The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said on Tuesday that the swap of Boko Haram prisoners to secure the release of the second batch of 82 Chibok schoolgirls was a political, rather than a military decision.
Buratai said this in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation’s programme, Hard Talk, aired on Tuesday, adding that the Federal Government, in the circumstances at that time, believed that the decision to swap the prisoners for the girls was the best course.
The army chief said, “As far as I am concerned, we performed our own role for the safe passage of the abducted Chibok girls. The Boko Haram terrorists’ swap for the Chibok schoolgirls was a political decision, not a military decision. It is in the best interest of the nation and based on the circumstances, the government felt it was the best course.
“Personally, I think it has its own advantages; the message is to rescue the Chibok girls.
“I do not think anyone has said the Boko Haram has been eliminated. Terrorism is something that is resilient.”
Buratai noted that the inability of the Boko Haram insurgents to attack the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and other northern states as they did before May 2015, showed they had been defeated.
“Before May 2015, the Boko Haram insurgents were even in Abuja, Kano and Kaduna. They were operating even to the South. We had to stop them. For the past one and a half years, we have not had any attack in Jos, Abuja, Kano and many other places, not even as close as Gombe State.
“They are only concentrated within certain areas in Borno and Yobe states,” Buratai added.
Meanwhile, three Boko Haram terrorists and one soldier have been killed when the insurgents attacked an army base in Logomani in the Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Boko Haram insurgents, who attempted to launch an assault on 3 Battalion army base in Logomani on Tuesday, engaged the troops in a gun battle, during which three insurgents were killed, while others escaped with gun injuries.
It was gathered that the terrorists, who reportedly belonged to the Mamman Nur faction, came to the base at about 7pm.
A soldier, whose identity had yet to be known, was confirmed dead during the gun battle.
The Boko Haram terrorists had on Monday also attempted to attack the troops’ base in Gulumba Gana in the Bama Local Government Area of Borno, during which an unconfirmed number of the terrorists were also shot dead by the army.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, confirmed the attempted attacks on the army bases in Dikwa and Bama, adding that the troops recovered three AK-47 rifles from the insurgents in Logomani.