By Johnson Eyiangho
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has again charged troops to move deep into the bushes to engage and clear remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists from the North-East region.
“You must take this fight to their hideouts. You must go further, that should be the next state.’’
Buratai gave the charge on Tuesday in Bama, after he decorated two officers and 63 soldiers with “Gallantry Medals” for their exceptional performances in the clearance operation.
The officers and soldiers are from 151 Armoured Battalion, 21 Brigade of Operation Lafiya Dole.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on July 10 and Aug. 5, respectively, the troops ambushed and repelled the terrorists, neutralising over 13 insurgents and recovered weapons from them.
Two soldiers died in those incidents.
The COS moved to the Theare Command of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, after the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo ordered service chiefs to relocate to Borno to take charge of operations, following renewed attacks.
Buratai, who relocated in compliance with the directive, had been visiting troops in the front line to boost their morale.
“I won’t accept a situation where our troops are being unnecessarily killed or innocent civilians are ambushed on the highways or in some other areas.
“The remnants (of terrorists) that are roaming in the bushes and forest must be followed through.
“They must be identified and cleared. Don’t rest on your oars. We still have little to accomplish. You have done the greater part
“We are moving to the end of this operation, but there are still more tasks to be accomplished.
“It requires perseverance and discipline, so, let us work harder and clear these criminals, “Buratai told the troops.
He congratulated the recipients of the award and reminded soldiers fighting the terrorists that they were rendering national service to keep Nigeria united.
The army chief urged the troops to replicate the feat achieved by the awardee and assured them of their welfare.