Chief of Army Staff, COAS, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, weekend in Jos, differed with the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima on the territories controlled by the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria
While Buratai stated that no Nigerian territory was still under the control of Boko Haram insurgents, Governor Kashim Shettima maintained that two local government areas in the state were still under the control of the insurgents.
Shettima, while receiving the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir David Lawan, who led a six-man committee inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari to pay condolence visits to Borno and Adamawa states, after the suicide attacks at their mosques last Friday said: “They (Boko Haram) are presently controlling two local governments in Borno State; Abadam and Mobbar and partially in Marte.”
However, the Chief of Army Staff who spoke with journalists shortly after addressing troops at the headquarters of 3 Division, Maxwell Khobe cantonment in Jos at the week end, insisted that the military had recovered all territories previously under the terrorists’ enclave
Burutai said: “ It is not true. No Boko Haram is holding any territory. Have you heard them (Boko Haram) making any claim of recent? We are more determined and we have more professional soldiers on the ground. We have been trained and equipped and ready to face the challenge posed by them.”
Asked what will happen if the Nigerian Military fails to meet up with the December deadline to rid the country of Boko Haram activities, the Army boss said: “I don’t envisage that. There are many options but we will make sure that we meet up with the deadline. At this point, I think we are on course. we are not thinking of missing the deadline because we still have November and December.”
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, while addressing the troops said he was in Jos on a familiarization visit and to acquaint the troops of his vision to reposition the Army after being appointed service chief.
The troops who had gathered at the cantonment parade ground took advantage of the opportunity and bombarded the Army boss with a lot of complaints most of which bothered on their welfare. While promising to address the issues raised, the Chief of Army Staff who was flanked by the GOC,3 Division ,Major General Hassan Umaru, stressed that the Nigerian Army under his leadership will be repositioned for more efficient service delivery especially in the area of operations, administration and logistics and urged them to key into the vision to ensure that the plan succeeds.
Buratai further said that the December deadline given by the Federal Government to flush out Book Haram was feasible, maintaining that the military had stepped up the fight against the insurgent group.
The COAS said that the tempo of the operation, the number of troops and the equipment had all increased and added that, “our strategy and operational plans have continued to evolve with the daily challenges that we have.’’
He, however, noted that the spate of bombings by the group in some cities, especially on soft targets, had increased in the last two weeks but assured that the army, in conjunction with other security agencies, are studying the pattern and would soon be able to quickly find solution to the spate of bombings.
He commended the soldiers in the battle front for doing very well so far and urged Nigerians to support the fight by providing useful information to security agencies, adding that his vision was to reposition the army and make it more professional and more responsive to its responsibilities.
According to him, steps have been taken to ensure that medical facilities are improved upon, saying that the army will do better with healthy officers and men.


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