The Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, says tremendous achievement has been recorded in the fight against insurgency in the North-East with the neutralisation of 1, 429 boko haram insurgents and the arrest of 116 of their associates.
Buratai said this on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while speaking with journalists on his two months’ sojourn in the theatre of war after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari.
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The army chief, who returned to the headquarters in Abuja on Sunday, said President Buhari was happy with the performance of the military when he briefed him on the operations in the North-East for the past two months.
He said: “The troops are putting in their best and that has resulted in the tremendous successes we are recording.
“The fight is still ongoing and over 1429 boko haram terrorists have been neutralised and we have arrested over 166 boko haram terrorists informants, their spies, couriers on logistics and their coordinators in the villages, the towns and even the forest.
“So, this is a tremendous achievement, our intelligence corps along with the Department of State Services and of course our good friends the civilian Joint Task Force CJTF, have worked very hard to see that this is achieved and I assure you that things will continue to improve as the days go by.
“I came in from the North-East just a day ago and it behoves on me to brief the President on what transpired there during the two months I stayed there.
“I have given him details of what the troops are doing and what we have achieved as well as what we intend to achieve in the nearest future.
“So far so good, even before I came, the President has been getting reports on what is happening in the North-East.
“So, with this brief that I gave him this morning, is further confirmation of what he has been receiving and so far, so good, he is impressed with the performance of the troops in the North-East and the effort put in so far has paid off.
“We will continue to deal with the situation, not only in the North-East but all other parts of the country.
“Tremendous success has been achieved and we are very happy with what is going on,” he added.
The Chief of Army Staff, who lauded the effort and loyalty of officers and men of the Nigerian Army, said that he would soon go back to be with them.
Buratai said the morale of the troops in the trenches was very high at the moment as their loyalty and commitment was not in doubt.
He said the overall goal of the ongoing military operations in various parts of the country was to rid the areas of criminal activities.
He : “Surely, you will agree with me that the troops’ morale is very high; it is something of trust, something of confidence, and something that will raise the spirit of any officer or soldier when he sees his Chief of Army Staff in the trenches a long with him.
“This has raised the morale of the troops and has also made them to put in their best and that is what has resulted in us doing so well and it’s still on going.
“Surely, military operations are carried out with plan and the overall plan is to rid the whole of the North-West and other emerging threats that are coming up in other parts of the country especially the North-Central and some areas that hitherto have been quiet.
“We will continue to tackle any form of insecurity that is emerging in collaboration with all other security agencies and our colleagues in the Navy and the Airforce.
“We have very loyal and courageous officers and soldiers.
“While in the battle field there, so I am very much impressed and happy with my officers and soldiers.
“This is to show the level of morale that they had while I was there and I will continue to be with them, to raise their morale,” he said.