Home / Lead Story / Boko Haram: Again, CDS, Service Chiefs visit Maiduguri to assess security situation; Buratai celebrates Christmas with troops

Boko Haram: Again, CDS, Service Chiefs visit Maiduguri to assess security situation; Buratai celebrates Christmas with troops

General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Buratai serving troops food while celebrating Christmas with them in Borno State

Maiduguri, Dec. 29, 2018

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olanisakin, accompanied by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique and Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibot-Ette Ibas, on Saturday paid operational visit to the Theatre Command in Maiduguri.

They were as usual received by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who had been on ground in the Military Command and Control Centre.

The CDS and the other service chiefs had paid a similar visit to the command exactly a week ago.

Olanisakin held more than four hours closed door meeting with the service chiefs, Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Chiefs of Training and Operations from the Defence Headquarters, Army, Navy, Air Force and field commanders.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the meeting deliberated on recent attacks by Boko Haram terrorists on troops locations at Baga and Mongunu in Borno and Gonori in Yobe.

The meeting also was used to restrategise on measures to deal with pockets of recent attacks.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the army spokesman, Brig.-Gen Sani Usman described the CDS’ visit as a routine to assess the situation in the Theatre in view of current developments.

Usman also said that Olanisakin used the meeting to receive briefs from the theatre commander and field commanders.

The army spokesman quoted the CDS as commending the troops for their doggedness in repelling the various attacks by the terrorists, especially the attack on troops’ location at Mongunu on Friday evening.

The terrorists attacked Baga on Wednesday, and Gonori on Thursday but were repelled by troops.

Usman said Olanisakin charged field commanders to put in more effort to strengthen ongoing operations against remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt General Buratai had earlier  celebrated the 2018 Christmas with the troops in the war front line at Forward Operation Base (FOB), Dalwa, Borno state with a charge on them to take the war to the insurgents’ enclave.   

Speaking to the troops at the FOB Dalwa on Wednesday, General Buratai  had said ” you must take the war to the Boko Haram enclave and not allow them to come and attack you. You always remain in your trenches and fight back  the insurgents,” the COAS.

He said “when you leave your trenches, you are exposing yourselves to the insurgents. We record high casualties as a result of running out of your trenches. You should stay and fight back “
” I also enjoin you to always fire control, as it will not only reduce the wastage of ammunition but make your enemies to come closer, so you will have clear target”, the COAS had added
While urging the troops not to be moved by insurgents’ propaganda on social media, General Buratai said ” you have the experience, you are better trained, you should have courage and fight back until we finish our task of wiping out Boko Haram in our land”
In his welcome address at the occasion, the Acting GOC, 7 Division. Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu commended the COAS for finding time to celebrate the Christmas with the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
He said the Christmas celebrations was going on simultaneously in Banking, Mafa, Gwoza, Chibok and other formations across the theater and commended the vision of the COAS for constantly being in the front line, pointing out that the visit was a morale booster for the troops.
Speaking on behalf of the troops, the Commander FOB, Dalwa, Captain Sama Ching said ” it is a rare privilege to celebrate the Christmas with the COAS here in Dalwa , not only that, the COAS himself was the one serving us. This is really a morale booster. We assure him of our unflinching support, loyalty and commitment to the war against insurgency.”
He said the visit will spur them to do more in the fight against Boko Haram, assuring that they will take the fight to the insurgents’ enclave.

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