Boko Haram: Nigeria’s Army chief visits Baga, says elections may hold in recovered territory

Lt. General Kenneth Minmah

Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Kenneth Minima, said on Wednesday that elections could be held in territories recovered from the Boko Haram insurgents.

Mr. Minima, a Lieutenant General, said successes recorded by the troops in dislodging the insurgents from some territories may enable the displaced persons to return back to their homes before the general elections which are scheduled to hold on March 28 and April 11.

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.

On Wednesday, the Army chief said he was impressed with the feat achieved by the soldiers and pledged that more Nigerian territory still being controlled by the insurgents will be retaken.

Mr. Minima arrived the Air Force base of the 79th Composite Group of the Nigerian Air Force, Maiduguri, at about noon via a military aircraft alongside other top officers. He was immediately conveyed in a military chopper to Kukawa Local Government.

Only a government television crew was embedded on the flight trip to Baga as the army could not provide transport helicopters for journalists to the recaptured border town.

At the border town, Mr. Minima reportedly addressed the troops on ground where he informed them that President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigerians were proud of them.

Promotion for victorious soldiers

Upon his return back to Maiduguri two hours later, the army chief told journalists that his visit was to boost soldiers’ morale.

“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,” he said.

“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,” the army chief added.

The soldiers were said to be full praises and jubilation as officers conducted Mr. Minima and his team round parts of the town, recently recovered from the insurgents. He also inspected some of the weapons and vehicles recovered from the insurgents.

Mr. Minima said he is very confident that within the six weeks frame 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”.

INEC had postponed the elections, initially scheduled for February 14 and 28, based on the military’s stance that it could not guarantee security and would need six weeks for an onslaught on the insurgents.

The move was criticised by many Nigerians including some opposition parties who questioned why the onslaught was delayed until the time of the elections.


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  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    The Head of State has spoken.

    The Prime Minister, sorry, President, oh, I mean Pretender in Aso Rock will echo a clarification shortly.

    • Peter

      GOD WILL PUNISH YOU ALL. HATERS.

      • Tunji Olarewaju

        And all you mumu bigots

      • CHRISTOPHER AGBO

        Don’t say that, he has not offended God and yet you call on the name of God to punish him, you just used the name of thy lord in vain.

  • OLODODO

    General Muhammadu Buhari in UK: I Will Maintain a Modest Lifestyle as President – Buhari…Will Resuscitate Nigerian Airways…All Presidential Aircrafts Will Be Brought Under Nigerian Airways “One of the major killer of our economy apart from corruption is Waste. Our scarce resources are being plundered away very carelessly and unnecessarily wasted. “Let me give an instance, presently, there are more than 6 aircraft in the presidential fleet. What do you call that? “Billions of naira is budgeted every year for the maintenance of these aircraft not to talk of operational cost and other expenses. “You may want to ask what a Nigerian President is doing with so much aircraft when a Prime Minister of Britain fly around using the same public aircraft like an ordinary Briton. “Go and check and compare with that of any developed country in the world, the office of the Nigerian President is a very expensive one inspite our high level of poverty and joblessness. “Despite all these, you still find a Nigerian Minister spending about N10billion to charter an aircraft for just one year.”Now, for me, when we come into office, all these waste will be blocked and properly channelled into our economy.”We intend for instance, to bring back our National carrier, the Nigerian Airways.”We shall do this by bringing all the aircraft in the presidential fleet into the Nigerian airway and within a year increase the fleet into about 20.”What is the difference between me and those who elected us to represent them, absolutely nothing. Why should Nigerian President not fly with other Nigerian public?”Why do I need to embark on a foreign trip as a president with a huge crowd with public funds?”Why do I need to go for foreign medical trip if we cannot make our hospital functional?”Why do we need to send our children to school abroad if we cannot develop our university to compete with the foreign ones?”Why, and why must our people be servants to the foreigners in the midst of plenty? I can go on and on.”I came here in the UK and I chose to trek just to make sure I send a message back home to some people who wish us dead.”This is not my struggle, it is our collective efforts to save Nigeria from those who have failed us for 16 years.”- General Muhammadu Buhari speaking in London. Written by Taiwo Adediran, Royal Times Onlines.

