military brass for praises for ensuring that troops are well taken care of and mobilised to be combat ready at all times.
The group further called on Nigerians to support and appreciate the troops for routinely raising to the occasion.
Rear full press statement below:
You’re all welcome to this important press conference on the recent rounds of successes recorded by the Nigeria Armed Forces in quelling insurgency and defeating terrorism in Nigeria.
You are all aware that from the 22nd to 24th of December, 2019, the Boko Haram terrorists tried to take two major towns in North east Nigeria, namely, Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State; and Biu, a major town in Borno State.
You are aware that in both occasions, the terrorists were overwhelmed and roundly dealt with that they beat hasty retreats to their caves.
It is no longer news that they met their Waterloo in the hands of our troops who rose to the occasion and killed over 100 of the terrorists in Biu, Damaturu and other small villages where they were hiding.
Reports suggest that due to the manner they were defeated, it is unlikely that the terrorists will ever attempt to strike Damaturu again given their loss and consternation.
It might interest you to know that this is not the first time the terrorists had tried to take over both Damaturu and Biu and indeed other major towns within the North east axis.
You will recall that at a time, they succeeded in taking over Gwoza and sacked the legally constituted authority in about 10 local governments in Borno State while visiting mayhem on urban commercial centers like Mubi and Potiskum in Adamawa and Yobe States respectively thereby disrupting normal life and causing untold hardship to residents.
We recall that during the past administration, they at a time were able to unleash mayhem in Damaturu for several hours leading to heavy casualties and at another time even gained entry into the Government House.
Though they were later repelled in the previous occasions, it had been at a heavy cost to the country in terms of human casualty and property.
But their latest attempt has been the most unsuccessful as only few of them barely made it alive to their trenches.
On their own account, the terrorists tried all their possible best to gain entry into Damaturu but were overpowered and pushed back by the Nigerian troops.
The terrorists in the process recorded heavy casualties and lost one of their General Commander who is said to be coordinating attacks around Lake Chad Fringes.
We learnt that after their initial defeat around Damaturu, they made an attempt to reinforce from one of their bases in a place called Gorgore Camp but the team could not muster the courage to move due to the stark reality of defeat that stared them in the face.
If the terrorists had succeeded in their evil campaign, the whole world would have been thrown into mourning due to the high casualty rate likely to be recorded as Damaturu and Biu being urbane centres are densely populated.
The success of the recent military operation has been made possible through prayers, intelligence gathering, improved quality of weaponry, high morale of troops and exemplary leadership by the military too brass.
We at this stage must commend the leadership role of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and other top military brass who have ensured that troops are well taken care of and mobilised to be combat ready at all times in the sustained fight against terrorism in Nigeria.
We may not appreciate the magnitude of the sacrifice being made by the Nigerian troops until we realise that they also have families and would have wanted just like all of us, to be with their families to celebrate both Christmas and New Year.
We also may not fully grasp the extent of the success of this operations until we realise that prior to the yuletide, the insurgents had mobilized heavily to cause unrest around the fringes of the lake Chad basin.
That they have failed has served as a boost to the psyche of the citizenry and renewed the hope of many in the capacity of the state to protect them, thereby preserving millions of lives and businesses.
It is instructive to note that the military in achieving the latest feat also avoided collateral damages and fought with high professional standard maintaining a high level human rights record which is highly commendable in view of the recent attempt by some groups to discredit its human rights record.
We commend the Nigeria army for their bravery and gallantry and we want to let them know that they have regained our confidence and we totally have no iota of doubt about their professional competence.
We can say without fear of contradiction that what are seeing of the army now reaffirms the fact that the feat they achieved in keeping Nigeria one and in other international engagement like in Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia were not by accident.
We call on all citizens of Nigeria to join us in commending the army and other security agencies that have made this possible and pray to God to continue to keep them and their families until we put a final stop to such criminal activities.
We call on all arms of government to continue to support our troops.