Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai declares that Boko Haram has been completely defeated.
Buratai made the declaration during a telephonic press briefing organized by the Public Affairs Section of the United States Consulate General, Lagos.
U.S. Army Africa Acting Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Eugene LeBoeuf, was also part of the press briefing.
The Generals were co-hosting the 6th African Land Forces Summit which held in Abuja between April 16-19, 2018.
“Boko Haram has been defeated. When last were you in Maiduguri? People who live in Maiduguri and other States in the northeast will tell you Boko Haram has been defeated”, Buratai declared.
“Of course we still have the remnants of Boko Haram and we keep pursuing them. At the moment, we are rooted in Sambisa and Boko Haram often come from across the country’s borders to launch attacks and run away. However, I can tell you that as an insurgent organization, Boko Haram has been defeated.
“Look at where we are and where we were coming from and you’ll agree with me that we’ve made tremendous progress. As a fighting force, Boko Haram was everywhere. Since 2016, we have not had any major terrorist attack outside the northeast", Buratai added, while citing instances of Boko Haram bombing Abuja, Kano and Jos in the past.
“They can’t operate like they used to. Don’t be carried away by the Boko Haram propaganda. The narrative is right now in our hands. All the components of the armed forces are doing their part”, Buratai said.
The Army Chief also bemoaned Nigeria’s porous borders which makes it easy for Boko Haram terrorists to trickle in and out of the northeast.
“Our borders are so porous and so wide”, Buratai said, while adding that the regional joint task force is doing everything to solve the problem.
Acting Commander, US Army Africa, Brigadier General LeBoeuf assured that the United States will continue to build the capacity of the army in countries in the Sahel, so they can better tackle insurgency.
“We are committed to supporting our African partners to root out extremist organisations through trainings”, LeBoeuf said.
Buratai also called on countries in the Lake Chad region to cooperate a lot more.
“Vast land acres across Lake Chad region is a challenge. There is the need for us to continue to work together since our troops are operating alongside each other. We also require the right political support for de-radicalization”, Buratai said.
But the terrorist outfit is still capable of launching bomb attacks on soft targets and masterminding mass abductions of schoolgirls in heavily militarised zones in a war ravaged northeast region, despite its 'defeat'.
Thousands of Nigerians have been killed and millions more displaced, since Boko Haram commenced a bloody insurgency against the Nigerian State in 2009.