General Kenneth Minima, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, has visited Baga town in Borno State, which has just been recaptured from Boko Haram, said that elections could be hold there.
He said as the troops recaptured some territories from militants the displaced persons may decide to come back to their houses before the general polls which are rescheduled to March 28 and April 11.
The Army chief said he was affected with the achievements by the troops and promised that more Nigerian territory still being under the control of the Boko Haram will be recaptured.
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Minima visited the Air Force base of the 79th Composite Group of the Nigerian Air Force, Maiduguri, with other top officers. He was directly sent in a military chopper to Kukawa Local Government.
Only a government television crew was enclosed on the flight trip to Baga as the army could not organise transport for reporters to the retaken border town, Premium Times informs.
In Baga the Army chief addressed the soldiers on ground where he informed them that President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigerians were proud of them.
After his returning back to Borno State capital he told reporters that his visit was to boost soldiers’ morale.
Chief of Army Staff said: “My visit there is on confidence building and to inform the troops that the entire Nigerians are singing their praises for their courage and urge them to keep up the tempo.”
“They have made Nigerians proud. From today it is never again for insurgents to take hold of any of our territory. I told them that today it is going to be victory all the way because the war is almost ended.
“From here we move to retake Gwoza, Marte, and Madagali. With this, there is going to be no more Boko Haram; the slogan is ‘never again’ and even the President shares in this slogan.
“In the army’s usual a way of commending soldiers’ courage and patriotism, I have announced to them that every soldier that participated in the Baga operation, whether dead or alive, has been promoted to the next rank.”
Mr. Minima said he is very assured that within the six weeks exposure given to flush out Boko Haram, it is possible for all the displaced residents to return home and even cast their votes.
“It is achievable to end the Boko Haram activities very soon because we are still within the six weeks framework,” he said.
“But we should not see the six weeks as a must-accomplish time; this is war and we will try and do whatever possible to liberate more areas so that displaced citizens can go and resettle and possibly vote during the elections”.
The 2015 Baga massacre was a series of mass killings carried out by the Boko Haram the Baga and its environs, in the state of Borno, between 3 January and 7 January 2015.
Local officials and residents who have fled have been citing as saying that "over 2,000" people are thought to have been killed, but others report "at least a hundred" victims.
Nigerian military retook strategic town four days ago following Jonathan's promise to stop insurgency in six weeks.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, most of them within Nigeria, since the insurgency began in 2009. The electoral commission, INEC, had earlier said it could only hold elections in safe areas including legally recognised camps for displaced persons.