The Nigerian Army is determined to put an end to insurgency in the North-East, the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Farouk Yahaya said on Saturday while on an operation visit to frontline troops of Sector 2, Joint Taskforce of the Nigeria Army ‘Operation Hadin Kai’ in Damaturu, Yobe State.
Major-General Yahaya who said ending the insurgency will allow the army move on to other things added that the North-East insurgency had galloped for over a decade, spearheaded by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and now ISWAP.
“We want to conclude this operation in the North-East,” Major-General Yahaya said, “so that we can do other things; and that is the drive now.”
After inspecting the Quarter Guard in his honor, the Chief of Army Staff was received by the Commander of the Sector 2, Brigadier-General Adamu Nura, alongside other senior officers of the command.
Addressing the troops, the Chief of Army Staff said the purpose of his visit was to familiarize himself with the challenges faced by the troops and ensure those challenges are tackled.
The COAS who also addressed reporters in Damaturu, Yobe state on Saturday pledged to work with other military branches, host communities, and sister agencies to restore peace in the region.
“We have been recording some modest success in all areas and we intend to sustain that drive,” he said.
Major-General Yahaya was last at the command on the entourage of the immediate past late Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru on March 14.
Earlier on Friday, Major-General Yahaya had visited the Shehu of Borno, HRH Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi to seek the collaboration of the traditional institution, as part of strategies to end the insurgency.
The army chief, at the meeting, said such collaborations have paid off in the past.
The Shehu said his institution was committed to supporting the military in the area of intelligence gathering but warned military authorities against revealing the source of their information like they did in the past.
This unprofessional conduct of early commanders of the counter insurgency war had endangered many leading to mistrust for the military, the traditional ruler said.
The Shehu also said the COAS should prioritize building on past successes by keeping remote roads safe for farmers’ ease of passage.
Meanwhile, in a statement signed on Saturday, army spokesman, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu said troops of 8 Division have neutralized bandits operating around Mayanchi-Dogo Karfe and Fagantama villages in Talata Marafa local government area of Zamfara State.
The troops were said to have come under fire from the bandits but were able to overwhelm the gunmen and recovered one PKT rifle, a large cache of ammunition, and a motorcycle.
Elsewhere in the state, troops were also said to have overpowered five more bandits in Bingi village, Bungudu local government area.
Reacting to the feat, Major-General Farouk Yahaya encouraged the troops to sustain the aggressive posture in order to defeat all criminal elements operating in the North-West and other parts of the country.
He also appealed to communities in the North-West to support the soldiers with useful information to help them in their operations.