Theater Commander ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, Major General Lucky Irabor has said that Boko Haram remains defeated pointing out that a statement credited to Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima that the terrorists group was only decimated and not defeated does not applly in military operations.
According to Irabor, the defeat of Boko Haram is supported by the fact that no single local government area or piece of territory in the North East epicenter of the insurgency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States was in the hands of the terrorist group.
“Boko Haram has been defeated. They no longer have the capacity to carry out the ferocious attacks on communities like they used to do in the past. There logistics based has been taken out. They can no longer move in convoys and wreak havoc on communities”
“The governor could be looking at the situation from the fact that civil authority has been affected by displacements of the civil populace and people are yet to fully return to reclaimed communities but it is a gradual process. That is understandable. If I were in his shoes I would think the same way”.
Reacting to continued casualty on the part of troops still being killed in battle, Irabor said, “The defeat of the terrorists and reclaiming of territories is not a guarantee that peace is absolute right know. Peace is a state that is futuristic. That is why we are still around carrying out clearance operations. It does not mean that the end has come completely.
“We also need other stakeholders to play their roles to reach the near absolute peace required. By this I mean the citizens, returnee IDP’s, the state government and others to make the near absolute peace possible”.
On the milestones made so far in clearance operations, the Commander said, “We have made significant gains in terms of reducing the arsenals available to Boko Haram. Within the period, so many Chibok girls have been released though through negotiation but I want to say they were released due to pressure of the military’s action closing in on them”.
Describing allegation of late payment of allowances to troops or in some cases, non-payment, as ‘strange’, General Irabor said he was not aware of anything like that noting that in the past where such issues occurred, the issues were resolved.
He said issues of death benefits were being handled by the Army headquarters department of Administration saying there is procedure for such payments after documentation which has been normalized.
Regarding complaints of non-rotation of troops contrary to the operational guidelines of the military operation, the Theatre Commander said, “We are making arrangement for that. Some of us have been here a long time. But rotation has started.
“Presently, over 600 troops have been rotated in the last one month. Many troops will be inducted shortly into the operation”.
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