Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said that 2018 will be a tough year for members of the Boko Haram terrorists group, militants and other criminals disrupting the peace of the Nigerian nation.
Gen. Buratai, who made this known at the 2017, ascension of the Aso Rock mountain by officers and soldiers of the Guards Brigade, in Abuja, said the Nigerian army was battle-ready to rout the insurgents out of the country in 2018.
He has, therefore, charged officers and soldiers to be on the alert and remain committed in the fight against insurgency ravaging the northeast and militancy in the Niger Delta region.
He said they should be ready to be deployed at the shortest possible notice as the terrorists would no longer have peace.
He said the Nigerian army along other security agencies in the country was ready to protect the territorial integrity of the nation and prevent the terrorists and criminal gangs from carrying out their deadly activities at will.
The army chief who commended personnel of the brigade for the mountain climbing which he described as a yearly ritual, said the exercise goes a long way to prove the physically fitness and combat readiness of the officers and soldiers of the brigade and urged them to maintain the standard.
He also assured Nigerians of their protection and urged them to go about their lawful duties without fear of being molested and attacked even as he promised to improve the standards of luving and welfare of personnel.
The COAS, who maintained that it would no longer be business as usual for the terrorist and their cohorts in the new year, said “2018 is promising for us as we are battle ready to wrestle insurgency across the country.
“And we are also ready for the protection of our territorial integrity with the collaboration of other paramilitary and security agencies.
“The exercise is a testimony that you are physically fit. It is good because of the training. I congratulate you for maintaining the standard,”.
Gen. Buratai, who is the first army chief to climb the Aso Rock mountain, which is 34, 000 feet above sea level said, the last time he ascended the mountain was in 1996, when he was a Major.
He said “From 1986-1993 I was part of the Guard Brigade. We urged you all to keep high standard of the profession.
“The tradition use to be the 31st of December every year so that the following day would be new year.
“So for those who didn’t reach the mountain top go and do your cross over tomorrow. I am sure today will be rehearsal for you and it won’t be difficult for you ascending the mountain,” he said.