Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Borno Governor Babagana Zulum has advised the military to leave internal security in the upcoming governorship election in Ondo State on Saturday, October 10, but concentrate more on its counter-insurgency operation in the North-East.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the combined Chief of Army Staff Quarterly Conference in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Tuesday, Zulum said he was ‘a bit scared’ when the Chief of Army Staff mentioned the successes recorded by troops of the Nigerian Army during the Edo poll and the effort to repeat the same in the coming Ondo election.
‘When the Chief of Army talked about the success story of Edo election and forthcoming Ondo poll, I was a bit scared because I want the attention of the Nigeria Military to be in the forefront fighting the insurgency,’ he said.
Zulum also asked the Army to embark on confidence-building and confidence-sharing with the communities where they are currently carrying out various operations. He urged the military to take the battle to Boko Haram and embark on what he called clinical clearance of Boko Haram remnants after every operation.
He commended the military for the renewed vigour in counter-insurgency operations. He said he would give commendation to the military whenever it records successes and criticise anytime it acted wrongly. He urged the army to deal with saboteurs within the system and among the civil populace.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen Tukur Buratai said the first and second quarter COAS conference could not hold until now due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic. He said the development necessitated a combined first, second and third conference to be held between October 5 and 9 in Maiduguri.
Gen Buratai disclosed that the army authority quickly adjusted after the initial setback on its operations and administrative activities due to COVID-19 impact. He said the conference provides an opportunity to review various operations and explore areas of improvement.
He praised the gallantry of officers and soldiers as well as those who paid the supreme price in the battlefront. He said the military authority has activated processes of paying all their benefits including a scholarship to their children.
‘We have also taken delivery of some equipment and we are still expecting more,’ he disclosed. He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for approving delivery of the platform and improved allowances to officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army.