President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday vowed to end the Boko Haram madness within the shortest possible time, adding that this would be achieved with procurement of modern fighting equipment.
The President spoke in Maiduguri, Borno State while declaring open the fourth annual Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Conference, where the COAS, Tukur Buratai, disclosed that “Since 2015, the Nigerian Army, in conjunction with sister services and other security agencies have systematically degraded the capabilities and capacity of Boko Haram terrorists and many successes were achieved.
“However, in the last 2 to 3 months, we have noticed daring moves by the terrorists, increased use of drones against our defensive positions and infusion of foreign fighters in their ranks. These potent threats require us to continually review our operations.”
Buhari used the quarterly conference, which reviews army’s activities, including operations and exercises with a view to improving on them, to address troops on the frontline in the North-East and assured the people of the region of his administration’s determination to prosecute the counterinsurgency to logical conclusion.
His visit was a morale booster for officers and soldiers in the aftermath of killing of over 100 soldiers at Metele, northern Borno, by Boko Haram, last weekend.
Buhari, who was the special guest of honour, commended the leadership of the Army for moving the conference earlier slated to hold in Benin, Edo State to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
He promised that his administration would continue to give maximum support to the military, noting that that one of the cardinal objectives of his government is to ensure adequate security of lives and property of the citizenry.
According to the President, “This conference is timely considering the fact that this government is determined to end security challenges in the North East, Niger Delta and farmers/herdsmen clashes in some parts of the country.
“I want to convey our deep condolences to the families of heroic gallant officers and soldiers who paid the supreme price while maintaining law and order in our fatherland.
“As we approach the 2019 general election, I want to urge members of our security forces to remain non-partisans and level up to the expectations on the rules of engagements. I want to specifically condole with family of late General Idris Alkali and the Nigerian army for his untimely death in the hands of some evil-doers. I want to assure you that we are doing everything possible to bring the perpetrators to book.
“As president, and by the powers conferred on me, I assure you that government will procure modern fighting equipment to end the madness of Boko Haram and other acts of our enemies. I want to also assure you that government is doing everything to increase the welfare of Nigerian army,” Buhari said.
In an address of welcome, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali said the conference usually brings serving and retired commanders and other security agencies to brainstorm on ongoing operations against terrorists and other criminalities in the country.
He thanked President Buhari for giving enormous support to the military to confront series of security challenges bedevilling some parts of the country, especially North East and the Lake Chad region.
The minister also commended the service chiefs and other stakeholders for their unrelenting efforts in the fight against Boko Haram and other related security challenges in the country.
He called for a coordinated joint operations amongst the security agencies to ensure total peace in the land.