Maiduguri - Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur
Buratai says military has entered mop up phase in fight against Boko
Haram that would facilitate release of captives, including Chibok girls.
He made the remark in Maiduguri at a meeting with Borno Elders Forum
as part of measures adopted to consolidate on the gains recorded in
The meeting was held at the Military Command and Control Centre in Maiduguri.
"We were given three major tasks and we have made efforts toward achieving two."
“The first task is to defeat Boko Haram and I want to tell you that as at today Boko Haram 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.
He explained that the mop up phase would facilitate the release of
those held captive by the insurgents, including the Chibok girls.
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.
Also Read: Troops kill 20 Boko Haram 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.
"The second task is to support the civil authorities in caring and
protecting the Internally Displaced Persons and to help the civil
authorities in restoring normalcy and rebuilding those areas that have
"It has already commenced in places like Bama, Gamboru Ngala, Baga,
Mongonu and most of those areas are deserted because they are afraid
that they could be attacked."
"So, we will embark on confidence building to encourage them to come back by assisting the civil authorities," he said.
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.
Chairman of the Borno Elders Forum, Amb. Gaji Galtimari, appreciated
the efforts of the military in containing the menace of insurgency in
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.
Galtimari said Borno elders were in support of measures adopted by
the military in finally ending the menace of Boko Haram and pledged to
do more to support the military.
"For the past few months, there has been no issue of bombs except in few cases and around villages surrounding Maiduguri."
"Let me state on behalf of the elders that the indebtedness you
people have put on us will only be compensated by the Almighty God."
"We pray that God will help you to complete the work that Borno will
return to what it was before the coming of Boko Haram”, he said.