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Military in victory mode against B’Haram


front pix  18-3-15 Copy

Victorious Nigerian troops jubilating at Baga during a media tour of recaptured territories in the North East…yesterday PHOTO: NAN

• We’ll recover all lost territories from insurgents, says Minimah
• Jonathan meets security chiefs

EVEN as they inch closer to total victory, Nigerian military men and officers fighting the war against the Boko Haram sect in the Northeast were in high spirits, as President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday met with Service Chiefs, heads of security agencies and the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, who gave brief update on the preparations for the forthcoming general elections.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, Chief of Air Staff, Marshal Adesola Amosu, and Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba.

The Director-General of the Directorate of State Services ((DSS), Ita Ekpeyong, National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Aminu Wali, and his Interior counterpart, Abba Moro, also attended the special meeting.
Jega, who emerged from the meeting after more than four hours, however, declined to give details of his interaction with the security body. He simply told State House correspondents that his presentations to the Council went well.

However, speaking to correspondents later, the Army Chief said the military was on top of the situation in its war against insurgents in the Northeast. But he would not discuss the political angle to the meeting, as he said he lacked the competence to do so.
According to him, the Council reviewed the Northeast operations, particularly in the last three weeks, and renewed its confidence in the Nigerian Armed Forces and commended them too.

His words: “You know that Yobe and Adamawa states have been liberated completely, and we look forward to the reinstatement of structures of government and governance. I am also sure you know that, in Borno State, out of the 27 local government areas, we have three local governments remaining in the hands of the insurgents. (They are) Abadam, Kalabalge and Gwoza, and we are optimistic that, with time, we will liberate those local government areas.”

Asked if election could safely take place in the affected areas, Minimah said he was not competent to speak on that, as INEC would have to do its re-assessment of the situation before any final decision could be taken. He added that the army is working to ensure the areas are completely liberated before the polls.

He said: “I am not competent to speak on that matter. INEC is still there, INEC has to re-assess the situation and evaluate, because the areas have been liberated. But I can also tell you that not all structures of governance have been reinstated – they will need to be reinstated so that citizens can go back to their areas; only then will the electorate be able to execute their rights as voters.

“But it is our wish, and we pray that God gives that to us; but war is war. War, sometimes, is not fought on some platforms of permutations.”
Answering questions on the missing Chibok schoolgirls, the Army chief said there was no news yet. “In all the liberated areas,” he said, “We have also made enquiries. But the truth is, when the terrorists are running away, they also run with their families, and those we have come in contact with have not made any comments suggesting that Chibok girls were there and taken away; but we are optimistic that, as the election comes closer, and the territory becomes more elusive to the terrorists, we will get further details on that.”

Minimah, was upbeat on Monday as he declared open a three-day conference he hosted for his top commanders in Abuja, to appraise the conduct of the war against the Boko Haram insurgency. He declared that the Nigerian Army “has turned the tide in the Northeast on behalf of the Nigerian State.”

Thanking patriotic citizens who kept on supporting the troops, despite some of the reverses in the war frontlines – that almost brought the Nigerian Army to its knees – Gen Minimah invited Nigerians to join “the battle cry of ‘Never Again,’ which is the mantra of the troops in the Northeast. This achievement would not have been possible without the sacrifice, commitment and devotion of our gallant troops, some of who paid the supreme sacrifice in the process.”

Stating that the Nigerian Army has continued to induct new equipment into its inventory and intensified training of its officers and soldiers on the equipment both within the country and overseas, Minimah noted that “these measures have added impetus to our operational posture and contributed immensely to our current exploits in the on-going military operations against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-Eastern part of the country, especially Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi and Gombe states.”

Later on the same day, Defence Headquarters announced that the Nigerian military had successfully routed Boko Haram insurgents from two of the three states – Adamawa and Yobe.

At the height of the Boko Haram menace, up till few weeks ago, the insurgents occupied about 20 per cent of Nigeria’s land mass, including controlling swathes of territory in the three states estimated at 50,000 square kilometres.
Defence Headquarters also noted that the Nigerian troops, assisted by allied regional partners – Chad, Niger and Cameroun – who are holding their own sides of the borders, now have their focus on the remaining bastion of Borno State, where Monday afternoon, they finally succeeded in routing terrorists from Bama. The mission to retake Bama was accomplished with massive casualty inflicted on the terrorists, with the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents fleeing into Chad. And as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Nigeria and Chad, the Chadian partners in the Multinational Joint Task Force have been mandated to undertake a pursuit of the terrorists, who are believed to be heading for the borders after being dislodged from Bama.

Defence spokesman, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade, said in a statement that the “Nigerian troops are continuing with cordon and search of the town and surrounding.  Arms and ammunition are being recovered as troops conduct aggressive patrol of the entire vicinity on the looking out for any terrorists who might be stranded or trying to operate elsewhere in the area.”

And to conclude the rout on Boko Haram from Yobe State, Goniri, the last major stronghold of the terrorists, was also on Monday morning taken over completely by Nigerian troops.  Cordon-and-search is continuing in and around Goniri town, which is in same local government area with Buni Yadi, where a bomb-making facility was discovered in the course of a recent cordon-and-search.

