Nigerian troops have never recorded greater successes against Boko Haram than they have done now, the chief of army staff, Tukur Butatai, has said.
Mr. Buratai, a lieutenant general, said the troops have been motivated by the new welfare package they are now enjoying.
Mr Buratai said there was no time, especially since 2014, that the theatre command in Borno State recorded so many achievements in decimating Boko Haram terrorists than now.
The army chief made the remark in Maiduguri on Thursday while commissioning a new recreational centre built for soldiers fighting the terrorists.
“Despite all the media propaganda across the country that things are getting worse, things are getting worse, but the truth is that things have never been this better since 2014,” Mr Buratai.
Mr Buratai, who was represented at the event by the Army’s Chief of Training and Operations, Enobong Udoh, commended the theater commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Olusegun Adeniyi, for leading the troops in “achieving unprecedented successes in the counterinsurgency operation,” he said.
“We are very pleased with the theater commander for his professionalism, particularly, in leading the troops of this theater in doing a lot of wonders. The officers and men here sacrificing their lives to ensure that the Boko Haram terrorists are defeated, and they are being defeated. The truth is that what we are having now are remnants of the Boko Haram marauding around, terrorising the locals, waylaying commuters to give the impression that they are still around,” he said.
“But the fact remains that this is the best time we’ve ever had. We have never had more operational achievements in this theater than now. I want to commend all of you on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff.”
Mr Udoh reminded the troops while commissioning the new recreational centre about the vision of the COAS which is “to have a professionally responsive Nigeria Army in the discharge of its a constitutional role.”
He said the vision was built on four pillars of which one is the welfare of the soldiers. To that effect, the Chief of Army Operations said the COAS placed premium on the welfare of troops especially those in the front line.
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“That is why even (when) fund backing has not been received for the new operation and ration cash allowances, the COAS approved the payment for all those in the theatre and the payments have been received for about two months now,” he said.
“The COAS has also reintroduced the N200 per day allowance for a cigarette and other habits and I am well informed that soldiers in this theater have been enjoying that package as well.
“I am very happy that the theater commander is not only leading the troops with professionalism but he also ensures he does not undermine the welfare needs of the soldiers. And it is in that line that he built this combat recreation tent which will serve as a relaxation spot for brother officers and soldiers doing the job of peacekeeping in this theater.”
The army chief made these remarks amidst continuing attacks on communities and troops’ locations by Boko Haram.