The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, said yesterday that the Nigerian military had denied Boko Haram and Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) physical presence in any part of the Nigerian territory.
Buratai also said the deployment of troops during internal operations was in support of the police as the lead security agency.
Speaking in Abuja at a summit tagged: Terrorism, Insurgency and Incidence of Electoral Violence in Nigeria: Role of Security Agencies,” organised by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Buratai said the military had made significant progress in protecting lives and property, especially in the North-east where it denied terrorists physical presence.
The position of the army chief, however, contrasted with the recent position of the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zullum, and some communities in the state who had faulted the super camp war strategy of the Nigerian Army prompting the declaration of loss of confidence in the military.
The military has also countered the declaration, saying that it liberated 22 local government areas of the state since 2015.
“We have made significant progress in ensuring that lives and property of the citizens are secured, particularly in the North-east where the Boko Haram terrorists have been denied physical presence in any Nigeria territory.
“The Nigerian Army understands fully the fact that keeping the peace either at the national level and international level requires that we adhere to the extant rules of engagement. Where there are infractions or violations of human rights of the citizens, appropriate disciplinary measures are applied,” Buratai added.
He said the measure was aimed at upholding and maintaining the trust and confidence of the populace as well as the dignity of the Nigerian Army.
The army chief said many officers and soldiers had been killed and would continue to be killed in order to protect the country.
On deployment of troops during internal operations, Buratai said troop deployment was done in support of the police as the lead security agency.
“As you are all aware, security and development are like Siamese twins and they move in the same direction. We therefore continuing to dissipate our energy, some of us have paid the supreme price and would continue to do so if need be in upholding the sanctity and integrity of our nation.
“We rely on the oath of allegiance we all swore at different points of our lives while joining the service. Let me therefore use this platform to say that the personnel of the Nigerian Army are deployed in all the geopolitical zones of the country to assist the police and by extension the civil authority to keep the peace,” he said.