The Military flushes out terrorists, reclaims Borno towns

IT was a major clamp down on Boko Haram terrorists yesterday as troops of 7 Division of Nigerian Army flushed out the insurgents from Monguno and other communities in Borno State. The hoodlums fled the towns, leaving their food supplies and other procurements.
Meanwhile, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, has canvassed support of traditional rulers and other stakeholders for the military in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency to restore peace and enable displaced persons return to their respective towns and communities in Borno.
The gallant troops, in a military operation characterised by highly coordinated air assaults, descended heavily on the Boko Haram terrorists in Monguno, Marte and other communities on the shores of Lake Chad and reclaimed the towns in the early hours of yesterday.
In a statement, the Director of Defence Information, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said that a number of terrorists, truckloads of food items, including rice and beans as well as other logistics meant to be supplied to the insurgents in their hideouts were also intercepted and recovered at Baga that was captured on January 3, 2015.
In the last few weeks, Maiduguri, Munguno, Baga and other strategic towns in the Northeast have faced series of attacks by Boko Haram, leading to loss of lives and property. The group had made their presence seemingly unchallengeable in Monguno. To dislodge the hoodlums, the federal government then deployed troops and military equipment to the area, a move that has yielded the desired result.
The statement by the military reads in part: “Troops in a military operation spearheaded by highly coordinated air assaults have completed the mission of clearing terrorists from Monguno and environs this morning.
“A number of terrorists as well as truckloads of rice, beans and other logistics meant for resupply to the terrorists operating around Baga have been captured in the course of operation. Casualty inflicted and arms recovered as well as other outcome of the operation in Monguno, Marte and other communities already secured will be determined after the ongoing cordon and search in the environs.”
The flushing out of the insurgents from Borno towns came barely 24 hours after the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, told newsmen in Lagos that the military had intensified efforts to ensure that within the next six weeks, the insurgency in the Northeast region would have been successfully contained.
Amosu, who spoke at the kick-off of a military exercise aimed at adding more weapons and equipment into the operations of the armed forces in the Northeast, said: “We are set to decimate the Boko Haram terrorists by first gaining air and ground intelligence to deny them the freedom of action and movement, to destroy their communication and supply lines and the possibilities of regeneration.
“We have done this sufficiently and their command and control are already disrupted. What we need to do now is an exercise to complete the project. It is so easy for people to say what you could not do in so many years, how come you are going to do in six weeks. It is an operation and it gets to a point where you can categorically say that within a period, you can complete the operation and this is where we are right now.”
Air Marshal Amosu said that the exercise, which was jointly organised, will bring additional capabilities to fight against insurgency. “We are incorporating some new systems and some new ammunition have surfaced and we need to incorporate them into the platform we have.
“With this, we need to intensify the day and night operations. This operation is to recalibrate our weapon system and fine-tune our tactics. It is also another opportunity to look at our maritime environment; there are challenges equally in that area.”
The Shehu of Borno canvassed the support for the offensive against terrorists yesterday when the new General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 7 Division of Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Adeosun paid a courtesy visit to his palace in Maiduguri.
The monarch said that with the commitments of the military to end the insurgency in Borno State, traditional rulers, along with their subjects, would continue to support the military men by providing useful information on the modus operandi of the insurgents.
His words: “In as much, we will continue to give all the necessary support to the military, our people will not leave you alone in the fight against insurgency, because many lives and property have been lost in the last five or six years. Your fight against these terrorists has started to yield dividends, as some of the captured towns and villages in this state are being reclaimed by your men in the field. We are 100 per cent behind all of you here in Borno to end this insurgency.”
El-Kanemi noted: “Borno has always been known as home of peace if not for this Boko Haram insecurity situation it has found itself in the last five or six years.”
On displacements of six emirs, El-Kanemi disclosed that about two million internally displaced persons are currently taking refuge within the Maiduguri metropolis.
“The socio-economic activities in the state have been crippled through the six years of insurgency here in Borno State,” the monarch lamented.
Maj-Gen. Adeosun said that he was at the Shehu’s palace to solicit the support of the traditional institution to enable him succeed in his job, having been posted to Maiduguri just a fortnight ago.