Nigeria’s chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, recently displayed courage by spending the night in Gamboru town, Borno state, a former hotbed of terrorist group, Boko Haram.
The town which is close to Nigeria’s border with Cameroon has witnessed so many attacks by the insurgents and at one point was fully occupied by them for a year with their flags hoisted in strategic parts of the town.
Just last week, the town was recaptured by the Nigerian troops after fierce battles with the terrorists, and to show his solidarity with his subordinates, the army chief visited the town and went ahead to spend the night there.
According to Premium Times, Buratai also ordered the hoisting of Nigerian flags in the sleepy town and also had journalists in his entourage.
Buratai’s move is reportedly the first of its kind in Nigeria, where military leaders prefer to take the back seat and give orders to troops in the battle field.
To ensure the trip was safe for the army chief, an advance team made up of the explosive ordinance department of the Nigerian Army had to check Buratai’s entourage routes for land mines.
And indeed, many land mines buried by the terrorists were unearthed and defused by the bomb experts. But it came with some consequences, as one of the landmines went off, injured some soldiers and destroyed one of the Armoured Personnel Carriers.
On arriving the town at about 5pm on the said day, Buratai addressed the troops who were in upbeat mood following their victory, after which everyone at the venue sang the Nigerian National Anthem.
Buratai said: “We are here today to observe this significant and symbolic ceremony of hoisting the Nigerian national flag,” he said.”If you could remember, this town of Gamboru was occupied by the Boko Haram terrorists for almost one year ago. The Chadian troops came to help recapture it but could not hold the town, so they later withdrew and the Boko Haram returned again.
“In line with my vision which is to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army that is abreast of its constitutional roles, and one key underlying phrase in my mission is the constitutional role, today, under my command, we are here to discharge and redeem our territorial integrity as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Today we are hoisting our flag and we will never allow any bunch of criminals in the name of Boko Haram to come and take an inch of our territory again.”
“I will like to commend officers and soldiers of the Operation Lafiya Dole, especially the officers and men of 7 Division and indeed the 7 Division Strike Group, who have proved to be resilient, dedicated and highly patriotic. Nigerians are proud of you, Nigerian Army is proud of you and indeed Mr. President is very proud of you.
“We have to maintain the momentum and from now on you must maintain an aggressive posture to constant patrols along this routes and all other routes into this area.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari recently commenced an investigation into all equipment and other logistics bought by the Nigerian Army from 2010 to 2015.