Nigeria’s Army Chief has restated the government’s stance that the Boko Haram insurgents have been defeated. Tukur Buratai, a lieutenant general, stated this in Maiduguri while addressing journalists on Sunday. “It is very clear that the terrorists have been defeated; there are no doubts about it,” he said. “What we are doing now is a mop up operations aimed at ensuring that we clear the rest of them. It is one thing to defeat, and it is another issue for the terrorists to surrender.
“We are working on their final surrender in the remaining enclaves where they are now. And very soon we will achieve that objective.” Also, the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin, said that the military will not persuade Boko Haram insurgents to give up hostilities. Rather, he said, the troops will continue their offensive against the outlawed group until they are completely decimated. Mr. Olonisakin, a general, said this in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, where he is currently staying as part of his operational visit.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, alongside other top officers of the Nigeria military who had been in the state for about two weeks, received the defence chief at the Nigeria Air Force Base. Mr. Olonisakin spoke to journalists shortly after a tour of some war equipment recently procured and refurbished at the Maimalari Barracks, headquarters of 7 Division where the Military Command and Control Centre is also located.
“There is always room for the Boko Haram to surrender; that was why we put up the “Operation Safe Corridor” initiative to have them surrender, de-radicalized and rehabilitated”, said the defence chief. “That corridor is still open; however, we will not wait until they surrender.” The defence chief said he was impressed with the equipment at the disposal of the troops in Borno.