The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has warned troops involved in the offensive against Boko Harm insurgents in the North-East against being complacent in the tasks assigned to them.
A statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by Col. Sani Usman, acting Director of Army Public Relations, said Buratai gave the warning during one of his visits to troops in the frontline.
It said the COAS told troops stationed in Gamboru Ngala that the war was not over until all terrorists and their commanders had laid down their arms and surrender to the military.
He said that the terrorists still plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and attack isolated communities and urged the troops to ensure that they stop the terrorists.
The statement said that while in Gamboru, the COAS performed a symbolic ceremony of hoisting Nigeria’s national flag at the border between Nigeria and Cameroon to the admiration of the locals.
“This signifies the restoration of Nigeria’s authority and complete possession of its territory within the area.
“I commended our troops for the feat of recapturing the strategic and economic town of Gomboru Ngala.
“This is in line with the vision and the mission of the Nigerian Army of defending the territorial integrity of our great nation,’’ the statement quoted Buratai as saying.
It said Buratai also interacted with troops and decorated Muhammed Ali, an officer that was granted accelerated promotion from Major to Lt. Col. for his courage and exceptional performance in the operation.
The statement said the COAS also gave operational directives to commanders during his stay in Gamboru Ngala.
It said the singular act by Buratai inspired the troops as it was the first time in recent times that a COAS would visit the front line and sleep in the trenches amidst heavy downpour.
The Chief of Army Staff was accompanied on the visit by the Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-General Y.M. Abubakar and other senior officers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Chief of Army Staff had in August paid a similar visit to troops in Dikwa and other operational areas in the North-East. (NAN)