With the current spate of insecurity in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan in a bid to put an end to terrorism in the country has reportedly increased the number of troops from 15,000 to 20,000 in the North Eastern states.
This was disclosed by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, during a lecture delivered at a forum in London, accoring to Punch.
Ngozi Okonjo-Nweala said: “First on security, our military men and women are confronting an unprecedented challenge with courage and bravery. The president recently increased the number of troops that are in the North- East from 15,000 to 20,000.
“Regional cooperation on security has got better following a decision by neighbouring countries Chad, Cameroon, Benin, and Niger, to each contribute a battalion of soldiers, to fight Boko Haram alongside Nigeria.
“President Goodluck Jonathan has accepted offers from the international community for more surveillance, aircraft cover, and equipment that enhances our ability to locate, fight and root out insurgents.
“These efforts are beginning to make a difference and the tide is now turning. Not too long ago, the leader of the Boko Haram cell thought to have masterminded the kidnap of the Chibok girls was arrested.”
The minister said the terrorist sect’s key objective was to destroy formal or western education in Nigeria.
Buttressing this, she said, “This year alone, we know that Boko Haram has murdered over 170 teachers in Borno State, and an estimated 300 educational facilities have been destroyed in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, including 80 primary schools in Borno State alone.
“Over a thousand Nigerians have lost their lives to these insurgents this year. We have not forgotten our Chibok girls and the government continues to search for avenues to bring our girls back alive.”
The dreaded Islamist group, Boko Haram have continued to carry out incessant attacks over the year in the North-Eastern states.
The sect have claimed responsiblities for several attacks, killed thousands, injured several and displaced countless from their homes while burining down churcches and mosques in their terror.
Ngozi Nweala also confirmed that Boko Haram has killed more than 170 teachers in Borno this year.
He said: “We will never relent in the protection of lives and properties in Nigeria.”