In spite of the recent rescuing of 21 abducted the Chibok school girls and on-going negotiations to secure the freedom of the remaining girls, military authorities have said they would continue the bombing of Sambisa forest, the chief redoubt of the Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast.
Acting Director for Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, who disclosed this when he led a delegation of the directorate on a visit to Abuja office of The Sun Newspapers, said the military would rely on precision aerial armaments in the operations to ensure that there was no collateral damage.
Abubakar said there were 14 military operations going on simultaneously across the country, adding that Operation SHARANDAJI would soon commence to contain the activities of cattle rustlers and mitigate herdsmen-farmers’ clashes.
He stated that the Armed Forces had made tremendous achievements in degrading the insurgency in the northeast, stressing that no part of the country, however small, was under the control of terrorists or any belligerent group.
“It’s possible that there may be areas where they have free movement but not free operation,” Abubakar stated.
The Defence spokesman debunked allegations of human rights abuses against the military, saying that their actions were always within operational directives and rules of engagement.
He urged Nigerians to always disregard sentiment and politics in matters of national security.
Abubakar was at The Sun to specifically work out a more harmonious relationship with the newspaper, because of the strategic role it plays in Nigeria’s information dissemination and management sector.
Describing The Sun newspapers as an authentic medium recognised globally, he said “whatever Sun says carries weight. It could make or mar the activities of our men on the field.”
In his remarks, the Bureau Chief of The Sun Newspapers, Mr. Iheanacho Nwosu, described the visit as a positive step that would further the warm relationship between the newspaper and the military.
“We are aware of your sacrifices; even the recent release of the 21 abducted Chibok school girls that the politicians are taking the glory [for] but we know where the glory should go. We have been in partnership and we are ready to do more,” Nwosu stated.
Nwosu asked the Defence spokesman to always avail the media of information to avoid giving room for unsourced speculations.