The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Monday, said that the army is still searching for the remaining abducted Chibok girls in the Boko Haram captivity since 2014.
Buratai stated this while delivering the maiden lecture of the Centre for Contemporary Security Affairs at the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, with the title: “Military and democratic consolidation in Nigeria, appraisal of the Nigeria Army counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operation.”
He also disclosed that Boko Haram activities have been confined to the Lake Chad area and the Sambisa forest in the North East region of the country.
Buratai noted that the Boko Haram activities were reduced in the region due to the residence of the military in collaboration with other security agencies.
According to him, the preservation of sovereignty and good governance are crucial to wellbeing of the nation and its people, noting that complex security challenges like the Boko Haram activities required political and security solutions that ensure that democracy and good governance rebound stronger after the crisis.
Buratai said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has fulfilled the pledge to support the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) by donating the sum of $100m.
He added that the current political leadership has demonstrated strong political will, purposeful direction and resources to galvanize the nation against the common enemy.
Buratai identified porous boarders, large space of operational environment, cross-border insurgency, insufficient international support in terms of equipment, among others, as the challenges militating the fight against insurgency.
According to him: “One of the salient but radical changes in the operations was changing the orientation and mindset of troops from a defensive to an offensive posture. We also created the Theatre Command to coordinate the activities of the divisions involved in the operations.
“Socio-economic activities and free movement of people and goods have resumed in many areas. Significant improvements can be attributed to the systematic campaign led by the Army in conjunction with other security and elements of national power.
“Success recorded so far is an indication that for Nigeria’s democracy to be consolidated, the military must not only play its part but must also fulfil the constitutional roles assigned to them.”
Earlier in his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, said when it becomes operational, the Centre would carry out research that interrogate emerging security challenges of local and global concern and will also conduct research in terrorism, organised crimes, cyber security intelligence, among others.