The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, said on Tuesday that Nigerians must work together and offer maximum support to government to secure the country from insurgents, bandits and other criminals.
The Army chief made the plea at the opening of the first quarter annual conference of Nigeran Army Infantry Corps, holding in Jaji, Kaduna State.
The theme of the conference is Leveraging Land Power for Current and Future Warfare: The Unity of Combat Arms.
He said while the Army is deploying maximum intelligence in its operations, the massive support of the populace would help expose criminal elements and facilitate their decimation to make the country more peaceful and stable.
Mr Buratai hailed the military exploits against Boko Haram, saying that the insurgents are being smoked out from Nigeria’s borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
“Today we have the full initiative in collaboration with the members of Multi National Joint Task Force countries, we are working hard to ensure that we finally sanitize the northern part of Borno, our border fringes with Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
“The changes in the Nigeria Army and its innovations are quite outstanding.
“With our collective efforts with other security agencies, we were able to deal decisively with the Boko haram insurgencies.
“Within the hinterlands, some of them are still hibernating in the remote areas, they are planning and we are also planning to counter them.
“We will ensure that we employ the maximum intelligence required to contain those within the hinterland.”
Mr Buratai said terrorism is quite complex and requires a more comprehensive approach involving government, communities, individuals and all other stakeholders in the country.
“If this is done, we will be able contain it at anytime it rears its ugly head.
“It cannot be left to the traditional rulers, local government chairmen, state governors or federal government institutions like the military, police or the Armed Forces alone.
“It is the collective responsibility of everybody. Every individual and society has a role to play.
“These criminals, insurgents including the bandits that are causing havoc in the Northwest and other parts of the country don’t come in from the blues, they all live in the society, they go to markets, motor parks and they also buy food stuffs in different areas where they are produced and they interact with people.
” If the overall populace sees it as their own responsibility to support government and security agencies, it means we are going to resolve every security issue in the country.
“The armed forces have done their best, but we must continue to preserve the territorial integrity of our country and defend her from external aggression and any form of internal security challenges.”
Earlier, the Commander Infantry Corps, Stevenson Olabanji said though the Army had lost some of its personnel and men while fighting insurgency, new initiatives had ensured overwhelming victory against the terrorists.
Mr Olabanji mentioned that urgent evolution has been adopted in the training of personnel with new ideas and inputs to fight the menace.
He said that retired Commanders of the infantry were invited to the conference for reunion, tap from their experiences and brainstorm and exchange ideas on how to move the Nigerian infantry forward.