Rogers Nicholas, the newly-posted Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, has called on the Boko Haram insurgents to lay down their arms and embrace peace.
Mr. Nicholas, a major general, made the call at his maiden media interactive session on Monday in Maiduguri.
He said that the call was imperative to encourage remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents to surrender in order to end insurgency and guarantee lasting peace in the region.
“We have determined and courageous soldiers to crush the terrorists and bring peace to the North-east.
“I call on the insurgents in the bush to surrender to the Nigerian Government and embrace peace,” he said.
Mr. Nicholas also tasked the media to work toward awareness creation on de-radicalisation of the sect’s ideology, promote peace building and social cohesion.
He reiterated the readiness of the military to work with media to ensure successful campaign against insurgency in the country.
“The command will provide enabling environment for the media to access information on our operations.
“You should ensure accurate, factual and balance reportage on the military operation,” he said.
The commander warned that the authorities would not condone misrepresentation of facts and bias reportage.
Mr. Nicholas disclosed that the command would come out with new strategies to intensify campaign to end suicide bombings and attacks by the insurgents.
He also called on the people in the region to cooperate with military to enable them to win the war against the terror group, adding that the war against insurgency was a collective responsibility.
Also, the outgoing commander, Ibrahim Attahiru, said the military had implemented various operations to get rid of the insurgents and sustained the feat recorded in the counter-insurgency campaign.
Mr. Attahiru, a major general, said that Boko Haram insurgents were tactically defeated, while the military liberated all the territories from the insurgents.
He explained that the military had launched various operations designed to clear the remnant of the insurgents.
“In view of the successes recorded by the military, the Boko Haram insurgents resorted to suicide bombing of soft targets,” he said.
Mr. Attahiru said that about 100 Boko Haram insurgents including five high profiled commanders were killed and 72 others surrendered to the military in the past six months.
According to him, the military had reinforced its Mobile Strike Force to block the sect’s supply routes and enhance clearance operations.
Mr. Attahiru listed other achievements of the command to include conduct of polio immunisation exercise in non-accessible rural communities and lifting of ban on fishery activities at Lake Chad Basin.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Nicholas was the Chief of Logistics, Army Headquarters, before his new appointment as the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole.
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