General Tukur Buratai, who is the Chief of Army Staff, on Monday told President Muhammadu Buhari that aside from Borno State, all other Northeastern States have been rid of Boko Haram.
He assured the president that all the troops are doing everything possible, like sharing of intelligence with others, in order to stamp out the insurgents from the remaining State.
“There are no Boko Haram terrorists in neighbouring states. They have been pushed out, and now cornered in Borno State,” he said in a statement issued by presidential publicist, Garba Shehu.
“We are coordinating with civil and traditional authorities, mobilising and reinforcing and all we need is patience. We will not relent,” the statement quoted Mr Buratai as telling the president.“Security will be restored to Borno State, the north-east and the nation at large,” the president said.
“I assure you, the north-east governors, especially that of Borno, that we go to bed and wake up thinking about you, how to secure our country, that is the responsibility of every government.”
The president noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has made “scarce resources even scarcer,” thereby affecting the supply chain of military equipment and spare parts.
But he assured that modern military equipment is being acquired. Some, he said, have been purchased, while others are underway.
“Our government is doing its best on the question of equipment and the military know(s). We have equipment coming from some countries. The acquisition of military wares and spares is not easy, especially if you are not the manufacturer,” the presidency statement read.
Likewise, the north-east governors, who spoke through Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, said while the establishment of the North East Development Commission and the take-off of Mambilla Dam Power Project are laudable, the region has poor road networks.
“A large population in the region, especially in Borno State, have no access to their homes and farmlands,” Mr Zulum said while calling for efforts to curtail the “increasing trust deficit between the population and the armed forces.”
The meeting that was held at the Abuja State house, had in attendance five north-eastern state governors, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Chief of Defence Staff, the service chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police and the heads of intelligence agencies.