The Nigerian Army on Wednesday renewed calls on repentant Boko Haram fighters wishing to surrender to do so without wasting more time. Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, made the call while speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) Nursery School and a Day Care Centre at the Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri.
Irabor said that those who failed to surrender would pay the price for being stubborn. He added that “I will like to use this opportunity to encourage those of them who have made up their minds to surrender, that now is the time for them to do so, because the olive branch is being offered to them.
“But where they fail to take the olive branch, they will pay the price for stubbornness. We will ensure that they are uprooted out of the entire area in a short while.” The theatre commander said that the military was determined to uproot the terrorists from the entire North East during its Operation Crackdown.
“We are pleased with the socio-economic activities that are returning in the North East, that is what had actually fired us up to ensure that we chase the criminals out of the place,’’ he said. Irabor commended the NAOWA leadership for initiating the project, describing it as “laudable’’.
“It is an understatement to say that I am delighted to be here because what NAOWA had decided to do is encouraging us to fight the war and ensure its speedy completion. “This is because the various programmes will help in motivating our troops. NAOWA has shown that they are not only with us in spirit but they are also with us at the battle field.
“For the Nursery and Day Care Centre, we will ensure that they are completed in good time because of their numerous benefits to our troops.” In her speech, the NAOWA President, Hajiya Umma-Kaltum Buratai, said that the event was aimed at showing love and care to the fallen heroes, as well as provide conducive atmosphere for those serving.
Represented by Mrs Vicky Irabor, the wife of the Theater Commander, Buratai said that the Day Care Centre would be completed in two months time, while the nursery school would be completed later. She added “today is the day NAOWA 7 Division Chapter has set aside to shower love and care on injured officers and soldiers.
“We are here today to express our solidarity, gratitude and moral support to our gallant troops that have risked their lives to restore peace and security to Borno during the dark period of our nations’ history, when we were confronted with Boko Haram insurgency.
“Some sustained injuries, we have come here to commiserate with them and thank God for saving their lives. We are here to identify with them and offer token donation for their service.” Meanwhile, the NAOWA members visited injured officers and men in both the Maimalari Barracks and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Medical Centre at the 79 Composite Group in Maiduguri.