The Nigerian military is all out for a total re-capture of Bama, one of the largest towns in Borno said to have been taken over by terrorists. Airstrikes are said to have been deployed with warplanes to flush out the insurgents. Residents have been fleeing for safety as the sect started unleashing terror on Monday.
Military authorities initially denied reports that the town, which is the second biggest in Borno State, had been captured by the insurgents but have now deployed full might to dislodge them.
Reuters quoted a senior military official as saying air strikes had also been launched against Boko Haram’s bases across the state. “Bama today is the centre of the military battle with the terrorists… Boko Haram is being repelled by the Nigerian troops as we are talking now,” he said.
This claim was confirmed by a resident of Maiduguri, the state capital which is some 70 kilometres from Bama, who told TheCable that planes were seen flying towards the direction of the town. He further said that despite assurances from the government, there was tension among residents that the sect could overrun the capital city.
Meanwhile, in the light of the current challenges in the counter-terrorism efforts in the north east which has understandably elicited a sense of apprehension among citizens and even foreign allies, the DHQ wishes to reiterate the pledge and commitment it made while briefing the Joint Committee on Defence of the National Assembly to the effect that everything will be done to reverse the situation and defeat the rampaging terrorists.
Major General, Chris Olukolade, defence information director in a statement said while welcoming all the concerns shown by Nigerians and a section of the international community following the increased menace and activities of terrorists, it is necessary to reassure all that the Nigerian Armed Forces is more than ever determined and committed to the defence of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria, regardless of any odd.
“It is not only the pride and reputation of the military that is at stake but that of the entire nation. We therefore urge our citizens not to lose hope or be disenchanted but to remain steadfast and supportive of the military as all steps are being taken to ensure the success of the counter-insurgency operations, especially at this crucial time when our sovereignty is being challenged.” The statement reads.
Olukolade added, with this in mind, it is important to reiterate that the Nigerian military is fully conscious of its obligations to the Nigerian state and remains willing and ready to perform its duties with utmost diligence. “Therefore, what the military requires at this critical period in the nation’s history is not pillories but continued support from all stakeholders and comity of nations.”
Indeed, this is not the time to despair or shift blames. Rather it calls for concerted effort by all and sundry to stop the agents of darkness who seek to destroy our country and civilization. On its part, the Nigerian military as a fighting force, assures Nigerians once again that this battle will be won.