Sunday, 11 October 2015

Boko Haram fleeing North-East, says Army chief


Suspected Boko Haram members are now fleeing the North-east to other parts of the country to escape constant military raids, Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, has said.

He therefore advised members of the public to report suspicious movement of strange persons in their localities to security agencies.
Buratai who reiterated the military’s commitment to end insurgency by December warned officers and soldiers to stay out of politics as their utterances were being assessed by intelligence units of the armed forces.
He was addressing officers and men of the Nigerian Army at the Ikeja Cantonment at the weekend.
He also advised soldiers to review their attitude towards fighting insurgency, especially now that the required equipment and improved welfare have been made available.
He said the military was going through a very challenging time in its history, especially with the fight against insurgency in the North-east.
“We have the task of ending the Boko Haram threat across the country. The threat is not limited to the North-east but across the country. With the bombardment of the North- east, Boko Haram elements have sneaked into other parts of the country. They are being traced and numerous arrests have been made. We have aligned our troops on ground and everything is being done to end terrorism and insurgency,” he said.
The army chief pointed out that since his appointment, he had prioritised army operations in the North-east and Niger Delta, adding: “We must be professional at all times and responsive in the discharge of our duties.”
Addressing officers at the 9 Brigade Officers Mess, Buratai advised them to observe the rights of fellow citizens and maintain good relations with civilians, adding that no form of indiscipline would be tolerated.
He said the army was introducing promotion examinations for personnel, saying godfatherism and favouritism would not be allowed in the present administration.
The Army said yesterday that troops were pushing into Boko Haram dens and gradually clearing all known camps and enclaves of Boko Haram militants, especially in the North- east.
Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman said in a statement that as result of the continued offensives by advancing troops, the militants had abandoned their locations at Nafari and Gonin Kurmi. He added that they hastily left various food items and personal effects as they fled to the Sambisa forest.
“As often mentioned, the noose is tightening around the terrorists. Troops will continue the momentum until all terrorists and their camps are no more in any part of Nigerian territory”, he said.
Usman urged citizens to continue cooperating with security agencies through provision of timely and credible information about any known terrorist, their hideouts and collaborators.
Similarly, the Nigeria army yesterday issued a second warning within a month to Boko Haram terrorists to surrender themselves and face the law.
A statement by army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman said: “This is to once again warn all Boko Haram terrorists wherever they are, to desist from all acts of terrorism, surrender themselves and face the law now.”
He added that: “We wish to inform them that we are aware of all their hideouts, camps and enclaves. They should follow their colleagues who have so far surrendered.”

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