KADUNA, MARCH 2, 2017 – Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday lauded the performances of the armed forces in routing Boko Haram in the North-East and stemming violent crimes in Kaduna state and other parts of the country.
He gave the commendation while addressing the monthly Security Council meeting at the Presidential Villa.
The event was used to review the performance of the troops as well as the police in tackling terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other violent crimes.
“The extra ordinary thing is that, our men are doing extremely well in the North-East, that of Southern Kaduna has also been contained and the peace building process there is going on very well.
“These are very laudable achievements and so we congratulate the military and the police and also the intelligence agencies for the excellent work they are doing.’’
The acting president reiterated that Boko Haram had been effectively degraded, adding that the group no longer control any territory in the North-East.
According to him, what the country is finding now are a few sporadic, may be every once-in-a-while type of IED attacks or suicide bombers.
He noted that by every form of asymmetric warfare, one would be able to say that insurgency had ended adding that the terror operations are “just sporadic attacks here and there’’.
“There is no question at all that Boko Haram as a fighting force has been severely degraded.
Contributing, the Minister of Defence retired Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, said that the council had tackled most of the security issues in the North.
“We have been having security briefs and this is one of them.
“We have thrashed most of the security issues concerning the country, including the Southern Kaduna and the North East and other parts of the country like North West in Zamfara, Katsina and other places.
“We are very safe and I believe that with the effort of the security agencies all the security challenges are being surmounted.’’
The minister had earlier said that current strategy being adopted by the military in North-East involved the simultaneous consolidation and stabilisation cases.
He said it was to enable the civil authorities to take lead role as quickly as possible.
Dan-Ali said the raids jointly carried by the military and vigilante groups led to recovery of weapons and communication equipment as well as apprehension of many suspects.
“This is being supported by continuous aerial surveillance by the Nigerian Air Force to ensure that terrorists do not regroup.
“In addition, several high profile Boko Haram commanders were arrested and over 20,000 persons, mostly women and children held hostage by the terrorists were rescued,’’ Dan-Ali said.
The minister said a number of the terrorists had surrendered to the troops while rehabilitation and deradicalisation process for such category of Boko Haram terrorists and other rescued persons were ongoing.
He said the Nigerian Army Small Arms Competition would be conducted by 7 Division of the Nigerian Army at Sambisa Forest to consolidate the gains achieved so far and further sharpen the skills of troops.
The minister said peace talks in Southern Kaduna were yielding good results to curb clashes between herdsmen and farmers
“As part of efforts to curtail this menace, Nigerian Army is in the process of constructing a permanent barracks in Kafanchan.
“Also, the Nigerian Army is expected to conduct exercise “Harbin kunama II’’ in Southern Kaduna, Falgore Forest in Kano and the forest in Bauchi to flush out the criminal elements.’’
He also said that several arms and ammunition were recovered from the bandits in the North.