Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has said the Nigerian military has entered mop up phase in the fight against Boko Haram and that it would soon release all captives, including Chibok girls.
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai said this in Maiduguri while meeting with Borno Elders Forum as part of measures adopted to consolidate on the gains recorded in the counter-insurgency operation.
“We were given three major tasks, and we have made efforts toward achieving two”.
“The first task is to defeat Boko Haram, and I want to tell you that as at today Boko Haram has been defeated”.
“When I say defeat, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be hitches here and there. We have entered the mop-up stage of our operation”.
“The second task is to support the civil authorities in caring and protecting the Internally Displaced Persons and to help the civil authorities in restoring normalcy and rebuilding those areas that have been liberated.
“It has already commenced in places like Bama, Gamboru Ngala, Baga, Mongonu and most of those areas are deserted because they are afraid that they could be attacked.
“So, we will embark on confidence building to encourage them to come back by assisting the civil authorities”.
He acknowledged the support of the elders and urged them and the entire Borno people to be patient with the military particularly on measures initiated to tackle the insurgents.
He said measures such as the closure of markets and curfews were all taken to address gaps observed in the military operation.
Chairman of the Borno Elders Forum, Amb. Gaji Galtimari appreciated the efforts of the military in containing the menace of insurgency in the north-east.
He said that the military had succeeded in decimating the insurgents to the extent that the regular bomb and gun attacks were limited in parts of the region.
Galtimari said Borno elders were in support of measures adopted by the military in finally ending the menace of Boko Haram and pledged to do more to support the military