This completes the clearing of Gujba local council, one of the two councils occupied by the terrorists in Yobe State.  The other local government, Gulani, was finally cleared earlier in the month.  This makes Yobe the second to be successfully cleared among the three states slated for the mission to dislodge terrorists’ bases. Also, Adamawa State was the first state under the state of emergency to have all its territory cleared of Boko Haram’s presence.

The comprehensive offensive aimed at clearing the terrorists from all parts of the mission area is continuing with coordinated air strikes on identified terrorists’ hideouts and enclaves along with ground assaults.
Also, on Monday, the tempo of activities towards continuing the successes in the frontlines increased with the Chiefs of Defence Staff of Nigeria, Chad and Niger holding a one-day meeting in Abuja which resolved to establish a structure for joint planning to enhance the operations and consolidate on the successes achieved in the mission to rout the Boko Haram insurgents. Underlining the urgency of their decision, the meeting stated that a Joint Operations Headquarters (JOH) be established and activated immediately.


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  • Ojiyovwi

    Congratulations to our gallant and patriotic members of the armed forces. Congratulations to GEJ for having the humility to explore all and every other way put an end to the madness of religious insurgency. The race must now be on to entrench personal pride in all our Northern brethren in the values that make us Nigerians, caring, generous spirited, industry and the innate and default state of mind to share worldly and spiritual assets with our fellows. Long live Nigeria and one Nigerians. Our ancestors greet the collective efforts to rid our communities of bigotry of religions and the installation of self-belief in our common heritage of civility and mutual support. I’d like to take this time to urge the leadership to look what is right for our people and not for themselves. Provide the health and social infrastructures you so envy in the developed nations around the world – excellent hospitals backed by University-based research centres, excellent schools and colleges, excellent communications and traffic networks and the arts. We must wrestle pride in ourselves and our own ways of life. Greetings to all including those of our brethren misled into the falsehoods of Bokoharam.

  • Joseph

    Kudos to the military, but they should not relent in their efforts. .Our leaders must also not politicize the armed forces.

  • Ojiyovwi

    We all believe in press and individual freedom. Welcome to Nigeria, Buhari. So no sharia then. You have finally got your Damascus moment as we all do when we realise we’re chasing shadows. Now you see the fruitlessness of your ways in creating and nurturing bokoharam. Tinubu in the APC, many thanks for smoking out Buhari from behind the bokoharam insurgency. It is not a coincidence that bokoharam has finally hit the buffers from all vectorial degrees of freedom to kill our people and escape into forests. Now all those involved can either join Buhari and have their Damascus moments or face death. I hope they all chose the former.

  • Asuquo Bassey

    Congratulations and well done to our gallant soldiers for the victories so far achieved. I request you all our dear soldiers to finish the war quickly by flushing out all Boko Haram terrorists from the remaining local government areas in Borno state and also clear the Sambisa and other forests that serve as dens for Boko Haram terrorists. May Almighty God bless Our Armed forces, Mr President, Nigeria and Africa especially our friendly neighbouring countries in Jesus Name, Amen. CHEERS and congrats.

  • habib dauda

    president GEJ has no doubt been the inspiration behind the successes of the Nigerian military against insurgency. GEJ is just the right man to steer the affairs of the Nigerian nation.1million guns salute to the commander in chief of the Nigerian armed forces president GEJ GCFR #GEJ4Naija

  • Biggs Nem

    This shows how committed the President is in conquering the BH menace. The president has reaffirmed it that he will recover our lost territories in a couple of days and we support the President on this course. #GEj4Naija

  • shola Alao

    At first they say the Mr President is not capable to defeat the insurgency in the North east but now they have been put to shame because our gallant soldiers are doing all they can to win the war and they are winning already. we pray for more strength for them and also we need to keep supporting them and support Mr President re -election so that he can continue to provide the necessary arsenals for the military to win this war.God bless GEJ for the support for the military.

  • aokesapati

    Helloooo My people which kind of victory is this ? WHERE ARE THE CHIBOK GIRLS ???????BIG APPLAUDS TO YOU ALL.

  • Chim52

    Stand at ATTENTION for our FAST and FURIOUS MILITARY. All Nigerians must be very PROUD of you.May I use this opportunity to thank GEJ for his steadfast support for our GALLANT men and women in uniform. GEJ and the PDP, remained loyal to the military through THICK and THIN:- it has been impressive , especially now:- the harvest season for CAMPING, DE-CAMPING, INTENSIVE CAMPAIGN OF CALUMNY and just childish display of TREACHERY.
    It pains that not all Nigerians welcome the successes so far recorded by our Military, but then wars always create divisions, which, hopefully, with time, would evaporate.
    However, when the last shots are fired, they would herald absolute VICTORY for and CONSOLIDATION of the UNITY of our DEAR COUNTRY, Nigeria. BRAVO, GUYS

  • Makavelli

    I envy these terrorists killed because each of them have gotten 77 virgins. Kudos for our military for helping them to actualize their dreams and GEJ.