Chris Steven, Abuja
The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) has reacted to the decision of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai, to relocate the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East back to their respective homes.
The group also commended the gallant troops of the Nigerian army on their efforts to restore a lasting peace and sanity to northern part of Borno after sufficiently defeating BOko Haram Terrorists in the area.
Comrade Gabriel Onoja, National Coo-ordinator of the group told newsmen at a press conference in Maiduguri on Thursday that CATE was pleased with the ongoing onslaught by the Nigerian Army against Boko Haram terrorists in north-east of the country under ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ and other parts of the country.
The group noted that the Nigerian Army had recorded tremendous success in its Operation Last Hold in the past two weeks with the recent neutralization of fleeing Boko Haram elements operating around the borders of Nigeria with Chad and Cameroon and in Northern Borno in particular.
According to him, “The news has been replete with the successes in neutralizing the terrorists in various locations where their camps have been destroyed. The latest of such exploits include the achievements by troops of 153 Task Force Battalion in conjunction with the Cameroonian Defence Forces, which killed 23 terrorists while on clearance operation on 11 June 2018. This is after troops had successfully cleared including Bulakeisa, Tumbuma Babba, Abbaganaram and Dan Baure villages in the Lake Chad region.
“We note that remnants of Boko Haram continue to attempt using human borne Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) suicide bombers to attempt unleashing terror on the population but strategic intervention of the Army has resulted in minimizing the damages in the few instances of such attacks while the majority of them are averted.
Overall, Boko Haram has been pushed out of Nigeria. It is clear that the victory of the Nigerian troops over Boko Haram has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Ongoing clearance operations has made towns and villages earlier afflicted by Boko Haram to become safer such that it is now possible to relocate and reintegrate internally displaced persons back to their ancestral homes.
“This is a major achievement for which the Nigerian Army should not only be lauded but supported to achieve more. We commend the Nigerian Army for the success it has recorded in keeping Nigerians safe from Boko Haram terrorists just as we salute the “Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, whose leadership gave Nigeria Army that has proven to be truly capable and up to the task at hand. The Nigerian Army, in our estimate has done more than its fair share in dealing with the country’s problem of terrorism; while it is expected to do more, we believe that it will be more successful if we all pitch in to make the assignment easier.
“We therefore appeal to fellow compatriots to increase whatever support they have been extending to the military in the past to ensure that whatever is left of Boko Haram is not able to re-grow like the hydra monster. Every little contribution by each peace-loving Nigerian will help cripple whatever cells of the terror group are still left.
We must also collectively undertake to pile the pressure on known and closet sponsors as well as supporters of Boko Haram. It is the final lifeline that must be severed for the terror group to wither into oblivion, which can only be achieved when, as patriotic Nigerians, we supply information to the relevant authorities and when we express our displeasure at their support for terrorists.
“Our traditional and religious leaders must recommit to the efforts to stop the recruitment and radicalization of youths and making them into terrorists. The era of these set of leaders aligning with questionable politicians to sabotage the war on terrorism for petty gains is over as history will count terrorists’ supporters as terrorists in the final analysis.
“Finally, we call on those who still give allegiance to Boko Haram re-evaluate their options. Continuing to fight for the group guarantees certain death in the ongoing military operations to rid Nigeria of terrorists.”