The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. General Tukur Buratai on Monday said that the power of insurgents – Boko Haram – has been degraded.
Reference: Buratai had said all that was remaining for the war on Boko Haram to end was for the political class, the intelligence community, Nigeria Police and other civil authorities to play their roles.
Now happening: Buratai insists that the tide has turned against insurgents since his appointment two years ago and, the support from President Muhammadu Buhari has been more than helpful.
The army chief made the remarks while declaring open a Retreat for Past Commanders of the on-going Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Operations in the Northeast at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja.
Buratai said: “As we are all aware, the emergence of the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) led insurgency that began in 2009 in the Northeast has been one of the most daunting national security challenges that have threatened and undermined the peace and security of Nigeria.
“The situation was so bad when I was appointed COAS in June 2015 that about 14 local government areas in Borno State were under the full control of the BHTs. Furthermore, their activities have reduced the socio-economic activities in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe almost with concomitant hardship on the citizenry.
“This national security challenge that the BHTs pose to the Nigerian State informed Mr President’s directive to the Armed Forces to end the Boko Haram menace in three months from when he was sworn-in in May 2015.
“Additionally, I took over the mantle of leadership at a time troops morale in the NA was at its lowest ebb and the battle tide almost in favour of the BHTs. The need to swiftly respond to this challenge informed the fashioning of my mission statement which is “to have a professionally responsive NA in the discharge of its constitutional roles”.
“I am glad to say that Commanders have all keyed into this vision, with the resultant effect of a change in the battle tide against the BHTs, which led to the successful degradation of their military capability to hold any portion of the Nigerian territory.
“In the same vein, with the support of the Commander in Chief (C-in-C), despite the economic downturn, we have recorded significant achievements in improving the welfare of troops particularly those in the frontline in particular and the entire NA in general,” Buratai asserted.
The COAS expressed the commitment of the nation’s military to ensure that the normalcy that has returned to the Northeast is sustained, and urged the military to remain vigilant as “asymmetric warfare has become a defining feature of the 21st Century security challenges that we will be contending with”.