Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Burutai, has said no part of Nigerian territory is still under the control of Boko Haram. This is even as he sought support for the anti-insurgent operation in the North-East by providing information.
However, Gen. Buratai’s claim is at variance with the position of Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, who said two local governments in his state are still under the control of the insurgents.
Both spoke separately at the weekend. Shettima stated this while receiving the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawan, who led a six-man committee inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari to pay condolence visits to Borno and Adamawa states, after the suicide attacks at their mosques last Friday. He said: “They (Boko Haram) are presently controlling two local governments in Borno State; Abadam and Mobbar and partially in Marte,” he disclosed.
But the Chief of Army Staff, who spoke with journalists shortly after addressing troops at the headquarters of 3 Division, Marxwel Khobe Cantonment in Jos at the weekend, insisted that the military had recovered all territories previously under Boko Haram.
Buratai said: “It is not true. Boko Haram is not holding any territory.Have you heard them (Boko Haram) making any claim of recent? We are more determined and we have more professional soldiers on the ground.We have been trained and equipped and ready to face the challenges posed by them”
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, while addressing the troops, said he was in Jos on a familiarization visit and to acquaint them of his vision to reposition the Army after his appointment.
The soldiers who had gathered at the cantonment parade ground, however, took advantage of the opportunity and bombarded the Chief of Army Staff with complaints, most of which were on welfare.