Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai met with the Borno Elders Forum in Maiduguri as part of measures adopted to consolidate on the gains recorded in counter-insurgency operation.
The Army Chief says the military has entered mop up phase in fight against Boko Haram that would facilitate release of captives, including Chibok girls.
He said that Boko Haram as at today has been defeated.
“When I say defeat, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be hitches here and there. We have entered the mop up stage of our operation”, he said.
According to Buratai, the second part of the first task is to rescue those who are held hostage at some marked locations by the insurgents.
Buratai noted that the second major task in the military’s north-east operation was to facilitate the restoration of normalcy in affected areas and provision of relief materials to displaced persons.
He said the military had aided civil authorities in the return of displaced persons from Bama, Gwoza and other communities and that most of those areas are deserted because they are afraid that they could be attacked.
Buratai said that the military will embark on confidence building to encourage them to come back by assisting the civil authorities.
He said some challenges initially encountered in the course of operation had been addressed, stressing that the operation was progressing according to projections.
Buratai acknowledged the support of the elders and urged them and the entire Borno people to be patient with the military particularly on measures initiated to tackle the insurgents.
He said measures such as the closure of markets and curfews were all taken to address gaps observed in the military operation.
The Borno Elders Forum Chairman, Amb. Gaji Galtimari, appreciated the efforts of the military in containing the menace of Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east.
He said that the military had succeeded in decimating the insurgents to the extent that the regular bomb and gun attacks were limited in parts of the region.
The Chairman reiterate the Borno elders support of measures adopted by the military in ending the menace of insurgency and pledged to continue to support the military.