By OKOSUN DENNIS
The Nigerian Army has said the rescue of the remaining Chibok girls was a priority to the force and would do everything possible to ensure government’s efforts was not thwarted.
Making the pledge in Lagos on Tuesday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai said they would exploit every means including diplomacy aimed at rescuing the remaining Chibok girls and other Nigerians abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East.
It would be recalled that 21 Chibok girls were released by the insurgents last Thursday after over two years of abduction in by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The Chief of Army of Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai, spoke after inaugurating the new headquarters of the Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps, Yaba, Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI) Studios and ICT centre both in Bonny Cantonment.
Buratai also used the opportunity to clarify that pockets of attack by terrorists in the North-East was not an indication of resurgence of insurgency.
He said, “As for the army, we are working on our own strategy not only for the rescue of the Chibok girls, but other Nigerians that have been abducted by the insurgents. It is our objective that we rescue everybody.
“We are working in collaboration with the Multinational Joint Task in addressing the attacks. You cannot call these attacks resurgence of insurgency. We are taking care of the attacks.
“Whenever there is attack, we look at it again and see what happen so that we address subsequent ones. This is a conflict in which we have done very well. We have gone very far, we have put – terrorists out of our territory.
“They mostly come from outside our territory to attack our troops. We are working along with the Multinational Joint Task Force to address that,” Buratai said.
On whether the Nigerian Army was not overstretched involving in multiple operations simultaneously, Lt Gen Buratai said the NA was not over stretched with its involvement in many operations across the country to check criminality.
According to Buratai, the army is involved in operations to deal with crimes because it is better trained, equipped and has better intelligence.
On the inauguration of the complexes, Buratai said that since he assumed duty over a year ago, he had embarked on “massive reconstruction and renovation” of both living and office accommodation for personnel across army formations nationwide.
He charged officers and soldiers to discharge their duties professionally and responsibly and be loyal to constituted authority saying that the force would do its best to provide decent living accommodation for them. He added that removing dilapidated structures in the barracks would take some time considering paucity of funds.
He also inspected the Nigerian Army Ordnance Tailoring Factory, Yaba which sews uniforms for army personnel. He was also at the 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba, where he held closed door meeting with the management of the hospital.