By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has lauded the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) for their gallantry in the recent encounter with Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast.
Buratai gave the commendation when he visited the troops at Goniri in Yobe and Gorgi in Borno States, the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, disclosed in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He was represented by the Chief of Training and Operation, Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udoh.
At Goniri, Buratai informed the troops that the army, and indeed the country at large were proud of their gallantry, patriotism and professionalism demonstrated in service to their fatherland.
He also informed them that President Muhammadu Buhari was proud of their gallantry, patriotism and resolve to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
According to him, the president has given assurances of his continous support to them in the area of their welfare and equipment.
Buratai also enjoined them to remain focused on the task at hand towards ensuring total decimation of remnants of the terrorists group and effectively ending their criminal activities.
According Iliyasu, the COAS presented each of the troops with welfare items including, brand new pair of desert camouflage uniform as part of efforts to keep the troops motivated.
Iliyasu disclosed that Buratai also visited the troops who sustained various degrees of injuries during the encounter at Gorgi at the 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital in Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri.
He said the Commander of the Hospital, Col. Abudu Omogbethai, informed COAS that a total of 61 troops comprising seven officers and 32 soldiers were currently receiving attention at the hospital.
“This is in addition to a total of 29 soldiers comprising of four officers and 25 soldiers who unfortunately paid the supreme price.
“The chief of army staff then proceeded to visit all the wounded troops at the various hospital wards where they were being treated.
“During the visit, the chief of army staff commended the wounded troops for their gallantry and patriotism in the service of the nation.
“He assured them that all necessary measures will be taken to guarantee their expeditious recovery while also praying that the souls of our departed colleagues rests in perfect peace.
“Some token welfare items including new uniforms were equally distributed to all the wounded soldiers to further motivate them,” he said.