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Sambisa Forest Recapture from Boko Haram Babangida Hails.

Former military President, General
Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has hailed the recapture of Sambisa forest from
the Islamic militant group, Boko Haram, saying the achievement has
shown the capability and professional competence of officers and men of
the Nigerian military.
This came as the federal government, in
the spirit of the yuletide, yesterday congratulated the ‘gallant’ troops
of the Nigerian military for routing out the Boko Haram terrorist group
from Sambisa forest and restoring security in the North-east, a
development that fast-tracked the re-opening of two strategic roads in
Borno State on Christmas day.

Babangida, in a statement made available to the media in Minna monday,
said the achievement has also gone a long way to reinforce the
confidence of the people in the armed forces.
According to him, “It is a sign of
relief that the military has finally smoked out Boko Haram terrorists
from their notorious enclave in the Sambisa Forest.”
Babangida also saluted the courage and
determination of President Muhammadu Buhari, army chiefs as well as
armed men and women and other security personnel for their sacrifice to
painfully liberate Sambisa Forest and adjoining areas of Boko Haram.
“May I rejoice with the government and
Nigerians on the successful dislodgment of Boko Haram terrorists from
their base in Sambisa,” he stated.
The former military leader expressed the
hope that with the successful liberation of Sambisa forest, “very soon,
the remaining Chibok girls would be located and reunited with their
families.”
He reaffirmed his earlier stand that
“President Buhari and the military are capable of crushing any
aggression on any part of the country.”
Babangida paid tribute to all the fallen
heroes for paying the supreme price in their efforts to keep the
country safe from aggressors, saying: “The Labour of our heroes past
shall never been in vain.”

He advised the military to unveil a new strategy that would lead to the
defeat of pockets of terrorists, bandits and cattle rustlers all over
the country.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information
and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued monday, appealed to
Nigerians for continued support for the troops as they clear the
remnants of the terrorists now on the run.

Mohammed also called for increased vigilance by Nigerians, warning that
some of the Boko Haram escapees would seek to integrate themselves into
communities.
‘’We urge Nigerians to keep our gallant
and victorious troops in their prayers, and to also imbibe the mantra of
‘if you see something, say something’ as a way of ensuring that no
escaped terrorist is able to wreak havoc in their communities.
“It is also important to know that now
that they have been dispossessed of their fortress, the Boko Haram
escapees will intensify their cowardly attacks on vulnerable targets if
only to maintain an illusion of terror. But there should be no panic
because the worst is over,” Mohammed said.
While commending the military for
re-opening the Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak road and the
Maiduguri-Mungono-Baga road, which linked Nigeria with neighbouring
countries, the minister hailed the Borno State Governor, Kashim
Shettima, for his unwavering support for the military and his
administration’s determination to quickly restore normalcy across the
state.
According to him, it was in recognition
and celebration of the gallantry of the military that he decided to lead
a contingent of local and international media to join the Minister of
Defence, Brig-Gen Mansur Dan Ali (rtd); the Service Chiefs and Shettima
at the opening of the two strategic roads monday.
But the planned trip to Maiduguri was
botched as the delegation could not depart Abuja due to bad weather
after several hours of waiting at the airport. The Chief of Army Staff,
Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, accompanied by top military chiefs, re-opened
the two arterial roads which were closed due to the activities of the
terrorists in the area.
The Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak road and the
Maiduguri-Mungono-Baga road are of strategic importance to the economy
of the Lake Chad region.
Mohammed commended the leadership of
President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the much-needed impetus for the
military’s victory in the North-east region, and urged Nigerians to
continue to give their unalloyed support to the president in his
untiring efforts to restore peace and security across the country and
also revamp the economy.
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