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Buratai: We are on track to get Shekau; says 2,500 troops for rotation out of Lafiya Dole soon.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai has assured Nigerians and the International community that soldiers prosecuting the war on terrorism in the North East would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that Abubakar Shekau is caught.

Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole will continue to chase him until the leader of the insurgent Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau is arrested, Buratai said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Hausa Service.

The COAS disclosed that there has been a lot of success recorded in the ongoing fight against insurgency in the Nigeria’s northeast region, despite the challenges of inadequate military personnel at the battlefield even as he pointed out that about 2,500 personnel currently in the northeast are to be rotated out of the region and replaced with others.

He told the BBC, “As we speak, there are about 2,500 soldiers that are about to be taken out of the northeast and they are to be replaced with others.

“If you look at the landmass of northeast, compare it with when we fought civil war in southeast, all the states that make southeast, the old states, not the present states, if you put them together they cannot match Borno and Yobe landmass.

“At that time, they fought with about 250,000 soldiers, but now we are not even up to 50,000 in Borno and Yobe. We need more personnel”.

On what was causing delay in finishing the fight, Buratai said “we have recorded a lot of success. What happens now is not based on the number of soldiers or hardware but the tactic and strategy of the operations.

“Other things like the personnel’s welfare, which we are according it a top priority, also helps in the success; their training also.

“That is why any soldier posted to the area must receive a special training and that has also helped.

Reminded that Nigerians would only agree with the said success of defeating Boko Haram when the sect’s leader was arrested, which Mr. Buratai concurred saying, “They are right. And we are leaving no stone unturned in seeing that we arrest the Boko Haram leader, Shekau.

“It needs patience and requires us to continue to advance to their strongholds.

“I don’t need to reveal what we are doing towards that. People should be patient. It does not involve the army alone. Other security outfits equally have roles.

“And we have been discussing with the police to return to the towns where residents have already returned. That will give our personnel the chance to further pursue the insurgents,” he said.

Lt. General Buratai also said the incidences of suicide bombing would also be nipped in the bud, as they have continue to make progress in tracing their hide out, where they plan and the suicide attacks.


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