Boko Haram flee­ing N/East – Army chief

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - From Eu­gene Agha (La­gos) & Ron­ald Mu­tum (Abuja)

Sus­pected Boko Haram mem­bers are now flee­ing the North-east to other parts of the coun­try to es­cape con­stant mil­i­tary raids, Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Bu­ratai, has said.

He there­fore ad­vised mem­bers of the public to re­port sus­pi­cious move­ment of strange per­sons in their lo­cal­i­ties to se­cu­rity agen­cies.

Bu­ratai who re­it­er­ated the mil­i­tary’s com­mit­ment to end in­sur­gency by De­cem­ber warned of­fi­cers and sol­diers to stay out of pol­i­tics as their ut­ter­ances were be­ing as­sessed by in­tel­li­gence units of the armed forces.

He was ad­dress­ing of­fi­cers and men of the Nige­rian Army at the Ikeja Can­ton­ment at the week­end.

He also ad­vised sol­diers

to re­view their at­ti­tude to­wards fight­ing in­sur­gency, es­pe­cially now that the re­quired equip­ment and im­proved wel­fare have been made avail­able.

He said the mil­i­tary was go­ing through a very chal­leng­ing time in its history, es­pe­cially with the fight against in­sur­gency in the North-east.

“We have the task of end­ing the Boko Haram threat across the coun­try. The threat is not lim­ited to the North-east but across the coun­try. With the bom­bard­ment of the North­east, Boko Haram el­e­ments have sneaked into other parts of the coun­try. They are be­ing traced and nu­mer­ous ar­rests have been made. We have aligned our troops on ground and ev­ery­thing is be­ing done to end ter­ror­ism and in­sur­gency,” he said.

The army chief pointed out that since his ap­point­ment, he had pri­ori­tised army oper­a­tions in the North-east and Niger Delta, adding: “We must be pro­fes­sional at all times and re­spon­sive in the dis­charge of our du­ties.”

Ad­dress­ing of­fi­cers at the 9 Brigade Of­fi­cers Mess, Bu­ratai ad­vised them to ob­serve the rights of fel­low cit­i­zens and main­tain good re­la­tions with civil­ians, adding that no form of in­dis­ci­pline would be tol­er­ated.

He said the army was in­tro­duc­ing pro­mo­tion ex­am­i­na­tions for per­son­nel, say­ing god­fa­therism and favouritism would not be al­lowed in the present ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Army said yesterday that troops were push­ing into Boko Haram dens and grad­u­ally clear­ing all known camps and en­claves of Boko Haram mil­i­tants, es­pe­cially in the North- east.

Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Us­man said in a state­ment that as re­sult of the con­tin­ued of­fen­sives by ad­vanc­ing troops, the mil­i­tants had aban­doned their lo­ca­tions at Na­fari and Gonin Kurmi. He added that they hastily left var­i­ous food items and per­sonal ef­fects as they fled to the Sam­bisa for­est.

“As of­ten men­tioned, the noose is tight­en­ing around the ter­ror­ists. Troops will con­tinue the mo­men­tum un­til all ter­ror­ists and their camps are no more in any part of Nige­rian ter­ri­tory”, he said.

Us­man urged cit­i­zens to con­tinue co­op­er­at­ing with se­cu­rity agen­cies through pro­vi­sion of timely and cred­i­ble in­for­ma­tion about any known ter­ror­ist, their hide­outs and col­lab­o­ra­tors.

Sim­i­larly, the Nige­ria army yesterday is­sued a sec­ond warn­ing within a month to Boko Haram ter­ror­ists to sur­ren­der them­selves and face the law.

A state­ment by army spokesman, Colonel Sani Us­man said: “This is to once again warn all Boko Haram ter­ror­ists wher­ever they are, to de­sist from all acts of ter­ror­ism, sur­ren­der them­selves and face the law now.”

He added that: “We wish to in­form them that we are aware of all their hide­outs, camps and en­claves. They should fol­low their col­leagues who have so far sur­ren­dered.”

Photo: Bene­dict Uwalaka

Sym­pa­this­ers at the scene of an ex­plo­sion at Oworo road, Oworon­soki, La­gos, yesterday.

Photo: NAN

Some dis­placed per­sons at a camp in Maiduguri yesterday.

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