By Timothy Olanrewaju – MAIDUGURI)
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai has charged troops in the northeastern counter-insurgency operation to prepare for a final showdown against Boko Haram, saying attempts to allow the war against the insurgency drag further into 2017 will deepen the violence in the region.
“Either we succeed in clearing the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists or we continue to live in perpetual circle of their atrocities in the northeast,” Buratai said in a message to troops, stressing that “December is a month of decision.”
The army chief, who promised to return soldiers to their barracks next year, said he will personally be with the troops at the theatre of operation in Borno soon, perhaps during Christmas.
“I am sending to you all, the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, best wishes as the Yuletide period approaches,” he said.
While commending the troops for their sacrifices, commitment, loyalty and courage in defending the nation against Boko Haram terrorists, he said aggressive battle against the insurgents must commence now.
“I wish to make this call to action and wake up call to you all and to emphasize that we must immediately begin to embark on the final aggressive action and comprehensive sweep of the operational theatre with a view to ending the operation on a very high note,” he stated.
He asked all commanders to plan aggressive raids on Boko Haram hideouts with other military organisations, especially the air force and the navy, to ensure the remnants of the insurgents are cleared.
Buratai, however, urged the troops to treat all captured and surrendered Boko Haram terrorists “humanely and fairly” in accordance with international humanitarian law and laws of armed conflict.