By KINGSLEY OMONOBI
ABUJA — Defence Headquarters, yesterday, in Abuja dismissed fears being expressed over the increase in terrorist attacks in the Northern part of the country and the threat to move into the South-West, insisting that Boko Haram insurgents are fighting their last battle, as their defeat is imminent.
New Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, gave the assurance in Abuja in his maiden meeting with Defence Correspondents. He also dismissed the purported retirement of the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim.
The recent multiple bombings in Kano, Jos and Maiduguri, and the attendant problem have been making many, including foreigners living in Nigeria, jittery as they believe the sect is getting more lethal and daring.
Disclosing, however, that the reverse is the case, the DDI said: “What we are witnessing of recent from Boko Haram insurgents, I personally see as mere desperation. It is generally said that the battle is hottest when it is about to end. It is, therefore, obvious that this is the last fight by Boko Haram. From the way they have been working and the expectation from the headquarters, the fight against terrorism is coming to an end. Whatever is happening, the end of terrorism in Nigeria has come.
“Since its establishment, the JTF has identified and destroyed many IED factories, recovered large quantities of arms, ammunitions and IED materials, arrested most of their leaders and followers. They have also been able to identify and repatriate illegal immigrants from Niger, Chad, and Mali, among others.
“The efforts of the JTF have, to a large extent, made Maiduguri and its environs uncomfortable for Boko Haram. Some of the citizens who left Maiduguri at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency are now gradually returning. In the past few weeks, there was the destruction of Boko Haram identified camps at Sambisa and Demboa games reserves.”
Admiral Ola Sa’ad Still CDS
On the purported retirement of the Chief of Defence Staff, Olukolade dismissed the assertion and urged the media to avoid sensational news and stories that could cause disaffection in the military.
His words: “The Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, has not, under any circumstance, sought or asked for permission of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to voluntarily retire from active service, as reported by some national dailies and online reporters.
These media outfits, some of which are quoting an online news sites or other anonymous sources, did not bother to check for facts before embarking on this dangerous sensational report, which is capable of inciting insecurity in the country.
“This is very unfortunate, especially as it went on to paint a scenario that portrays power struggle within the services, apparently with a view to undermining the cohesiveness of the leadership of the armed forces. Admiral Ibrahim remains committed to serving the nation to the best of his ability in his capacity as the Chief of Defence Staff of the most vibrant Armed Forces of sub-Sahara Africa.”