The Nigerian Army on Saturday said it had recorded significant successes in the campaign against Boko Haram insurgency in the past four years in the country.
Bri.-Gen. Bulama Biu, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division and Commander Sector 1, Operation Lafiya Dole, said this at a social gathering organized to mark the 2018 Nigerian Army Social Activities (NASA), at Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.
Biu said that the successful celebration of NASA in Maiduguri highlighted the military’s triumph over the insurgents and restoration of peace to the war-torn region.
He noted that the military had successfully restored normalcy and peace in Maiduguri and other parts of the region, compared to the chaotic situation bedeviling the area in the past years.
Biu explained that the military had re-opened major high ways and roads, hitherto closed due to the insurgents attacks and rescued thousands of people from insurgents’ captivity.
“Today’s occasion offers us unique opportunity to celebrate the prevailing peace in the northeast, particularly in Borno which by God’s grace, has been achieved through the doggedness and boldness of our troops and the stakeholders.
Our officers and soldiers, therefore, deserve to celebrate their year of success over the terrorists having toiled tenaciously to keep the peace of the land through their sweat and blood with many paying the supreme sacrifice.
There is no doubt that we have conducted many successful operations in 2018; we are determined to conduct more until Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal elements are completely purged out of our land.
Through our successful operations, many roads, hitherto closed due to the insurgents activities, have been reopened and secured to promote hinterland economy.
Also, several people were rescued from captivity while many resettled back to their homes with adequate support for their farming activities,” he said.
Biu added that the army, under its stability operations, had restored peace, essential services and provided humanitarian services, to support the populace directly or through coordinated efforts with development organizations.
According to him, the army will intensify campaign to clear remnants of the insurgents in the region.
Elaborating further on NASA, Biu said the event was designed to enable the army to appraise its performances in the past one year, celebrate successes, and enable personnel and their families to partake in series of relaxation activities.
Biu said that it also availed the army unique opportunity to promote mutual understanding with communities and other security organizations.
While commending Gov. Kashim Shettima over his support to the military, the commander called on people to support the military, to ensure successful implementation of the counter insurgency campaign.
Maj.-Gen. Benson Akinroluyo, the Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, also commended the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and other security agencies for their contributions in the successful execution of the war against insurgency.
Akinroluyo reiterated the commitments of the military to ensure total defeat of the insurgents and restoration of peace to the northeast region.
Alhaji Usman Durkwa, the Deputy Governor of the state, lauded the military over the successes recorded in the campaign against the terrorists.
Durkwa said “in the past 10 years, our military, in conjunction with other security formations, contributed greatly in the fight against insurgency and other criminal activities in the northeast.
They have had sleepless nights in their efforts to safeguard the lives and property of our people. This has been the result of the relative peace our communities are enjoying today”.
He pledged government’s support to the military to enable it to discharge its mandate effectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highlight of the events featured dance by various cultural troupes, including Kanuri, Igbo, Yaruba, Tiv and Idoma.
The event was attended by the Speaker, Borno House of Assembly, Mr Abdulkarim Lawan, representatives of the United Nations (UN) agencies, humanitarian organizations, military commanders and other security organizations.