The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai on Monday stated that over 700 Boko Haram terrorists within the fringes of Sambisa Forest, at the weekend surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East.
Speaking at the Arts and Photo Exhibition organized as part of the 2017 Nigerian Army Day Celebration, the Army Chief said surrender of the terrorists came against the backdrop of the intensive pounding of suspected Boko Haram hideouts in the Sambisa Forest area by the Nigerian Army artillery long range guns, supported by air assault by the NAF air component.
Disclosing that information available to him showed that more terrorists were in the process of surrendering, Buratai said it is a welcome development that will bring a sigh of relief to many Nigerians.
His words, “It is a clear indication that the war on insurgency and terror is clearly being won. I want to congratulate not only our gallant troops and indeed the Navy and Airforce but all Nigerians.
“The terrorists are surrendering because of the concerted efforts of the Nigerian military. They are in total disarray; they are hungry and are looking for a way out”.
On the exhibition which is the first in the history of the Nigerian Army, the COAS said exhibition goes to show the Nigerian Army is not only out to serve as an instrument of national unity, integration and unity, the exhibition will summarize the successes and cost of the war on insurgency and the several theaters of operation the Nigerian army has been involved in.
“The exhibition is a true way of capturing the facts on the ground. The photo exhibition will show the true sense of feeling of a patriot; of a selfless individual whose focus is to secure the territorial integrity of the nation and a committed soldier. The exhibition will depict the artistic side of the soldier”.
Guest of Honour at the occasion and Head of Service of the federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo Ita showered praises on the Nigerian Army in its commitment to the security of the nation, particularly in its task of containing the activities of insurgency and terrorism in the North East.
“No doubt, the Nigerian Army is at the fore-front of the Change Agenda of the present administration. It is therefore a thing of joy that this exhibition is not only a preservation of the ideals for which the army stands for, the event has depicted the Nigerian Army as a civilian friendly organization”.
Mrs Oyo Ita used the opportunity to congratulate Lt. General Buratai for the leadership of the army which has resulted in successes of the army in many challenging security operations including the surrendering of 700 Boko Haram terrorists.
Also at the occasion, popular Nigerian Comedian, Francis Agoda aka ‘I Go Dye’ presented an award he won, Africa Child Award, to the Chief of Army Staff, as part of his own way of saying thank you for the efforts of the Nigerian Army in fighting terrorism, other security challenges and saving children.
He said, “I am dedicating this award to the Nigerian Army because of they have lost many officers and soldiers, some have become disabled because they are fighting for security and good education of children. It is only under a conducive environment that children will have good education’.
“I believe that the Nigerian Army fights for interest of Nigerians. They are truly African heroes”, Agoda said.
Earlier, Chief of Civil Military Affairs of the Army, Major General Nuhu Angbazo welcomed dignitaries to the arts and photo exhibition saying each picture spoke a thousand words with its contents and dated back to when the Army came into existence, 154 years ago.
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