We have denied Boko Haram physical presence in Nigeria - Buratai

We have denied Boko Haram physical presence in Nigeria - Buratai

- Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai insisted that success has been recorded in the fight against terrorism in the country

- The chief of army staff said since 2015, many towns have been liberated from insurgency

- Buratai also defended the presence of soldiers in internal security saying it is to support the police

The chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has insisted that Boko Haram terrorists or any of their affiliated groups are not in control of any Nigerian territories.

This Day reports that the military chief said this on Tuesday, September 10, in Abuja at a summit organised by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the Nigerian Army Resource Centre.

The army chief said success has been recorded in the fight against terrorism since 2015.

He said: “We have made significant progress in ensuring that lives and property of the citizens are secured, particularly in the North-east where the Boko Haram terrorists have been denied physical presence in any Nigeria territory.

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“The Nigerian Army understands fully the fact that keeping the peace either at the national level and international level requires that we adhere to the extant rules of engagement. Where there are infractions or violations of human rights of the citizens, appropriate disciplinary measures are applied.”

Buratai defended the presence of soldiers in internal issues, saying their presence is to support the police.

He said: “As you are all aware, security and development are like Siamese twins and they move in the same direction. We therefore continuing to dissipate our energy, some of us have paid the supreme price and would continue to do so if need be in upholding the sanctity and integrity of our nation.

“We rely on the oath of allegiance we all swore at different points of our lives while joining the service. Let me therefore use this platform to say that the personnel of the Nigerian Army are deployed in all the geopolitical zones of the country to assist the police and by extension the civil authority to keep the peace.”

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Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari declared that remnants of Boko Haram members are bandits, and that the federal government will continue to treat them as such.

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Buhari disclosed this on Tuesday, September 10, at State House, Abuja, while receiving Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

According to President Buhari, “Boko Haram has been degraded, but its members are still a nuisance around Lake Chad and surrounding islands. That is why we are cooperating with Chad, Cameroon, Niger Republic, and other countries. We are also using the Air Force quite effectively. They are bandits, and we will continue to treat them as such.”

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