The Nigerian Army said it had freed over two million women, children and adult males held captive by members of the Boko Haram sect in the North-East since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power.
The army said the feat was achieved after series of coordinated attacks and operations conducted against the terrorists.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, represented by the Chief of Civil Military, Maj.-Gen. Peter John Bojie, stated this in Abuja during a conference organised by Bassey Etuk Williams, President of Coalition of Civil Society Groups, a Non-Governmental Organisation, in commemoration of the United Nations World Peace Day, with the theme: “Civil society, media and military synergy in the sustainability of peace and generation of objective narratives.”
According to him, such achievements would not have been recorded without the support of the Federal Government.
The COAS said the political will, clear directives of President Buhari and supports by all the tiers of government were responsible for the morale boost witnessed in the military.
Buratai said, “All symbols of government authorities and infrastructure were sacked and destroyed respectively. The situation was so bad that the entity called Nigeria was seriously threatened. Over four million people were displaced and most of them sought sanctuary in Maiduguri up till July 2015.
“Today, the story has changed, as the tide has turned against the insurgents. The Nigerian Army, in synergy with sister services and security agencies, had liberated, captured territories and rescued over 40,000 civilians, arrested many suspects, while over two million women, children, including adult males held captive have been freed from the hands of the terror group following series of coordinated attacks and operations conducted against Boko Haram’s camps.”
He further said the military had been able to restore normalcy to most affected communities in the North-East through its Quick Impact Projects.
These are “rehabilitation of damaged roads such as Gamboru-Ngala, Gwoza and Firgi bridges, construction of NTA Maiduguri studio room/generating set, opening of roads along Maiduguri -Damboa, Maiduguri-Monguno-Baga, Maiduguri — Dikwa — Ngalla and Gwoza-Mubi.”
Others include food and medical outreach to the Internally Displaced Persons in Baga, Cross-Kawa and sinking of boreholes in Bama, Buniyadi and other IDP camps within the states in the North-East.
Buratai said, “A bakery was constructed in Kukawa Local Government Area for the civil populace, renovation of schools, among others in most of the librated areas were also carried out.”