By Gabriel Enogholase
Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, yesterday said the search for the remaining abducted Chibok girls was still on, just as he described the Boko Haram insurgency in the country as the most dangerous among terrorist groups.
Buratai, however, said activities of Boko Haram had been confined to Lake Chad region and fringes of Sambisa forest.
The Army Chief disclosed this while delivering the maiden lecture of the Centre for Contemporary Security Affairs at the Igbinedion University, Okada headquarters of Ovia North East local government area.
He stated that complex security challenges like the Boko Haram activities required political and security solutions that ensure that democracies rebound stronger after a crisis.
The Chief of Army Staf stated that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has fulfilled the pledge to support the MNJTF by donating the sum of $100 million even as he praised the current political leadership for demonstrating strong political will, purposeful direction and resourcing that galvanized the nation against the common enemy.
He informed the gathering that adequate resources were provided to re-kit, procure more arms and ammunition, vehicles and other logistics required to prosecute the campaign against insurgency.
He said, “Military leadership invariably draws inspiration from the political leadership and this allows it to develop military strategic objectives that are to be achieved. One of the silent but radical changes in the operations was changing the orientation and mindset of troops from a defensive to an offensive posture. We also created the Theatre Command to coordinate the activities of the divisions involved in the operations
“Socio-economic activities and free movement of people and goods have resumed in many areas. Significant improvements can be attributed to the systematic campaign led by the NA in conjunction with other Services and elements of national power. The success recorded so far is an indication that for Nigeria’s democracy to be consolidated, the military must not only play its part but must also fulfil the constitutional roles assigned to them.”
Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, said the centre when operational would carry out research that interrogates emerging security challenges of local and global concern.
Meanwhile, acting governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shaibu, has called for more budgetary allocation for the Nigerian military to enable it effectively combat the security challenges confronting the country.
He made the call during a courtesy visit by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, to the Government House, in Benin City, yesterday.
“Thank you for what you have done in the North-East and we also appreciate you for the peace in the South-South.
“Your leadership has ensured a cordial relationship between the Army and civilians. You have reinforced the rules of engagement in our system and it has given us a good image in the international community,”
On budgetary provision for the Army, the acting governor urged members of the National Assembly to increase funding for the military to enable them to discharge their duties effectively.
“Edo State Government joins in the appeal to members of the National Assembly to increase the military budget so that they can effectively deal with the security issues confronting the country,” he noted.
He assured that the state government would contribute to ensuring a successful burial ceremony for late Gen. David Ejoor, who served as the sole administrator of old Bendel State (now Edo and Delta states).
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, said he was on a visit to the state to deliver an inaugural lecture at the Center for Security Affairs, in Igbinedion University, Okada.
He will also pay a condolence visit to the family of late Gen. David Ejoor, who served as Chief of Staff, Nigerian Army, between January 1971 and January 1975, adding, “The loss of late Gen. Ejoor is a sad moment not only for Edo and Delta states or the Army but for Nigeria. We request the full participation of the Edo State Government to ensure a successful burial.”