Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
No fewer than 1,015 Boko Haram fighters have been neutralised in nearly two months of military operations in the North East – Borno and Yobe states.
Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, in an address at an Eid al-Fitri luncheon organised for wounded and recuperating soldiers of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, Borno State capital on Sunday, said 84 Boko Haram fighters were also captured within the period.
‘Since my arrival at the Theatre on April 4, we have neutralized 1,015 Boko Haram terrorists in our different operations and arrested 84 Boko Haram informants and couriers, thereby tightening the blockage of logistics to the terrorists,’ he said.
The army chief said he relocated to Borno, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency, in April to boost the morale of troops in the front line and step up the war against the terrorists. He said he was with troops in the theatre of operation and battlefields at about a dozen locations in Borno and Yobe states where troops destroyed Boko Haram’s camps and hideouts.
‘We’ve succeeded in dislodging Boko Haram from their camps… This led to Boko Haram attacking some communities in search of medicine to treat their wounded colleagues,’ he disclosed.
He, however, said the army lost 11 of its troops during the operation, urging others not to allow the sacrifices of the fallen soldiers to be in vain. He said the army also experienced a challenge in the delivery of its warfare due to the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the army’s innovation through local production of various armoured tanks and warfare had helped in addressing the challenge. He lauded the support of Borno and Yobe states governments to the army.
Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Farouk Yahaya, explained that the Eid al-Fitri luncheon was organised to interact with troops in the theatre particularly those wounded in the counter-insurgency.
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum commended the military for ensuring that relative sanity returned to the northeastern states.