Boko Haram: hold liberated territories, Buratai tells war-zone soldiers
By Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, yesterday commanded men of the Nigerian Army (NA) fighting Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east to hold liberated territories and consolidate on successes already recorded.
The Army boss further stated that the renewed efforts to clear remnants of Boko Haram members in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states are also in top gear though, but the insurgents are now mixing with civilian populace thereby making the process a bit slow and difficult.
The optimistic Buratai, who stated this at the inauguration of United States of America (USA) training assistance to selected units of the Nigerian Army, held at Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), Jaji, Kaduna, added that onslaught against the terrorist group by combine forces of the NA and Nigerian Air Force in past months has degraded their capability.
He said, “all that is required is the bold action from our troops to hold liberated territories. “As you are aware, the security challenges that have confronted the Nigerian Army in contemporary times are remarkably different from the ones we have in the past.
“So I implore you to work hard towards achieving the goals of this training. I am confident the US Training team with the support of the Commandant and Instructors of NASI are prepared to give you the highest quality of instruction.” he admonished the participants.
“While striving hard to rid our land of terrorism and activities of insurgents, we remain committed towards strict observance of human rights and international humanitarian laws through educating our troops via rules of engagement and code of conduct manual for each operation,” he added.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Special Guest of Honour at the inauguration, General Abayomi Olonisakin, noted that the partnership between the US Army and Nigerian Armed Forces is strategically borne out of shared commitment to counter terrorism and violent extremism.
According to him, “this partnership has continued to improve in many important areas one of which is in the security realm. The excellent relationship has led to several joint initiatives one of which is the commitment of the United States and her military to assist Nigeria in professionalising our security forces.
”Let me add that the training being conducted for this battalion and indeed other support that the Armed Forces of Nigeria will be getting from the United States as our strategic partnership will be better put to use.”
In a remark, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, emphasised the need for other Nations to join hands with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, as Nigeria cannot do it alone.
The US Ambassador said Nigeria, US partnership extends beyond immediate gains, “we need to work together to rebuild the North-east. We are two great democracies and with many great things together.
About 250 soldiers from 145 Battalion of NA are participating in the first phase of the training scheduled to end in 12 weeks.
Posted from GoBroadsheet