Hope of an imminent end to the Islamic Boko Haram carnage in Nigeria and bordered countries glitters if a new statement by the Nigerian Army Command is anything to go by.
According to the spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said in a statement on Sunday, sustained offensive operations, pre-emptive air strikes by the Nigerian Air Force and routes blocking by ground troops, all geared towards constricting and snuffing out the Boko Haram terrorists, are strategies that have forced some terrorists to willingly surrender.
He said that many more were willing to surrender, but did not give the number of the terrorists that had so far surrendered.
“Many of the terrorists that willingly surrendered painted images of mass panic and hysteria among their erstwhile colleagues who are feeling the noose tightening on their necks with the relentless efforts of troops and renewed vigour in operations inspired by the personal leadership of the Chief of Army Staff,” the statement further read.
The Army’s new offensive, tagged’ Operation Lafiya Dole’, followed the appointment of Tukur Buratai, a Lieutenant General, as the Chief of Army Staff by President Muhammadu Buhari.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported how Mr. Buratai, an indigene of Borno, last week visited Gamboru, a border town between Nigeria and Cameroon, which was recently retaken from the insurgents. The Army chief stayed the night there, fraternized with soldiers on the field, and pledged not to lose any territory to the terrorists whose insurgency has caused the death of about 20,000 people since 2009.
Col. Sani Usman said that the terrorists also seemed to have “an inkling of what happens to surrendered suspects, as regards screening and de-radicalisation of innocent ones among them”.
He said that the Nigerian Army in conjunction with the Nigerian Air Force and other security agencies would continue to devise and implement effective strategies to bring Boko Haram terrorism to a speedy end.
“It will also continue to receive surrendering suspects and assures innocent ones among them that surrender is the only option open to them,” Col. Usman stressed.
The Nigerian Army also commended Nigerians for providing the troops information that had aided their operation and emphasized that more information and support were required to ensure quicker obliteration of the Boko Haram scourge in the nation’s north-east.
Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, had last month given the Nigerian Armed Forces three months to end the insurgency in the north-east.
In a related development, President Muhammadu Buhari would about now, Monday 14th September, 2015 be departing the Nigerian capital, Abuja, for Paris on a three-day official visit to France at the invitation of President Francois Hollande.
The President will be accompanied on the visit by the country’s National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, the Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Ministries of Defense, Finance, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Industry, Trade and Investment as well as the Chief Executives of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said.
As the composition of his entourage indicates, President Buhari’s talks in Paris with President Hollande and other senior French Government officials will focus on the further strengthening and consolidation of ongoing bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and France in the areas of defense, security, trade and investments, Mr. Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesperson had said in an official statement.