You must win war against insurgency, Buhari, orders Nigeria’s Military
BY FRANCIS EZEM
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the nation’s Military to eliminate the Boko Haram insurgents from the face of the earth, insisting that the war against insurgency remains a must win war.
The President, who gave this charge while declaring open the ongoing Chief of Army Staff’s Conference holding in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital with the theme: “Optimising the Operational Efficiency of the Nigerian Army Towards Safeguarding Democracy and National Security in Nigeria”, warned that troops cannot afford to be distracted by whatever speculations but to remain focused and committed to the task of eliminating Boko Haram from the face of the earth.
Recall that the Nigerian Army last week recorded high casualty figures when the Boko Haram insurgents ambushed the Military camp in Metele in Borno North, a development that informed the sudden decision to change the venue of the conference initial scheduled for Benin City, the Edo State capital to Maiduguri.
The President however admitted that there have been some operational losses in the northern part of Borno State, especially particularly in Jilli, Arege and Metele.in the recent months and days, and urged the Military to do everything possible to reverse the trend.
He said: I am also painfully aware that some gallant officers and soldiers have paid the supreme price in the course of these anti-terrorist operations. While we remember them and mourn with their loved ones, I must also convey the deep gratitude of the Government and people of Nigeria to the late soldiers and their families for their heroic sacrifices. Our thoughts and prayers are also with all other victims of Boko Haram’s atrocities and their families.
“I know that you are doing your best to reverse this trend and I want to assure you that no effort will be spared in providing the necessary support you require to complete the task. We remain committed to ending the crisis in the North East and making the entire area safe for all. I urge you all to keep up the good work.
“I will be visiting some of our injured troops in hospitals and also talk to others at their bases to assure them of our continued support. It is a must win war. I want to encourage our troops not to be distracted by whatever speculations but to remain focused and committed to the task of eliminating Boko Haram from the face of the earth”.
He also reminded the nation’s Military that one of the cardinal objectives of this government is security, saying that the Nigerian Army’s efforts have led to the dislodgement of insurgents from areas hitherto viewed as their strongholds, rescue of abducted persons, return of Internally Displaced Persons and the gradual return to normalcy in the North Eastern part of the country.
He also alluded to the fact that the effort of the military has also stabilised the security situation in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country and curtailed the clashes between herdsmen and farmers that led to the deaths of scores of Nigerians, especially in states like Benue, Plateau and Taraba.
On the forthcoming 2019 general elections, the President also urged the entire armed forces to brace up for the exercise with a view to ensuring peaceful electioneering processes.
“As we approach the 2019 General Elections, I want to urge all members of the Armed Forces to live up to their responsibilities and remain non-partisan. In addition, you must all remain vigilant throughout the electioneering period and alongside other security agencies, prevent every form of violence that could disrupt the process in line with your Rules of Engagement.
“The Nigerian Army has enriched her corporate identity, organizational commitment and responsiveness. I also wish to acknowledge the drastic reduction in Human Rights allegations against the Nigerian Army. I urge you to continue to ensure that all troops remain committed to the observance of all International Human Rights Laws and Laws of Armed Conflict.
“Let me also commend you all for the professional manner with which the Nigerian Army in collaboration with other security agencies unraveled the perpetrators involved in the disappearance of late Major General Idris Alkali. This attests to the capabilities that exist in our security apparatus. I want to assure you that the perpetrators will be brought to book.
“I want to reassure you that as your Commander-In-Chief, I will do everything within my powers to continue empowering you by providing all the necessary equipment, force multipliers and enablers required for you to prevail on the field. I also want you to be aware that I am currently looking into measures to improve your entitlements and welfare generally”, the President also said.