By SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –
The Minister of Defence, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, on Tuesday assured that the Nigeria military troops would soon end Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
The Minister stated this on Tuesday when he led a high powered delegation on a one day operational visit to Borno State and the Theatre Command, Headquarters JTF North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) Maiduguri.
Badaru was accompanied by the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Mattawalle, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal, Hassan Abubakar, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla and Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye.
Speaking to journalists on his mission, the Minister of Defence said, “we are in Maiduguri in company of the high level delegation of the Service Chiefs assigned by President Bola Tinubu, to appraise security situation in the theatre of operation.”
“President Tinubu asked us to visit the governor and the good people of Borno, and our patriotic officers here in Borno to see and to hear from them, what is happening both in the frontline and in the cities. What are the progress being made and what we need to do more to support their operations.
“We had frank and honest discussions with Gov. Bagana Zulum before coming here, where we discussed the way forward and it is our resolve that in no distant future, we will see the end of the insecurity.
“He had also shared a lot of strategies with the CDS and the Service Chiefs and together they agreed on the next line of action and I believe if followed religiously, insecurity in the state will come to an end,” Badaru said.
The Minister, further, explained that the commitment of the president to support the military and security agencies to end insurgency and restore peace towards sustainable peace and resettlement of displaced persons.
“From here, we will go to see our troops, greet and thank them for their sacrifices, for being their and taken the bullet for us, for all the work that they are doing as well as hear from them on their challenges and needs so that we can how best we can resolved them.
“The crop of leadership we have in the military are working hand in hand together and have resolved to fight this war diligently and they are working as a family committed to see the end of the menace in no distant future, “Badaru added.
Earlier at the Government House Maiduguri during his courtesy call on Governor Zulum, the Minister commended Zulum for his support to the military, saying, “we appreciate all the support, sometimes you risk your life in supporting and giving courage to our personnel in the frontline”.
In his remark, Governor , Zulum appreciated the visit of the defence delegation and said the joint operational visit of the defence high powered team to the theatre Command Headquarters North East Maiduguri was a clear testimony of the commitment and determination of Defence Ministers and the Service Chiefs towards achieving lasting peace in the State.
According to him. the security situation in the state has actually improved tremendously as a result of the successes recorded by the troops.comoare to the past.
Zulum, however, warned against sensational security reportage by the media, noting that the insurgents do take the advantage of such information to make attacks on innocent villagers and farmers in the rural areas despite the fact that they have been degraded.
“Within the last two weeks, I have been to the nooks and crannies of the state and reports reaching me from stakeholders in these areas indicated that peace has returned in the state,” Zulum said.
While commending the efforts and support of President Tinubu and the military for sustaining the improved security situation in the state, Zulum urged them to rid the state of the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists.
“The only way we can degrade their presence is continued and sustained military operations,” Zulum added.
The governor further said that about 160,000 insurgent fighters and their family members had surrendered sequel to the non kinetic effort of the military while soliciting for the support of the military in terms of manpower development to enable the state curtail trans-border small arms and light weapons proliferation from the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon Republic the state is sharing international boundary with them.
“We have insurgency in other part of the country but the security in the northeast is very important for the stability of the country because of the porous borders with Niger, Cameroon and Chad Republics.
“We have to ensure that we don’t have safe haven for ISWAP in the northeast as the Sahel is now a major problem, ” Zulum said.