    • Shehu Monguno

      Olododo, I want to believe what General Buhari said, but one of his daughter schools in the UK and pays about £40,000 a year for tution. Through out GMB campaign he has rented 2 private jets at US$3,000 an hour for each jet. If that is GMB idea of modesty, then Nigerians are in trouble

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        Truly, poverty of the mind is no small thing!

        Great are your afflictions!!

        • True

          Then that is double standard. Your submission points to your bias. It’s poverty of the mind for him to think the General is spending 3000 dollars every single hour in the name of campaign and it’s wrong to ask questions? Are you for real Mr charge and bail?

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Ode, on the contrary, your imbecility knows no bound.

            This is the APC Campaign, not GMB’s.

            But how does a reyarded cockroach grow wisdom?

      • kokoro dudu

        He for carry keke marwa?

        • Shehu Monguno

          Kokoro dudu, then what do we call modest?

          • CHRISTOPHER AGBO

            That is Modest, Buhari is renting everything not buying it, have you seen his house, he lives like a normal Nigerian.

          • Shehu Monguno

            Christopher Agbo, I have known the General for over 2 decades. Please be sure of your facts

        • Tunji Olarewaju

          Help me ask am o!

      • Yola

        Pls use your real name stop imposting.

        • Shehu Monguno

          Yola, I am sure if you have been regular commentator you will know I have commenting on articles since 2010. The issue of impostor does not arise

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      • CHRISTOPHER AGBO

        What do you expect?, you want him to use the taxi?, it is a campaign for God’s sake, all what he used were even rented.

        • Shehu Monguno

          Christopher, renting 2 private jets at US$3,000 an hour each is a huge sum. That is not been modest

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        • True

          Your response is pathetic. The general is playing to the gallery and telling you what you want to hear like a normal politician. Having being tutored by masters in Tinubu and Fayemi in the acts of good speech with no substance. Get analytical mind instead of buying everything from politician hook, line and sinker. Deliver yourself from brainwashing, indoctrination and naivety. Ask right questions now that you can. What this guy said is it true. If it is true is it also right. GMB uses bullet proof cars now for your information. Do you know how much that costs? A friend of the masses and the poor indeed.

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  • Guguru

    General Minimah, so, if it was possible to defeat Boko Haram in 6 weeks, why did it take 4 years to arrive at that conclusion and why are we reaching that conclusion during an election period? Your contrived and perceived success raises more questions than it answers.And how did you succeed in defeating the army of the Shekau ghost if not that you control Shekau yourselves? Did you not enter int a ceasefire with Shekau the ghost and did your army not say that Shekau has been killed more than twice? In that case why was Boko Haram not defeated then? Why is their defeat now so important to you?

    • Chris1408

      Na dem dem. Boko Haram is GEJ joker. He go fail

      • Guguru

        Thank you. They will fail at their Boko Haram plot to destabilize NIgeria

        • thusspokez

          You wish them to fail, don’t you? It must be hurting you
          to read news of the Nigerian army successes against
          boko haram.

          • Guguru

            thusspokez,

            Me hurt? Why would I be hurt about the actions of people who sponsor Boko Haram?

          • thusspokez

            You are hurt because boko haram fruitcakes are dying like flies and others are drowning in Lake Chad — I feel sorry for the fishes that are going to eat their corpses, though. This is what is upsetting you. But wait, there is more sorrow for you to come.

          • Guguru

            I can hardly understand a thing you said. What fruitcakes, fishes, and who the heck is drowning in a lake? Are you okay today? You sound like you have a fever and you need help to get yourself together. Do you need help?

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          • CHRISTOPHER AGBO

            They are Nigerians, their only alliance is to Nigeria.

        • True

          It must really be paining you that the army is defeating your boys. Anytime is a good time. Keep moaning, keep crying, keep sobbing, keep mourning. Nigerians are celebrating and this victory will be complete because we will see the end of all terrorists both political, intellectual and Internet ones. Somebody say amen.

        • larry

          Just look at this poor AREWA youth ,Chei deris god oh!

