President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the Nigerian Army to come up with a new strategy in dealing with the contemporary security challenges facing the country.
Delivering a keynote address at the opening of the yearly Chief of Army Staff Conference in Maiduguri, Borno State yesterday, the president pledged to retool the military for effective containment of the Boko Haram threat.
Buhari, while commiserating with the families of the soldiers recently killed in the state by the insurgents, noted that they paid the supreme price for the peace and security of the country.
Speaking on the theme, Optimising Efficiency of the Army in Nigeria’s Democracy, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, reiterated the resolve of the troops in containing the security challenges in the North East, promising improved welfare for the combatants.
He bemoaned the threat posed by the smuggling of light arms and other offensive weapons across borders in the sub-region, insisting that the development would not deter the military from discharging its constitutional obligations.
The pronouncements of the president and the army chief come amid fresh threat from Boko Haram terrorists to attack the military after they launched a raid at Jiddari-Polo in Maiduguri on Monday.
The assault on farmers led to the death of four while another was left with severe injuries.
However, Buhari is convening a consultation meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) today in N’Djamena, Chad.
The president, who doubles as the Chairman of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the LCBC, in a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, explained that the one-day meeting would review the security situation in the areas affected by Boko Haram insurgency and adopt measures to enhance the capacity of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) for the battle ahead.
Besides, the military has debunked reports alleging that the corpses of the late soldiers and members of the civilian Joint Task Force were yet to be evacuated.
According to a statement on the Facebook account of the Defence Headquarters yesterday, “the information is despicably false and a calculated attempt to spread fake news aimed at discrediting and undermining the Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.”
It said the bodies had since been removed from the Melete scene of the attack.
Credit – Igho Akeregha, Terhemba Daka Kanayo Umeh and Njadvara Musa