The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, has said the Nigerian Army will not be humiliated again in the battle against insurgency in the north-eastern part of the country.
Minimah also said the challenges faced by the Nigerian Army revealed the resilience and perseverance of the Nigerian people.
Minimah made the comments during the Chief of Army Staff’s First Quarters Conference in Abuja on Monday.
He commended Nigerians for supporting the military in spite of the initial setbacks the Army suffered in the fight.
He said, “I want to seize this opportunity to express the Nigerian Army’s profound appreciation to all Nigerians who have stood by us through thick and thin, particularly in the last one year. The challenges we faced have brought to the fore the strength, perseverance, long-suffering and resilience of the Nigerian nation and her people.
“Despite some of the reverses we suffered in the course of our operations, some of which almost brought the Nigerian Army to its knees, the good people of this country never wavered but consistently solidarised and identified with us.
“They are understandably frustrated when we failed to perform to expectation but were always quick to show their support and appreciation of our successes. I think this has been the tempo in the last four weeks. Nigerians have come out to identify with the Nigerian military, the Nigerian Army and the security agencies.”
He said the Army would use the opportunity of the conference to strategise with a view to ensuring speedy restoration of normalcy in the affected areas.
He also said the Army would declare some states free of terrorist activities.
“I am sure, by the end of today, we will declare some states cleared of terrorism…”
On roles during the general elections, he said the Army would only carry out tasks assigned to it by INEC and the Federal Government in line with the rules guiding the conduct of elections.
The Army Chief also clarified that Damask, a border town between Nigeria and Niger, had not been recaptured from the insurgents.
He said neither the Chadian Forces nor the Nigerian troops had liberated the town from Boko Haram occupation.
There had been reports in the international media that Damask was recaptured by Chadian forces, who were said to have killed 200 insurgents on March 9.