Military Begins “Special Operation” in Borno to Flush Out Boko Haram, Takes Control of Parts of Bama
The military yesterday commenced a massive “special operation” in Borno State to flush out the terrorist Boko Haram sect from major towns like Bama, Damboa, Gamboru Ngala and Gwoza.
Abusidiqu gathered that Airforce warplanes are carrying out air strikes against Boko Haram militant bases at Bama, while ground troops moved in and mopped up.
Air strikes have been carried out “on all the Boko Haram bases”, an official who does not want his name in print told Reuters.
The source said further that the barracks of the 202 Tank Battalion in Bama and much of town are now firmly in control of the military.
“Bama today is the centre of the military battle with the terrorists … Boko Haram is being repelled by the Nigerian troops as we are talking now,” the government official said, without giving details of the operations or casualties.
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in a statement yesterday vowed to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country in the light of the current challenges in the counter-terrorism efforts in the North east.
The vow by the military to defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity is coming after reported rapid gains of territories by the Boko Haram sect in Borno State, which has elicited a sense of apprehension among citizens and even foreign allies.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade in the statement yesterday reassured Nigerians and international community that the military will not shirk its constitutional responsibility of defending the country and protecting constituted authority.
Olukolade reiterated DHQ’s pledge and commitment it made while briefing the Joint Committee on Defence of the National Assembly to the effect that everything will be done to reverse the situation and defeat the rampaging terrorists.
“While welcoming all the concerns shown by Nigerians and a section of the international community following the increased menace and activities of terrorists, it is necessary to reassure all that the Nigerian Armed Forces is more than ever determined and committed to the defence of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria, regardless of any odd”, he said.
According to the DDI, it is not only the pride and reputation of the military that is at stake but that of the entire nation.
“We therefore urge our citizens not to lose hope or be disenchanted but to remain steadfast and supportive of the military as all steps are being taken to ensure the success of the counter-insurgency operations, especially at this crucial time when our sovereignty is being challenged.
“It is important to reiterate that the Nigerian military is fully conscious of its obligations to the Nigerian state and remains willing and ready to perform its duties with utmost diligence. What the military requires at this critical period in the nation’s history is not pillories but continued support from all stakeholders and comity of nations,” he said.
The Defence Spokesman said that this was not the time to despair or shift blames, rather, “it calls for concerted effort by all and sundry to stop the agents of darkness who seek to destroy our country and civilization.
“On its part, the Nigerian military as a fighting force, assures Nigerians once again that this battle will be won”, he assured.
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