Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has urged the troops in the Northeast to immediately end the war against Boko Haram so they can be able to return to the barracks in 2017.
The Army chief made this call in his goodwill message to troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE titled, “No more time to waste”, in Maiduguri on Sunday, adding that the charge was a wake up call for an end to terrorism.
“I wish to make this call to action and wake up call to you all and to emphasise that we must immediately begin to embark on the final aggressive action and comprehensive sweep of the operational theater with a view to ending the operation on a very high note. In this regard, no stone should be left unturned. I therefore call on all officers and soldiers to buckle up and ensure that remnants of Boko Haram terrorists are completely cleared.
“I hope to be with you sometime this month to motivate and positively influence the ongoing perations. This is with a view to having a colourful end of year and peaceful Yuletide in the North East and indeed Nigeria. I urge all commanders to plan and embark on effective patrols, raids, ambushes and deliberate attacks in conjunction with other Services, especially the Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy, to rescue all those abducted by the terrorists.”
Buratai said “captured and surrendered Boko Haram terrorists” must be treated humanely and fairly and in strict accordance with the provisions of International Humanitarian Law and Laws of Armed Conflict.
He said his men must be prepared to enter all fortresses, camps, dens and enclaves of the Boko Haram to flush them out and dominate these areas to ensure they are not reoccupied. He said this month would decide the success or failure of the operation.
“I wish to reiterate that December is a month of decision,” he continued.
“It is either we succeed in clearing the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists or we continue to live in perpetual circle of their atrocities in the North East. I hereby want to reassure all troops that I intend to return everybody back to barracks in 2017, only leaving behind a strong, highly mobile, effective and motivated force that will continue to do the good work that we have already started.
“In this regard we shall also bring reassurances to the populace as normalcy finally returns to the area.”
The chief of army staff also called on the troops to remain focused, disciplined, loyal, dedicated and patriotic to their duties and also commended them for their sacrifice, commitment, loyalty and courage in the service of their fatherland.