Troops of the Nigerian Army have recorded a series of successes in their offensive against the remnants of Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the North East zone.
Apart from foiling planned attacks by the insurgents, the troops have pushed them into spots where they no longer have access to food and other basic items.
The army authorities said that in their desperation for food, the famished terrorists attempted to attack Mafa, Mafa local government area of Borno State. The army authorities confirmed the development yesterday and noted that following “sustained, robust, and aggressive clearance operations” against the terrorists, they were “desperately longing for food and other logistics.”
The army said that in recent days it had recorded tremendous successes in the fight against insurgency as dozens of Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP fighters were killed. The troops also captured large cache of arms, ammunition and variants of gun trucks and other fighting vehicles from the terrorists.
Acting director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, who gave insight into the exploits of the troops yesterday, said that over 100 women and children were freed from the terrorists’ dens.
Col. Musa, in a statement, he made available to journalists in Abuja, said that to consolidate on the successes achieved so far, “troops of 112 Task Force Battalion deployed in Mafa in Borno State effectively foiled Boko Haram /ISWAP terrorists’ attack in Mafa, Mafa local government area of Borno State, when they attempted to attack Mafa on Monday.”
He said: “The terrorists’ failed attack on Mafa was as a result of available intelligence indicating the desperate longing for food and other logistics by terrorists necessitated by the recent, incredibly tireless and ferocious troops’ operational exploits.”
The army spokesman said that during the failed attack, the terrorists came in five gun trucks and several motorcycles, adding that the troops responded with heavy fire power forcing them to scamper for their lives.
Musa said that three terrorists were killed; two gun trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns and a motorcycle were recovered while some of the insurgents escaped with gunshot wounds.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 of “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Brig-Gen. Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, charged the troops to remain focus and not to be carried away with their successes.
He gave the admonition during a visit to the conflict location with reinforcement and directed the troops to redouble their efforts and sustain the momentum until they win the war against terrorism for Nigeria.
Buratai Pledges To Address Soldiers’ Operational Challenges
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) , Lt-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has promised to address the operational challenges including administrative issues facing troops in the counter-insurgency theatre of war in the North East.
Buratai stated this yesterday during the 2019 COAS durbar held in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital
The Durbar, according to him, is an interactive session between the COAS and troops, held periodically to discuss welfare and challenges faced by troops on the front line.
He urged the soldiers that converged at the Command Guest House Conference Hall, Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri to feel free to speak out their mind or their complaints pertaining to their operations on the war front to him.
Buratai said: “I promise to address any problem that you may be facing whether in short or medium or long term. I want you to feel free and talk to me, say your mind on what is disturbing you. Nobody will penalise you for anything that you say.
“All what I want is for you to tell me the truth and not lies. I know you have issues you want to talk to me directly without your commanders here. I have directed your commanders at every unit to hold the same COAS Durbar at their various formations across the Theatre Command. And today you are privileged to have the opportunity to talk to me directly and physically, without any hindrance from anybody,” he said.
The COAS said that the Durbar had become a tradition in the Nigerian Army as every unit holds the session with troops to bare their mind on logistics, welfare, operational issues and any matter.
According to Buratai, “this is a privilege for you to have opportunity with me to interact with me directly. I have held this kind of durbar twice in the past in Maiduguri, once in Damasak in 2018 and in 2016 in Maiduguri.”
In another development, Boko Haram terrorists have killed 20 farmers at Ngangam village, about 50 kilometres to Damasak, the headquarters of Mobbar local government area of Borno State for leaking information on their activities to the military.
Sources at the Nigeria-Niger Republic border said that the incident led to the mass exodus of people from the settlement to Damasak.
The source said yesterday in Maiduguri that “they (insurgents) stormed the settlement in five pick-up vans and motorcycles. They allegedly accused the villagers of divulging information on their activities to the military and colluding with the troops against them.
“They told the villagers that was why they had come to punish them and they proceeded to slit some of the farmers and shot the others. They killed 20 people on the spot but I cannot tell you how many were later slaughtered or shot,” he added.”
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