The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday restated that the Boko Haram terrorists had been “highly degraded” and that there was no resurgence of insurgency in the North-East as being insinuated in some quarters.
Mr Buratai, who spoke in Jaji at the graduation of 55 Special Forces from “Advance Water Markship Training”, however, said: “in warfare, one must suffer some setbacks”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in the last few days, there have been media reports of terrorists’ attacks on troops in the North-East in which they claimed a number of soldiers had been killed.
The army, however, denied the attack and loss of personnel.
Mr Buratai, a lieutenant-general, was in Jaji in company of the visiting South African Army Chief, Lt.-Gen. Lindile Yam.
“You are all aware of the events in the country, especially the security landscape between 2013 and mid-2015.
“I am referring to the situation in the North-East where a band of insurgents, employing terror held sway over nearly the entire region, including large part of the North-Central and Northwestern parts of the country.
“However, from middle of 2015 to date, the insurgents have suffered high degradation. They no longer hold any territory within our sovereign state,” Buratai said.
He said that this was made possible by the adoption of correct strategies, support by President Muhammadu Buhari and the goodwill of the people.
According to him, a professional army should be capable of operating under all conditions across all terrains and by day or night.
He said: “The nature of modern warfare requires that an army must develop multi capability to address all changes.’’
Mr Buratai commended the graduating Special Forces drawn from various corps of the army for the completion of the training.
NAN also reports that the army chief promoted all the 55 personnel that participated in the training, saying it was his reward for them, having endured the rigours of the exercise.
He said the focus on effective training in the last years also largely accounted for the successes so far recorded by the army.
“It is pertinent to state that lessons learned from our counterinsurgency and counter terrorism operations have to a large extent, guided our training and operation plans,” he said.
The South African army chief, having watched a simulation attack on supposed enemy camp by the graduands, commended the Nigerian military for the relations among the three services.
Yam noted that the strategies adopted by the Nigerian military in addressing the country’s security challenges were yielding positive results.
He also praised Nigerians for their resilience and being able to adapt to situations wherever they found themselves.