Irabor: We’ll Not Relent Until Enemies of State are Brought to their Knees
•Troops kill 17 insurgents, IPOB members in Borno, Rivers
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, said yesterday that the armed forces would not relent in their onslaught against terrorists until the enemies of the Nigerian state were defeated. Irabor said despite the risk of paying the supreme price, the security personnel remained unrelenting in their resolve to keep the peace in Nigeria and deal with the security challenges facing the country.
His position came as troops killed 17 insurgents and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Borno and Rivers states.
Addressing a group, God Bless Nigeria, which organised a solidarity march to the Defence Headquarters complex in Abuja, the defence chief vowed that enemies of the state would be brought to their knees.
The marchers carried banners with the inscription, “Armed Forces Appreciation Day”, in support of the country’s security forces.
The defence chief, who was represented by the Director, Defence Information (DDI), Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the military was committed to defeating the adversaries.
Nwachukwu stated while receiving the group, “I welcome the God Bless Nigeria group on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, service chiefs and the entire military. We thank this very important group for taking time to appreciate the armed forces of Nigeria, to appreciate the conduct of operations we are carrying out around the country and the sacrifices our men are making in the conduct of those operations.
“Round the clock, our troops are engaged. We are not resting on our oars because we want to surmount this contemporary security challenges even though we are to pay the supreme price.
“We can, of course, take a cue from what happened recently when the late Chief of Army Staff and a group officers were on a visit to Depot Nigerian Army (Kaduna) when they had the unfortunate mishap.”
He also said, “Lives were lost, families were orphaned, wives are widowed. We are paying expensively to ensure that we have peace in this country.
“I want to seize the opportunity on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff and the leadership of the armed forces to assure Nigerians that we will not rest on our oars until we bring our adversaries to their knees.”
Earlier, spokesman of the God Bless Nigeria group, Mr Eric Ogolo, said, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. We have come together to express our profound gratitude for the sacrifices, contributions, strength and commitment that you all display every single day.
“Whenever this country calls, you all are the ones who answer, no matter the circumstance, no matter the danger, no matter the sacrifice, and this you do with high morale.
“The Nigerian armed forces is not only our pride but also our super heroes, who fight all those hostile enemies, both external and internal.”
Meanwhile, just hours into the tenure of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, Boko Haram fighters attempted an audacious attack on troops of Operation Hadin Kai in Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno State. An army statement said the terrorists came in their numbers with gun trucks and attempted to infiltrate the main entrance to the town.
The statement signed by Army Spokesman, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, said, “The highly spirited troops were right on hand to counter the move and inflicted humiliating defeat on the terrorists who abandoned their evil mission and took to their heels.
“The troops chased the retreating terrorist and ensured there was no further threat to the town and its residents. Troops successfully destroyed one of the gun trucks and recovered multiple weapons, including one anti aircraft gun, two machine guns and eight AK-47 rifles, neutralising 10 terrorists in the process.”
In Port Harcourt, troops of 6 Division Garrison, Port Harcourt, and 29 Battalion in conjunction with operatives of Nigeria Police, Directorate of State Services (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) conducted a clearance/raid operation at suspected IPOB/ESN enclaves at Agbomchia Forest along Pipeline Road, Ogali/Komkom Boundary, between Eleme and Oyigbo local government areas of Rivers State.
An army statement said, “In the fire fight that ensued during the clearance/raid operation, seven IPOB/ESN members were neutralised while five suspects arrested.”
It also said, “Various items belonging to the criminals, including arms and ammunition, were also recovered by the security forces. The camp was promptly destroyed while suspects and corpses were handed over to the police for further action.
“There was no casualty on own troops and other security operatives as they have returned back to base in high morale.”
The army urged members of the public to help the troops with accurate and timely information that would assist them in tracking down and neutralising the criminal elements.