The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said that Boko Haram insurgents are on the verge of a final defeat by the military.
Buratai spoke at an interactive session organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Abuja on Saturday.
The Army chief said no local government area in the country was under the occupation of Boko Haram.
According to him, the insurgents are using the Niger territory to launch attacks on Nigeria. He also noted that the insurgents carried out an attack on a location of troops at Abadam, Borno State, but were repelled.
Buratai explained that the Army had made tremendous efforts to ensure that the ongoing operation was boosted with Intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance platforms.
He praised the army for doing the nation proud despite the covert tactics employed by the insurgents.
He said, “We have made tremendous efforts to ensure that our operations are covered by ISR platforms. We have satellite images and even used drones to provide aerial photographs of the areas we operate in. You know the mode of operation of the terrorists; they hide under the cover of darkness, they have a very good way of concealing themselves, they regroup and then come out to attack.
“But we are up to the task and our troops are doing us proud there. They will ensure these are the last moves they (insurgents) are making before their final and eventual crushing by the military. No local government is under Boko Haram. Even as at this morning (Saturday), these criminals attacked our troops in Abadam, but we are holding on to that local government. Mostly, they are coming from Nigerien territory.”
Reacting to the Amnesty International’s allegations of rights violation against the Army, Buratai said the Army had investigated all such cases and punished those found wanting in accordance with the law.
Also commenting on the issue of his ownership of some assets in Dubai, the Army chief said they were not mansions as reported by a section of the media.
He said he had declared the assets with the Code of Conduct Bureau and had them verified in accordance with constitutional provision.
Buratai also called on Nigerians not to give money to soldiers at the various operational checkpoints across the country.
He urged the members of the public to report any incident of extortion involving the soldiers with date, specific time and the location to the Civil/Military Relations unit of the service for prompt action.