The Presidency and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) have declared the December dateline given by President Muhammadu Buhari to the military to flush out the Boko Haram sect remains sacrosanct.
They said although there would be pockets of attacks by the terror group, such occurrences would not affect the deadline.
According to Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Army remains battle ready to end the Boko Haram insurgency on the given dateline.
President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend sent a delegation to Adamawa and Borno states to condole with the governments and the people of the two states on last week’s bombings by terrorists.
After the visit, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Sunday, urged the people to be involved in the policing of their areas.
Shehu said: “The President, who spoke through the leader of the delegation, Engineer Babachir David Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), directed all communities in the country to revert to old practices by which new arrivals in their neighbourhoods were taken note of by local chiefs and security agencies.
“…As I said a few times in the past, desperate actions such as the detonation of IEDs will take a longer time to eradicate even as our optimism continues to grow that Boko Haram as a fighting force will be crushed by the year’s end.
“After that, we hope all displaced communities will be returned to their towns and villages. But even when this is about to happen, there will still remain vital tests and challenges. We must work hard to eradicate all forms of extremism.”
And during a visit to officers and soldiers of the 3 Division, Nigerian Army Jos, Plateau State on Sunday, Buratai insisted that the level of operation, the number of troops and the equipment being employed by his men, have all since increased.
“Our strategy and operational plans have continued to evolve with the daily challenges that we have,” he reiterated.
The COAS, however, expressed concern over what he described as the increased spate of bombings by the terrorist group in some cities in the North- East, particularly on soft targets in the last two weeks.
He was optimistic that the army, in partnership with other security agencies, would soon find a solution to the spate of bombings.
While commending the soldiers in the battlefront for a job well done so far, he urged Nigerians to support the fight against the terrorist group by providing useful information to security agencies.
Responding to the president’s admonition, Governors of Borno and Adamawa, Kashim Shettima and Senator Jibrilla Bindow, praised Buhari for having the states and the people at heart in their tragic moments.
They thanked him for his commitment to the eradication of terrorism and his efforts to secure the country.
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