Boko Haram: No going back on December deadline – Buratai

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Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai

Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said there is no going back on the December deadline handed down the military by President Muhammadu Buhari to end insurgency in the North-east.

Buratai stated this at the COAS Third Quarterly Conference 2015 which held at the Army Headquarters, Abuja yesterday.

He said the ongoing operations in the North east remained a top priority of the Nigerian Army, insisting that it was not just necessary but obligatory for the Nigerian Army, other services and security agencies to meet the timeline given by President Buhari on Boko Haram.

“The ongoing operations in the North east are our priority for now. This is not only necessary but obligatory of us to meet Mr. President’s timeframe to bring the Boko Haram criminality to a complete stop,” he said.

Buratai further assured that the Nigerian Army had taken far-reaching steps towards meeting the deadline, some of which include reinvigoration of Op Lafiya Dole, information and Psychological operations among others.

“I initially issued several directives covering the reinvigoration of Operation Lafiya Dole, Information and Psychological operations and my mission directive for clearing operations in Sambisa Forest.

Recently, Operation Lafiya Dole further directives as well as COAS sustainment and Logistics Directive for Operation Lafiya Dole were issued and are being implemented.”

“These directives have given the much needed impetus and clear directions towards meeting operational objectives and hopefully, sooner than later total defeat of insurgency in our country,” the COAS further assured.

Buratai, who commended the resilience and reinvigorated spirit of the troops in the frontline in the North east and other operations across Nigeria, said efforts were on to deny Boko Haram terrorists freedom of action.

“Highlights of these directives include the re-alignment of troops to block all access in and out of Sambisa Forest in order to tighten the noose round the criminals and deny them freedom of action. This was done simultaneously with relocation of Tactical Headquarters 3 Division and 27 Task Force Brigade to Damaturu and Buni Yadi, respectively, while, the logistics Base 111 was established at Damaturu also as part of Phase 1 of Operation Lafiya Dole.”

He advised officers and men of the Nigeria Army “to touch base with the wind of change blowing in Nigeria,” adding that the renewed breath of patriotism exhibited by the troops flowed directly from the wind of change blowing from the national leadership of Nigeria as epitomized by President Buhari.

“I enjoin everyone to touch base with this wind of change which underlines my vision for the Nigerian Army which is ‘to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles,” said the army chief.

He outlined some of his achievements to include taking steps to enhance the overall being of service personnel through a number of landmark infrastructure developments in various formations and units; ensuring that whatever is required by various departments, formations, units and schools were provided; approving N321,000,000 for payment of Nigerian Army Scholarship of over 1,082 children of deceased families for 2014/2015; improving general wellbeing and boosting moral of troops through accelerated promotion of 5000 gallant soldiers in the north east and recall of over 3000 dismissed soldiers of erstwhile Operation Lafiya Dole.

“I have since approved the special promotion for 5000 gallant soldiers in the North east now Operation Lafiya Dole. This is to boost morale of the fighting troops,” Buratai disclosed.

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