Buratai to troops: take fight to Boko Haram hideouts
Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai yesterday charged soldiers to chase Boko Haram sect members deep into their hideout in the bush and rout them out.
Yesterday, thesect members killed 31 fishermen ion Baga, Kukawa Local Government area of Borno State.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima confirmed the killings.
He spoke during the presentation of relief materials donated to the state by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri.
He said that the attack indicated that the Boko Haram insurgents were still unleashing terror, killing and maiming people in the Lake Chad Basin.
Shettima noted that the military and other security agencies were yet to verify the report.
“Somebody called me this morning and informed me that the insurgents had killed 31 fishermen in the Lake Chad Basin.
“The security agencies have not commented on the attack; so, you cannot confirm it.
“This shows the level of crisis we faced in Borno, as the so-called Jihadists continued with their inhuman acts in the Lake Chad basin,” Shettima said.
He commended the efforts of the military towards ending insurgency and ensuring that peace returned to the North-East region.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the insurgents attacked and killed the 31 fishermen in separate attacks at the weekend.
It was reported that the killings occurred at Duguri and Dabar-Wanzam fishing communities in Kukawa Local Government Area of the state.
An anonymous member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) disclosed that 14 persons were killed at Duguri, while 17 others were murdered at Dabar-Wanzam.
The source noted that the attack came barely four weeks after the fishermen returned to Baga and resumed fishing.
NAN reports that the lifting of ban on fisheries by the military attracted thousands of fishermen to the area.
The military had earlier banned fishing on the Nigerian side of the lake, following accusations that Boko Haram was using proceeds from fishing to fund its armed campaign.
Gen. Buratai told the troops: “You must take this fight to their hideouts. You must go further, that should be the next state.’’
He spoke in Bama after decorating two officers and 63 soldiers with “Gallantry Medals” for their exceptional performance in the clearance operation.
The officers and soldiers are from 151 Armoured Battalion, 21 Brigade of Operation Lafiya Dole.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on July 10 and Aug. 5, the troops ambushed and repelled the terrorists, neutralising over 13 insurgents and recovered weapons from them. Two solders died in those incidents.
The COS moved to the Theare Command of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, after Acting President Yemi Osinbajo ordered service chiefs to relocate to Borno to take charge of operations following renewed attacks.
Gen. Buratai said: “I won’t accept a situation where our troops are being unnecessarily killed or innocent civilians are ambushed on the highways or in some other areas.
“The remnants (of terrorists) that are roaming in the bushes and forest must be followed through.
“They must be identified and cleared. Don’t rest on your oars. We still have little to accomplish. You have done the greater part
“We are moving to the end of this operation, but there are still more tasks to be accomplished.
“It requires perseverance and discipline, so, let us work harder and clear these criminals”.