Boko Haram: What Buratai, Army principal officers did to boost troops’ morale


In a bid to further boast troops morale and see things for himself, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieut-Gen. Tukur Buratai alongside some principal staff officers of the Army Headquarters and commanders on Saturday carried out an operational visit to the Sambisa forest and other troops’ locations in the North-East.

His first port of call was Bitta, where he was received by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander, Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. IM Yusuf and the Commander 26 Task Force Brigade, Brig-Gen. IM Obot.

Thereafter, he inspected a Quarter Guard mounted in his honour by the Brigade and was briefed by the Brigade Commander on the performance of his command especially as regards Operation Deep Punch II and clearance of Boko Haram terrorists out of their various operational stronghold in Sambisa forest.

In his remarks, the COAS commended the Commander and urged him to keep the momentum. In all the places visited, he expressed happiness with the troops, and commended them for their resilience and excellent performances.

He also addressed and interacted with the troops along with the elements of Cameroonian Defence Forces in the area. In his address to the troops at Bitta, he congratulated them for the clearance of Boko Haram terrorists.

Buratai, according to statement issued by Army spokesman, Sani Usman, noted that Sambisa forest has been an impediment in the fight against terrorism and insurgency over time and their clearance of the forest is considered a major milestone in the operation.

While stating that the Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari is very pleased with the troops’ performance, he disclosed that with the approval of the sum of $1bn by the National Economic Council to the military, the Nigerian Army would soon have more Mine Resistance and Ambush Protected, MRAPs, vehicles Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC, and other equipment injected into the theatre.

In an address to the elements of the Cameroonian Defence Forces, Buratai thanked them for their efforts and support and urged them to continue to operate along with their Nigerian counterparts to attain the desired result which is total clearance of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hibernating.

Buratai, who was accompanied by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya, Maj.-Gen. RI Nicholas, Chief of Accounts and Budget (Army), Maj.Gen. JE Jakko, General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander, Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. IM Yusuf and the Commander 26 Task Force Brigade, Brig-Gen. IM Obot, Director Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. SK Usman and Air Commodore AO Adole, Nigerian Air Force, Air Task Force, Operations Officer, also went round other locations into the heart of Sambisa forest.

The areas visited include; Tokumbere and Sabil Huda, where he seperately spoke and interacted with the troops and also addressed some of their complaints.

At Tokumbere, he addressed troops in which he also extended President
Muhammadu Buhari congratulations for their bravery and dedication to duty which brought about the fall of Boko Haram operational enclaves in Sambisa.

He also urged them to maintain the pressure on the fleeing terrorists wherever they run to, adding that Sambisa forest has come to stay as Nigerian Army training area and urged them not to relent in their efforts. He also said that “You must maintain this momentum and justify the confidence reposed in you by Nigerians”.

The COAS further disclosed that the Nigerian Army is expecting a number of equipment which the Federal Government is procuring for the military.

At Sabil Huda, he was conducted round the Battle Groups 1 and 2 deployments locations, the new borehole and shown some of captured Boko Haram terrorists Armoured Fighting vehicles and equipment. He thereafter addressed the troops.

In the address, he congratulated them for routing out Boko Haram terrorists out of their enclaves and encouraged them to work harder to clear the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists that might be hiding in the area. He also said that the President, who is the Commander-in-Chief, is very proud of their exploits.

While the Army Chief and his team were at Sambisa forest, the Chief of Training and Operations (Army), Major General DD Ahmadu, Director Military Intelligence, Major General AA Tarfa and Provost Marshal (Army), Major General AT Hamman led other teams where they visited troops locations under 5 Brigade, 21 and 22 Brigades Nigerian Army at Gubio, Bama and Dikwa, respectively.

Their visits followed the same pattern with that of the Chief of Army Staff; they received briefing, went round troops deployments, addressed and interacted with the troops. They were equally accompanied by other senior officers from the Army Headquarters and the Theatre Command.


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