There’s no Boko Haram resurgence, Nigerian military assures

Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, briefing Newsmen during a Monthly News Conference on Defence and Security in Abuja on Friday (28/4/17). 02329/28/4/2017/Johnson Udeani/ICE/NAN

The Defence Headquarters has reassured Nigerians that there is no “resurgence of insurgency’’ in the North-east, particularly in Borno in spite of pockets of attacks and suicide bombings in the state.

The Director Defence Information, John Enenche, gave the assurance on Friday at the monthly update on security situation nationwide.

Mr. Enenche, a major general, said that the military, particularly the Nigerian Army had re-strategised to deal with those attacks.

“The general public has a feeling which I have been made to understand that there seems to be like there is resurgence of the Boko haram activities in the North-east, particularly in Borno State.

“I stand here this morning to tell you categorically that it is not true.

“Let me also remind you that the Boko Haram groups, I called them groups because it is not one. They vary in their characteristics and behaviour.

“They are not professional, they do not know what we armed forces of Nigeria, know,’’ he said.

According to Mr. Enenche, the new tactics being adopted by the military is to enable the troops to clear remnants of the insurgents.

“It is not that we have become docile or dormant, no.

“The apprehension from the public is becoming much from the dossier I get, but I am assuring them that the new tactics adopted by the military in eliminating the terrorists is working,” he said.

The defence spokesperson said some of the terrorists were willingly giving up themselves, but vowed that the die-hard among them would sooner than later meet their waterloo.

“From those, who are surrendering, we are having a good level of cooperation from them.

“A good number of them are surrendering; they are interested in the `Operation Safe Corridor’, the measure put in place by the Defence Headquarters for those who are ready to repent,” he added.

Mr. Enenche said that repentant terrorists, who took advantage of that window would be “demobilised, disarmed and re-integrated into the society through targeted operated training.”

He said that while the Nigerian Air Force had injected new platforms to enhance their capability in night operation, the Navy was on top of the situation in the Lake Chad region.

According to him, threats in that region have been drastically reduced.

He said that the other various operations being conducted by the military across the country in checking criminality were yielding desired results.

The operations include `Harbin Kunama II’’ in the North West, “Safe Haven’’ in North Central, “Delta Safe’’ in the Niger Delta and “Awase’’ in the South West.

On removal of mines from the North-east, Mr. Enenche said following the call by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, a lieutenant general, the United Nations had indicated willingness to assist the country.

“And the promise from the body is very encouraging for the whole of that area to be demined.

“Of course, from other sectors of those involved in this initiative, you will discover that the area has been seriously mined.

“So, it is not easy for the people, IDPs to return to their homes and farms, but that effort is on. The Nigerian army engineers are there within the available resources to do their best.

“But the moment we get the required support from the international community, I tell you the exercise is going to be accelerated,” he said.

Mr. Buratai had told journalists in Maiduguri that the army was only doing a limited demining of the area and that large-scale removal of mines would require the assistance of the UN and other relevant bodies.


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