The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai on Tuesday paid his last respect to an officer and two soldiers that died during operation against Boko Haram terrorists at a location in the North east.
Our Correspondent on Army Chief’s entourage reports that the Commanding officer of 145 Task Force Battalion, Lt. Col Ibrahim Yusuf Aminu, Corporal Jibril Hamidu, and Lance Corporal Tijjani Mohammed were killed on Monday when their truck ran into an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), planted by Boko Haram terrorists along Mauli-Borgozo Axis, Kaga local government area of Borno state.
Speaking after the burial of the deceased at the Military Cemetery, Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, Borno state, the Army Chief who has been on operational visit to the North East since Sunday, said apart from the imported equipment, the Nigerian Army had locally developed counter IED devices to curtail the menace of IEDs encounter by troops, which he said had been one of the major challenges faced in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North east.
He described the death of the officer and soldiers as “highly unfortunate and regrettable,” and urged troops to be more vigilant at all times.
“The situation in the North-east is improving, but we are also seeing the resilience of the Boko Haram terrorists who are still moving around trying to cause havoc and attack some of our isolated locations,” Buratai said.
“This is another wakeup call for all of us to further strategies to defeat the terrorists in their use of IEDs. Coincidentally yesterday (Monday), counter IED was one of the equipment that was displayed and demonstrated to me at the Headquarters of Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole.
“The threat of IED is real and we are taking all measures to ensure we counter the menace. Several efforts are on, apart from what is happening here in the Theatre, the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company has produced similar counter IEDs device. As soon as we get it correctly they will be mass produced to counter this threat.
“This is a situation that requires us to be vigilant at all times and to ensure that we protect ourselves from this menace of the IEDs.”
While commiserating with the families of the fallen heroes and officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, Lt. Gen Buratai charged troops to “sit up” in order to “deal with these criminal elements that are bent on distabilising the country and making lives difficult for the peace-loving country men and women.”
“We should not allow them to triumph over us. Therefore, we must make sure that we deal with them decisively; and to do that we must remain alert, conscious of our environment and vigilant at all times. We must also ensure that all suspected movements in and around our locations are reported and actions taken,” he said.
Buratai said the federal government and Nigerian Army were making serious efforts to get the required equipment and platforms to prosecute the operations in the North-east.
“Very soon, we will get the first set of consignment; vehicles and other technical equipment that will have seen procured. This will; greatly help us to addressing some of the gaps that have been observed in this operation,” he said.