The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen TY Buratai on Wednesday after the conclusion of the NA 2015 RSM Convention that took place in Maiduguri and the hand over of 128 cleared suspected Boko Haram terrorists to the Executive Governor of Borno State, Honourable Kashim Shetima, took time off to visit troops in the front line at the strategic border town of Gomboru Ngala.
While there, he addressed troops and performed a symbolic ceremony of hoisting Nigeria’s national flag at the border between Nigeria and Cameroon at the strategic and economic town of Gomboru Ngala, just by the river bank that divides the two countries. This signifies the restoration of Nigeria’s authority and complete possession of its territory within the area. During the brief ceremony, he commended the troops for the feat of recapturing the strategic and economic town of Gomboru Ngala. He stated that the recapture of the town was in line with vision and the mission of the Nigerian Army of defending the territorial integrity of our great nation. He also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for providing all the desired leadership, support and logistics that made the Nigerian Army to perform effectively.
Lt Gen Buratai however warned the troops that there was a lot to do, adding that the war is not over as the terrorists were yet to give up. He stated that the terrorists plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and attack isolated communities and urged the troops to ensure that they stopped the terrorists. He further assured of his continued support to the units. He also had a brief interaction with a spontaneous and mammoth crowd of both Nigerian refugees and Cameroonian citizens across the river that converged to greet him.
In addition, the COAS had a durbar with the Special Forces who bared their minds on quite a number of issues to which he obliged them with instant solutions and promises.
Later in the evening, during a special Camp Fire to celebrate the recapture of Dikwa and Gomboru Ngala, Lt Gen Buratai apart from further interacting with the troops, decorated an officer, Muhammed Abu Ali, that was earlier granted accelerated promotion from the rank of Major to Lieutenant Colonel for his courage, bravery and exceptional performance during the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists. The COAS later in the night, had interaction with all the officers during which he gave operational directives to the commanders.
This singular act by the Chief of Army Staff was quite unique and unparalleled as this is the first time in recent times and indeed the history of the fight against terrorism and insurgency that the Chief of Army Staff would visit the fringes of war front and slept in the trenches amidst heavy downpour. This singular effort and rare show of leadership by example has boosted the troops’ morale as could be seen on their faces and comments.
The Chief of Army Staff was accompanied by the Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole and head of Military Command and Control Centre, Major General YM Abubakar, the Commander Multinational Joint Task Force, Major General II Abbas, Chief of Training and Operations, Major General FO Ali, the Commander, Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps, Major General RO Yusuf, Coordinator of Army Aviation, Major General LEO Irabor, General officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General LO Adeosun, the Director of Military Intelligence, Brigadier General ASH Sa’ad and the Provost Marshall, Brigadier General AT Hamman.
Others include the Air Liaison Officer and the Operations Officer of the Multinational Joint Task Force, Lt Col d’ Aviation Muhammad Yaya from Chad and Colonel Fonton Djio Richard Rahel from Cameroon respectively and Brigadier General IJ Unuigbe, Director of Clothing and Stores, Colonel KO Aligbe, the Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Army Staff, Colonel SK Usman, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel WD Nasir, Liaison Officer of the Multinational Joint Task Force and Colonel AE Ajose, Deputy Director at the Operation Monitoring Directorate, as well as Deputy Commissioner of Police, Olafimihan Adeoye, Nigeria Police Representative at the Military Command and Control Centre.
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Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman
Acting Director Army Public Relations
Acting Director Army Public Relations
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