Mr. Badeh had given an April deadline to end insurgency in the nation
The Defence Headquarters on Tuesday said that the April deadline declared by the Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, to end terrorism was only a motivation to soldiers to restore normalcy across Nigeria.
Mr. Badeh, an Air Marshal, during the handing over ceremony by his predecessor, had said that the Nigeria military will end terrorism by April 2014.
In a statement, Tuesday, the Defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, said different interpretations of the statement “necessitated a clarification in the interest of the general public and for record purposes”.
Mr. Olukolade said that the statement was only to motivate the soldiers to work harder towards restoring calm in Nigeria especially in the states under emergency rule.
The states under emergency rule are Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, where the military is battling Boko Haram insurgents.
“The remarks by the CDS was meant to motivate commanders and troops to work harder towards restoration of normalcy as envisaged in the states under emergency rule. Unfortunately, the charge has been taken too literally to mean definite promise to end terrorism by April,” he said
Mr. Olukolade said that the CDS, being optimistic, declared that April is crucial in the task against terrorism.
“Accordingly, he declared that, April is very crucial in this task especially as a way of avoiding possible constitutional stalemate.
“All things being equal, it is envisaged that normalcy would have been restored substantially enough to guarantee restoration of normal socio-economic and political activities in these states in no distant future,” he said
Mr. Olukolade noted that while Mr. Badeh discussed the menace of terrorism in parts of the country, he also implored the Service Chiefs to take steps towards bringing the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East to an end.
He, however, said that the DHQ is concerned about the implications of the varying interpretations to the remarks of the defence chief which was essentially directed to the new service chiefs’ saying that the CDS’s statement should not be mistaken for a mere grandstanding or false hope to Nigerians.
Mr. Olukolade also said that the security agencies are working hard to ensure the safety of Nigerians as more resources and troops are being deployed to beef up the operations.