The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, has disclosed that many bandits, among other terrorists, have been neutralized by officers in different regions across the country in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to deal with terrorist elements in the language they understand.
He added that while many bandits, Boko Haram members, and kidnappers have been killed, army officers across all theaters of operations would continue to intensify offensive against the trouble makers bent on destabilizing the country through terrorism, attacks on helpless civilians and other soft targets, including school children.
Yahaya noted that he would be leading the army to ensure the total annihilation of Boko Haram, and other terrorists from Nigeria, adding that more strategies are being deployed for renewed offensive operations against the state’s enemies.
Speaking on Wednesday after he was decorated with his new rank of Lieutenant General by the president and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the Army boss stated that Boko Haram had been defeated in many encounters with the Nigerian army troops and would continue to be defeated until they are totally annihilated from Nigeria.
He added the new military leadership under him would be seeking ways and exploring all available options in protecting the country from internal and external aggression and protecting her territorial integrity.
“I want to pledge my unalloyed loyalty, on behalf of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army. We would also continue to do our very best to arrest the current insecurity, which includes insurgency and other violent crimes. We are already getting successes and we will leverage on that including our experience in this job and by the grace of God we will get there,” Yahaya said.
Asked about his plans for bandits and terrorists, particularly with the recent presidential directive of dealing with trouble makers in the language they understand, Yahaya said, “that is what we have started doing already and many of them (terrorists) have been sent to God to go and answer for their crimes and we will continue to do that.”
The newly decorated army boss takes over from late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a military plane crash on May 21, alongside ten other army officers. Prior to his appointment, the new army Chief served as the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, a counter-insurgency operation in the northeast.
Present during the brief ceremony held before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao; Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Sunday Adebayo; Director-General, Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.