By Johnson Eyiangho
Mafa (Borno) – At least 3,000 of the troops involved in the ongoing counter insurgency operations in the North-East have so far been rotated, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, has said.
Buratai disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Mafa, Headquarters of Mafa Local Government Area of Borno, after he visited troops of 112 Task Force Battalion located in the town.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the army chief was represented by Maj.-Gen. David Ahmadu, the Chief of Training and Operations.
Buratai, who had lunch with the troops to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir, reassured that the rotation of overstayed troops in the region would be a continuous exercise.
“Rotation of troops is routine and we have been doing that. In fact, so far, we have rotated almost 3,000 troops.
“I have just discussed with the Theatre Commander (Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru), the plans he brought for the rotation was just approved last week and in the next one or two days, troops will be rotated again.
“It is a continuous exercise,’’ he said.
Earlier, in a Sallah message to the troops, the chief of army staff acknowledged their sacrifice in the ongoing operations to flush out the Boko Haram terrorists out of the nation’s territory.
“Our achievement in the restoration of peace and maintenance of security has been made possible through your unwavering commitment, dedication and gallantry.
“I urge you to remain focus in the task to consolidate our recent successes. I also urge you to remain loyal, focus and professionally responsive in the discharge of your duties.
“I want to reassure you of the unflinching support of the President and Commander-In-Chief, and the entire nation.
“The Federal Government is committed to the provision of all necessary welfare and logistics support required to perform our constitutional roles.
“The Nigerian Army high command will continue to provide you with the requisite leadership, welfare and logistics to boost your output and indeed the discharge of your responsibilities,’’ he said.
Also in an interview, the Caretaker Chairman of the Mafa local government, Alhaji Bulama Goni, who took part in the lunch, appreciated the Nigerian army for relative security and peace in the area.
Goni said that inhabitants of the council were now able to engage in farming and other commercial activities because of the security being provided by troops.
He added that the people could go as far as 10 kilometres away from the town to farm because of adequate deployment of troops and other security agencies in the area. (NAN)