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We Can Reclaim Captured Territories Before Elections – Army Chief
The Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Kenneth Minimah, stated Thursday that victory could still be achieved over the Boko Haram insurgents before the elections scheduled to start on March 28.
Minimah, a Lieutenant General, who was in Baga, Kukawa local government, to motivate Nigerian troops charged the soldiers not to rest on their oars until the Boko Haram insurgents are completely flushed out.
Expressing his pleasure at the recent achievements of the troops in the war against insurgency, the army chief assured displaced residents of the reclaimed communities that they would still be able to go back home to vote during the general elections.
Minimah who spoke to journalists in Maiduguri after the visit to Baga also expressed confidence that the war against Boko Haram insurgency in the North East may end soon.
“It is achievable to end the Boko Haram activities very soon because we are still within the six weeks frame work. But we should not see the six weeks as a must-accomplish time; this is war and we will try and do whatever possible to liberate more areas so that displaced citizens can go and resettle and possibly vote during the elections.
“Whatever is possible we will do, but the six weeks should not be taken as if it must be accomplished. But we will try as much as possible to liberate the areas under the Boko Haram,” he stated.
While in Baga, the COAS informed the troops that President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigerians in general were proud of them.
“My visit here is on confidence building and to inform you that the entire Nigerians are singing your praises for your courage and urge you to you keep up the tempo. You have made Nigerians proud. From today it is never again for insurgents to take hold of any of our territory.
“Today it is going to be victory all the way because the war is almost ended. From here we move to retake Gwoza, Marte and Madagali. With this, there is going to be no more boko Haram; the slogan is ‘never again’ and even the President shares in this slogan,” Minimah said.
He also announced that all soldiers who participated in the liberation of Baga would get an instant promotion to the next rank.
“As a way of commending your courage and patriotism, every soldier that participated in the Baga operation, whether dead or alive has been promoted to the next rank,” Minimah stated.
The soldiers expressed joy and gratitude as officers conducted the COS and his team round part of the town where he undertook the inspection of some of the recovered weapons and vehicles recovered from the dislodged terrorists.