The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya, has said that the traditional leaders were critical to the success of the ongoing operation to end Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism in the North-East region.
The COAS made this known during a courtesy visit to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-kanemi, and members of Borno Emirate Council on Friday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
General Faruk said he was pleased to be at the Shehu’s palace with Principal Staff Officers from the Army Headquarters to pay respect and homage to the revered traditional ruler.
He said he arrived the state earlier in the day on operational visit to the Theatre and felt it was an honour to visit the Shehu as a father, leader not only in Borno but also in the country, to receive royal blessing for the task ahead of him.
He appreciated the support of the royal father and the entire Emirate even while he was in the State as the Theatre Commander, Operation HADIN KAI before his appointment as the 22nd Chief of the Army Staff.
He noted that the support of the royal father and the Emirate has led to some of the successes recorded in the operations against the terrorists and solicited for more support.
In his remarks, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-kanemi, commended the military for the gradual return of peace to the State and Northeast region.
He said 17 of the 27 local government areas previously occupied by Boko Haram terrorists some years ago have been recaptured and civil authority restored.
He urged the COAS not to be deterred and pledged the support of the Emirate to the Army leadership and Military generally.
The COAS was accompanied to the palace by the Chief of Operations (Army) , Major General Ibrahim Yusuf, other Principal Staff Officers at the Army Headquarters, Theatre Commander, Operation HADIN KAI, Major General Christopher Musa, Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division and Commander, Sector 1 Operation HADIN KAI, Brigadier General Abdulwahab Eyitayo, among others.