MAIDUGURI- The Minister of Defence, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, on Tuesday, paid an operational visit to the Theatre Command, Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) in Maiduguri.
Abubakar was accompanied in the visit by the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Mattawalle, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal, Hassan Abubakar, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla and Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye.
The Minister said that he was in Maiduguri in company of the high level delegation of the Service Chiefs assigned by President Bola Tinubu, to appraise security situation in the theatre of operation.
“President Tinubu asked us to visit the governor and the good people of Borno, and our patriotic officers here in Borno to see and to hear from them, what is happening both in the frontline and in the cities.
“What are the progress being made and what we need to do more to support their operations.
“We had frank and honest discussions with Gov. Bagana Zulum before coming here where we discussed the way forward and it is our resolve that in no distant future, we will see the end of the insecurity.
“He had also shared a lot of strategies with the CDS and the Service Chiefs and together they agreed on the next line of action and I believe if followed religiously, insecurity in the state will come to an end,” the Minister said.
Abubakar reitrated commitment of the president to support the military and security agencies to end insurgency and restore peace to ensure sustainable resettlement of displaced persons.
“From here, we will go to see our troops, greet and thank them for their sacrifices, for being their and taken the bullet for us, for all the work that they are doing as well as hear from them on their challenges and needs so that we can how best we can resolved them
“The crop of leadership we have in the military are working hand in hand together and have resolved to fight this war diligently and they are working as a family committed to see the end of the menace in no distant future.
The Minister commended Zulum for his support to the military, adding that, “we appreciate all the support, sometimes you risk your life in supporting and giving courage to our personnel in the frontline”.
Responding, Zulum said the visit to the theatre demonstrated the commitment of Service Chiefs towards achieving lasting peace in the State.
He said the security situation in the state had improved tremendously as a result of the successes recorded by the troops.
The governor cautioned against sensational security reportage, noting that the insurgents leverage on such information to breathe in spite of its diminishing capacity.
“Within the last two weeks, I have been to the nooks and crannies of the state and reports reaching me from stakeholders in these areas indicated that peace has returned in the state,” he said.
While lauding President Tinubu and the military for sustaining the improved security situation in the state, Zulum urged them to root out remnant of the terrorists.
“The only way we can degrade their presence is continued and sustained military operations,” he said.
He said that about 160,000 insurgent fighters and their family members had surrendered sequel to the non kinetic effort of the military.
The governor sought the support of the military in terms of manpower development to enable the state to curtail transborder small arms and light weapons proliferation.
“We have insurgency in other part of the country but the security in the northeast is very important for the stability of the country because of the porous borders with Niger, Cameroon and Chad Republics.
“We have to ensure that we don’t have safe haven for ISWAP in the northeast as the Sahel is now a major problem,” he said. (NAN)