Friday, 10 April 2015

Nigerian Military In 'Final Phase of Wiping Out Boko Haram' - Defence Spokesman

Maj. Gen Olukolade
The Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade,Thursday said the military was in the final phase of wiping out terrorists from the North-east.
Olukolade said this at the just concluded media tour in Gwoza and other operational areas in the North-east.
“The tour is even beyond Gwoza and while we were at Gwoza, you possibly are aware that our troops had taken Yamkeke.

“And Bita any moment from now the operation there will be completed,” he said. “So you see that the advance is still continuing and the tempo of the mission is high and we are really in the final phase of the mission,” Olukolade said.

According to him, the tour is to confirm to media the level of atrocities committed by the terrorists before they vacated those areas.

He said the tour was to further confirm that life was returning to normalcy after the entry of troops.
Olukolade, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the media interaction with members of the community was indicative that the people were pleased with the security situation in the communities.

“What we should be doing is consolidating on the level of synergy in this mission; you can see that the coordination among the armed forces had really improved.

“And it is responsible for the successes of the mission lately and you also see that collaboration with other security agencies had made a lot of impact on the successes recorded.
“We should sustain it so that subsequently such incidents should not develop at all,” he said.

Olukolade said the stabilisation of the environment was ongoing as well as ensuring that the military kept to the slogan of “never again that the Nigerian military tolerate this kind of situation.”

He, however, called on Nigerians for support and assured them that the military would not disappoint them.
Olukolade noted that what was left to be captured by the troops was minimal.

“The area left to be captured are very minimal and what is important now is the stabilisation of the territories taken back and the mopping up operations; cordon and search was ongoing,” he said.
The information director said the Muilt-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) was put in place to guarantee the success of the mission.

He said the task force had helped against the previous situation where the Nigerian Armed Forces swept them off and only for them to regroup in other places.

Olukolade said it would be difficult for the terrorists to regroup, considering the involvement of the MNJTF which was specifically tasked to operate along the border.
“And they are there to ensure that there is no new breeding ground and escape route for the terrorists,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has disclosed that the era of military rule is gone and the military will continue to respect democratic institutions.

Badeh made the disclosure when members of the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Election visited the Defence Headquarters (DHQ).

“The era of military rule is gone forever in this country. In fact, if there was military rule, I am not sure if I could have been here. We are the armed forces of Nigeria and not that of any political party and will be subordinate to the constituted authorities,” he said.

The defence chief said the military leaders are the product of democratic governance and would therefore not embark on any activities that could jeopardise the electoral processes in the country.

He further promised that the military would remain non-partisan while carrying out their legitimate duties of providing the enabling security environment for the Saturday’s elections.

Badeh also commended the efforts of the Peace Committee and expressed gratitude that the roles of the military in the whole electoral processes are being recognised and appreciated.

Early in his remarks, the leader of the committee and former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), commended the military for providing adequate security in ensuring free, fair and violence free elections.
He also commended the armed forces for liberating many communities in Nigeria from terrorists.

Also speaking, a member of the Peace Committee, and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, commended the military for exhibiting maturity and professionalism during the last presidential and National Assembly elections on March 28, 2015.

Gambari however advised that despite their commendable efforts in the last polls, a lot is still required to ensure that the forthcoming governorship and state assembly elections surpasses expectations.

ThisDay Newspaper