The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday said security operatives had neutralized 1,429 terrorists and arrested 116 spies in the ongoing counter-terrorism fight in the North East. Addressing State House correspondents after he briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on developments at the war front in Abuja, the military chief acknowledged that his men had achieved tremendously.
His words: “The troops are putting in their best and that has resulted in the tremendous successes we are recording. The fight is ongoing and over 1,429 of these Boko Haram terrorists have been neutralized, and we have arrested over 116 informants, their couriers and coordinators in the villages, towns and even the forest.
“So, this is a tremendous achievement. Our intelligence corps along with the Department of State Services (DSS) and our good friends, the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), has worked very hard to see that this is achieved, and I assure you that things will continue to improve as the day goes by.”
The COAS, who has been at the theatre in the last two months, said the President was pleased with the performance of the military. He went on: “I came in from the North East just a day before, and it behoves me to brief the President on what transpired there during the two months I stayed. I have briefed him on what the troops are doing and what we have achieved as well as what we intend to achieve in the nearest future.
“So far, so good, even before I came, the President has been getting reports on what is happening in the North East. So, with this briefing this morning (yesterday), it is a further confirmation of what he has been receiving. So far, so good, he is impressed with the performance of the troops in the North East and the effort put in so far has paid off.
“We will continue to deal with the situation, not only in the North East, but all other parts of the country. Tremendous successes have been achieved, and we are very happy with what is going on.”Buratai said the morale of the troops was high in addition to their loyalty and commitment to completely rid the troubled region of terrorism.
Lauding the commitment of the combatants, the COAS added that he was set to rejoin them on the battlefield.