Never again will Boko Haram capture Nigerian territories – Military

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday made a surprise visit to Mubi, Adamawa State and Baga, Borno State recently recaptured from Boko Haram terrorists by Nigerian soldiers, where he met with the troops to boost their morale and praise their gallantry.

Chris Olukolade

As, the President returned to Abuja from the trip, presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, who was on the President’s entourage, said the soldiers responded to the President’s address with chants of “Never Again!” and assured him that insurgents and terrorists, would never again be allowed to take and hold any Nigerian territory.

Dressed in army fatigue uniform, the President also met with the Emir of Mubi, Abubakar Isa Ahmadu; the governor of Adamawa state, Bala Ngilari; and Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima during the visit.

Abati read a press statement to newsmen, saying that Jonathan commended the Nigerian troops for proving their mettle once again through the rapid recapture of territories formerly held by insurgents in the country’s North-Eastern states.

Addressing officers and men of the Nigerian Army in both towns, which were recently recaptured from Boko Haram, the President declared that he and all Nigerians were very proud of the bravery, competence and patriotism with which they were now undertaking operations to expel the insurgents from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

According to Abati, “the President said that with their recent successes, which have overwhelmingly turned the tide against Boko Haram, the Nigerian military has proven beyond any doubt that it remains fully capable of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

“The military’s recent victories against Boko Haram, President Jonathan told the troops, have also proven conclusively that all those, within and outside the country, which cast aspersions on Nigerian soldiers and questioned their ability and willingness to overcome the insurgents were misinformed and wrong.”

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The President, who was accompanied on the trip by the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and all the Service Chiefs, assured the troops that the Federal Government would ensure that they receive all the equipment and logistics they require to complete the ongoing mission to reassert government’s effective control over all areas formerly held by Boko Haram.

Jonathan was said to have promised the soldiers that all issues pertaining to their welfare will be properly and expeditiously addressed while their bravery and patriotism would be duly rewarded.

Families of soldiers who have sadly lost their lives in battles against Boko Haram would also be well provided for, he further assured the troops.

While in Mubi, Jonathan, accompanied by Ngilari and the Minister of Youth Development, Bonnie Haruna, paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Mubi, and assured him that government would do all within its powers to ensure that normalcy is speedily returned to the community and other towns recaptured from Boko Haram to enable displaced persons return to their homes in the shortest possible time.

President Jonathan also undertook an aerial inspection of some of these other towns, including Monguno in Borno state.

Abati told newsmen that the President flew in a helicopter for over an hour and half as he did an aerial surveillance of Baga and environs.

The President also inspected cache of weapons and ammunition recovered from Boko Haram insurgents by the Nigerian troops.

Residents of Mubi who had fled the town in the wake of terrorist attacks have started returning to homes to rebuild their lives.

Meanwhile, the military has intensified the search for Boko Haram sect’s leader, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, following the directive of Mr. President to capture him alive.

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They have stepped up the screening and interrogation process of captured terrorists, especially the six suspected leaders that disguised by dressing like women to escape but were picked up in Baga.

It gathered that a close attention was being given one of the suspects with a striking resemblance to the man portrayed as Abubakar Shekau and repeatedly featured on videos released by Boko Haram on social media platforms.

Co-ordinator of the National Security Information Centre, Mike Omeri, while briefing journalists on Thursday in Abuja stated that the intense screening which was ongoing would be made public as soon as the military finished grilling the terrorists.

Meanwhile, a male suicide bomber killed 10 people and wounded 20 others on Thursday in Biu town of Borno State.

An eye-witness, Madu Marami, told our correspondent on phone from Maiduguri that around 3 p.m., a male suicide bomber alighted from a commercial tricycle, Keke NAPEP, which was commuting three other passengers at  a roadside motor park popularly known as Tashan Miringa  near a Texaco Filling Station, Biu and exploded a bomb hidden on him.

He said the bomber killed himself and nine others including the three passengers in the tricycle and passers-by.

A civilian JTF official, Balami Audu, also collaborated with Marami ‘s account as he told our correspondent  also on phone that the incident occurred around  3 p.m. after the Zuhr prayer at a roadside small motor park.

Hospital sources also confirmed they received the casualties, 10 dead bodies and 20 others wounded.

And in Jos on Thursday evening, two explosions simultaneously rocked Bauchi Road area of Jos, killing 12 persons.

Investigation revealed that the bombs were thrown from a moving vehicle at the entrance to the popular Bauchi road motor parks where fruits sellers displayed their wares.

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