Despite continuing attacks by the dreaded terror group, Boko Haram, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, Sunday said the insurgents had been defeated and the only effort ongoing by the military was to restore peace, a statement that appeared to be a mere distinction without a difference, and echoed the oft-repeated controversial talking point of the Buhari administration on the matter.
Buratai made this declaration at a special service to commemorate the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, held at ST Bartholomew’s Military Church, Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.
Buratai was represented by David Ahmadu, the Chief of Training and Operations, Army Headquarters.
He said the military had recorded successes through its intensified offensive, adding that the military was committed to the restoration of peace to the region.
He also decried the insurgents’ recruitment of unemployed youths in their fight, while admonishing parents to ensure proper moral upbringing of their wards to protect them from being enlisted by men of evil motivation to disrupt the peace.
“I want to assure you without mincing words that the Boko Haram terrorists have been defeated, all we are fighting for now is the peace in the northeast.
“Character begins from home; if the children or the youth do not listen to their parents then there is problem. It is the responsibilities of parents to ensure that they disciplined their children.
“And the children too must have something to give back by being disciplined, educated, try to behave well wherever they go and without being deceived by anyone to do what is bad.”
Speaking on the importance of the occasion, the army chief said that the sacrifices of the fallen heroes would be immortalised by ensuring unity, peace and stability in the country.
He charged the soldiers not to allow themselves to be deceived by self-seeking individuals who promote hate speech, and to remain dedicated and professional in the discharge of their duties.
While commending President Buhari over his support to the military, the army chief tasked commanders to ensure effective utilisation of equipment and logistics provided to facilitate successful completion of the counterinsurgency campaign.
Also, Major General Rogers Nicholas, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, disclosed that the troops had recorded significant gains in various operations against the insurgents in Sambisa Forest and Lake Chad region in the past few days.
Nicholas assured that the counterinsurgency campaign would soon be concluded.
Highlights of the events included special prayer session for the fallen heroes, orphans and widows as well as prayer for the nation and success of Operation Lafiya Dole.
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