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Buratai 'Military not involved in decision to swap terrorists for Chibok girls,' Army Chief says

Buratai said the Federal Government believed the swap was the best option to secure the girls' release.

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Chief of Army Staff, Maj. General Tukur Buratai play

Chief of Army Staff, Maj. General Tukur Buratai

(Nigerian Eye)

The swap of Boko Haram prisoners for the release of the 82 Chibok schoolgirls was a purely political decision, not military, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai said on Tuesday, July 4.

Buratai said the  Federal Government believed the swap was the best option to secure the girls' release.

He stated this in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation’s programme, Hard Talk, aired on Tuesday.

"As far as I am concerned, we performed our own role for the safe passage of the abducted Chibok girls. The Boko Haram terrorists’ swap for the Chibok schoolgirls was a political decision, not a military decision. It is in the best interest of the nation and based on the circumstances, the government felt it was the best course," he said.

"Personally, I think it has its own advantages; the message is to rescue the Chibok girls.

"I do not think anyone has said the Boko Haram has been eliminated. Terrorism is something that is resilient."

Buratai reiterated that the insurgents have been defeated despite recent attacks on some Borno villages.

He said the inability of the terrorists to attack the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and other northern states as they did before May 2015, showed they have been defeated.

"Before May 2015, the Boko Haram insurgents were even in Abuja, Kano and Kaduna. They were operating even to the South. We had to stop them. For the past one and a half years, we have not had any attack in Jos, Abuja, Kano and many other places, not even as close as Gombe State.

"They are only concentrated within certain areas in Borno and Yobe states," he added.

The activities of the terrorists, though reduced, could hardly be taken for defeat.

In a recently released video, many armed members of the sect were seen celebrating Sallah at a location believed to be Sambisa Forest.

The insurgents also on Tuesday,  attacked an army base in Logomani in the Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.

According to Punch, they engaged soldiers from 3 Battalion army base in Logomani in a gun battle that left three of the terrorists and one soldier dead.

ALSO READ: Civilians in the crossfire of terrorists and the military

It was gathered that the insurgents had also on Monday attempted to attack the troops’ base in Gulumba Gana in the Bama Local Government Area of Borno.

An unconfirmed number of the terrorists were said to have been shot dead by troops during the attempted attack.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, confirmed the attempted attacks on the army bases in Dikwa and Bama, adding that the troops recovered three AK-47 rifles from the insurgents in Logomani.

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