    • thusspokez

      Daft question: Because no one knew then i.e., 1,2,3,4 years
      ago that it was possible to defeat boko haram in six weeks
      commencing in the second week of February 2014.

      • Guguru

        thusspokez,

        You crawled into the minds of these people to determine what they knew and what they did not know? To what size did you shrink yourself before embarking on your miniature voyage into the minds of these people? LOL.

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  • thusspokez

    I have read several of this General’s press conferences, and I am
    always very impress with his communication skills; mastering of
    military strategy; and commentary. This is the calibre of General
    that you could only find in armies of advanced countries like the
    US, UK etc.

    The Nigerian army should be very proud of him for giving it a very
    positive image. He is what I call a true army general.

    • segun

      You are a dishonest person. Let Minimah tell us his role in he Ekitigate audiotape.

      • thusspokez

        Why don’t you go and ask him? Don’t be scared: Nigeria is a
        democracy now; and given how civilised a general he is, he
        would oblige you with an answer.

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      • Shehu Monguno

        Segun, the government have given Nigerians the Freedom of Information act. Invoke the act and get the information you need from Minimah

        • Mosaku 147

          How many FOI requests have been turned down by Ngozi’s ministry. So you expect NA to give out any “security” information. Na wa for you oo,e b like say u and dumbo dey use the same brain.

          • Shehu Monguno

            Mosaku147, I am not aware of any request that have been turned down. Since you know how many, you tell us. All the request I know that had been made including 4 by CPIHD were responded too

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      • Mosaku 147

        Abiiiii.

      • True

        Attempts to divert our attention. Face the issue at hand. Nigeria army on the rise defeating the terrorists and recovering territories. Kudos to gallant soldiers. Let’s go and finish the business.

    • Guguru

      thusspokez,

      No Nigerian General is an equal of a General in the USA.

      • thusspokez

        Explain your comment please.

        • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

          Must you reply the Nincompoop ? better ignore .

        • Guguru

          I have nothing to explain. The comment speaks for itself unless you are struggling with English comprehension.

          • thusspokez

            “an equal of”

            Yes I am no speak English good because I am no “equal of” your English comprehension. So, why don’t explain why you think that: “No Nigerian General is an “equal of” a General in the USA.”?

          • Guguru

            Nothing to explain to you.

          • CHRISTOPHER AGBO

            Because your claim is false

          • Guguru

            Show that it is false.

      • CHRISTOPHER AGBO

        That is a lie, he is human and so are the Generals of Nigeria, the U.S has a good army, but the General doesn’t make the army good, the soldiers do, the General is only there to lead and coordinate the troops, and there are a lot of Generals in Nigeria who are way better than the Generals of the U.S

        • thusspokez

          And don’t forget the US smart-suited generals verses the Vietnam shabby generals. We know who won the war, don’t we?

          • CHRISTOPHER AGBO

            The Vietnamese.

        • Guguru

          Christopher,

          Really? Nigerian Generals with pot bellies and who can hardly provide security for their nation, are equal to US generals most of whom are more fit than 30 year olds and they provide security to the United States which is more than 6 times the size of Nigeria? Are you serious or are you dreaming? LOL.

      • Gwazy

        I think you meant to say American Generals command a better paid and advanced military. We do have soldiers that are equally good its leadership that’s lacking

      • True

        Colonial mentality. Inferiority complex is your problem Mr never do well.

        • Guguru

          Mr Spokes,

          Really? You are now the resident psychiatrist? LOL.

      • okoko akwaba

        Maybe quota system generals like Buhari and the Ape with a bullet in his buttocks.. As for Generals like Maxwell kobe, Dogonyaro and Ihejirika.. those should make their cut in any military establishment ..

    • CHRISTOPHER AGBO

      Absolutely, the Nigerian military is one of the best in Africa.

    • FortB

      Well said. For a very long time, we’ve suffered bad leadership. When he was appointed last year, some of us heaved a sigh of relief

  • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

    While I commend the effort of our armed forces, I still can’t believe they are ones making this achievement that they failed to for past six years. Should I say that they deliberately allowed thousands of people to be killed before coming to the rescue of the country?

    • Kelvin

      its because of leadership failure. they’ve been crying for better weapons but nothing was done until election period.

      • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

        Yes my brother the leadership should be faulted. I can still remember when Governor Kashim of Borno state said our armed forces were lacking the right arms to confront Boko Haram our President came openly on the air (NTA, AIT, etc) to attacked him. Today the same President and his commanders are saying the same thing. Kashim deserve apology.

        • Kelvin

          Agreed!

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    • Peter

      Abdullahi, please ask Professor Ango Abdullahi and his evil NEF that question. Is NA still committing genocide?

      • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

        Peter the evil ones are many, I will but I will also the other one whose plane was used to smuggle arms

  • burning spear

    ’’WHY OUR TROOPS IS WINNING THE WAR AGAINST BOKO HARAM – by Zainab Abba Haliru, Kano – ‘’Do you know why our soldiers are becoming effective at rooting out the Boko Haram right at this moment? It is because those opposing their activities have backed down. People in the North are no longer seeing Boko Haram as freedom fighters.

    Most of us Muslims have disowned them. Anyone coming out to support them now will be called a traitor. We have classified them appropriately as terrorists. At the onset most of our elders kicked against calling them terrorists.

    So much have been lost that we all are in the frame of mind to accept any acts from the military to root them out. Formerly that was not the case. Hitherto, any act performed by the military was called genocide. Our leaders at the onset were erroneously in support of the Boko Haram, until they started to target the leaders themselves.

    What I expect us to be asking is this, have we learned our lessons from what our divisiveness did to us? My answer is NO. Why? Because, of the deafening silence in hailing our boys who from the onset put their lives on the line. I wonder where the genocide cry Professor Ango Abdullahi is right now. We all made mistakes trading blames though’

    • thusspokez

      ” It is because those opposing their activities have backed down. People in the North are no longer seeing Boko Haram as freedom fighters.”

      Does this Zainab Abba Haliru understand the implications of her analysis? That, as most Nigerians had suspected all along, the North has been backing boko haram and yet denying it. Or maybe she is simply stup1d.

      • Gaskiya

        My friends the writer is not Zainab bla bla. These are Jonathan e rats who have been hired to write all these rubbish. Thank God Nigerian have tested how devilish Jonathan and PDP are. Dont vote PDPigs again or else you may end up loosing your life from the next form of BOKO HARAM they will create.

        • Kelvin

          my thought exactly.

    • CHRISTOPHER AGBO

      Right on! May GOD grant the Nigerian military more success against these militants, may they come back home alive with all body parts intact.

    • FortB

      Well said

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    • Kelvin

      you posted her comments as if it’s spot on. that’s the most irresponsible comment I’ve ever read. Boko Haram leaders were told by many muslim clerics that their actions and what they preaches are wrong. thats why they killed the well respected scholar sheikh jafar adam and others. this is before yaradua bombardment, “i guess thats also genocide.”

      Please my broda wake up. whats happening today is nothing but politically motivated.They gave them proper weapons and hence the victory. some elements of PDP is behind BH according general Azazi.

      • True

        Your name is not Kelvin and you are defending the indefensible. What the lady said is correct. Many vocal leaders from the north including GMB believed they were helping the north by opposing the killing of BOKO haram. You know the the truth but you can’t admit it. BOKO haram are terrorists simple.

        • kelvin

          just listen to your self. i would like you to refute any of my above claims and show proof were pple are applauding BH.

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      • Jika

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  • MushinSpeaks

    “May” is not the right word to use…elections must surely hold in all places and regions. The voice of the people must be heard…change will come!

  • korona melvin

    I SALUTE THE COURAGE OF OUR SOLDIERS AND I PRAY THAT GOD WILL CONTINUE TO GIVE THEM VICTORY OVER TERROR AND THAT EVERY NIGERIAN WILL BE ALLOWED TO VOTE.. PEACE FOR NIGERIA #GEJ4NAIJA

  • chi boss

    We thank the Nigeria Army for the fight against terrorism and for also ensuring that the elections will hold on recovered territory.. #GEJ4NAIJA

  • frankabby

    Job welldone to Nigerian army for fighting against boko haram and for ensuring that election will be held there #GEJ4Naija

  • grace folarin

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