President Buhari was yesterday in Maiduguri, to cheer up the injured soldiers battling Boko Haram and reassure others that he is committed to their mission – wiping out insurgents.
23 Soldiers were killed and 31 injured in Metele on November 18.
President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Maimalari Military Cantonment Hospital in the Borno State capital, saw injured soldiers on their beds. He comforted them and stressed the fact that their sacrifice was well appreciated, The Nation learnt.
He advised the troops not to be distracted but to focus on wiping out Boko Haram.
“The effort of the military has also stabilised the security situation in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country and curtailed the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
“I must commend the selfless sacrifices of our Armed Forces, especially the heroic officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army who by virtue of their commitment to operations all over the country have brought about the desired peace.
“There has been a remarkable improvement in the security situation in the Northeast since 2015 when this administration came into government and you are a major part of the successes that have been achieved.
“I am, of course, aware that in the recent months and in recent days, there have been some operational losses in the northern part of Borno State, particularly in Jilli, Arege and Metele.
“I know that you are doing your best to reverse this trend and I want to assure you that no effort will be spared in providing the necessary support you require to complete the task. We remain committed to ending the crisis in the Northeast and making the entire area safe for all. I urge you all to keep up the good work.
“I am also painfully aware that some gallant officers and soldiers have paid the supreme price in the course of these anti-terrorist operations. While we remember them and mourn with their loved ones, I must also convey the deep gratitude of the government and people of Nigeria to the late soldiers and their families for their heroic sacrifices.
Our thoughts and prayers are also with all other victims of Boko Haram’s atrocities and their families,” President Buhari said.
He praised the professionalism the army and other security agencies employed to unravel the mysterious death of Maj.-Gen. Idris Alkali, stressing that the perpetrators of the heinous act must be brought to book.
“Let me also commend you all for the professional manner with which the Nigerian Army, in collaboration with other security agencies, unravelled the perpetrators involved in the disappearance of late Maj.-Gen. Idris Alkali. This attests to the capabilities that exist in our security apparatus. I want to assure you that the perpetrators will be brought to book. May his gentle soul and the souls of our departed gallant troops rest in perfect peace,” Buhari said.
The President, observing the importance of the theme of the conference, praised the army for shifting the conference from Benin to Maiduguri, stressing that the officers and soldiers who are fighting against terrorism in the Northeast deserve all the attention our country’s leadership can demonstrate to them.
To boost the morale of the troops, the President announced:
“I will be visiting some of our injured troops in hospitals and also talk to others at their bases to assure them of our continued support. It is a must win war. I want to encourage our troops not to be distracted by whatever speculations but to remain focused and committed to the task of eliminating Boko Haram from the face of earth.
“I want to reassure you that as your Commander-in-Chief, I will do everything within my powers to continue empowering you by providing all the necessary equipment, force multipliers and enablers required for you to prevail on the field. I also want you to be aware that I am currently looking into measures to improve your entitlements and welfare generally.”