The decimation of no fewer than 73 Boko Haram elements by Nigerian troops on Thursday 8th July, 2021 in the North East part of the country in spite of a fatal accident involving some soldiers on reinforcement mission at a time the troops were set to rescue helpless citizens from the terrorists was an outstanding show of gallantry.

The soldiers had gone to rescue travellers who were under siege at Maiduguri-Damaturu Road.  During the encounter, Nigerian troops displayed exemplary courage and humiliated the terrorist elements at the end of which dozens of AK 47 rifles, anti aircraft launchers and other fighting weapons were recovered.

Besides the recent incident, Nigerian troops have been up and doing since the dawn of  insurgency even though there had been occasional set back during which morale of the troops were  low ostensibly due to political factors.

From available records, troops of the Nigerian military fighting under the auspice of OPERATION LAFIA DOLE in North East and OPERATION HADAGIN in North West have continued to deal fatal blows to the criminal elements.  In the North East, both ground forces and the air component have remained relentless in combating Boko Haram Terrorists/ISWAP elements in spite of occasional casualties they suffer in effort to protect villages being ravaged by the terrorists.

In the past we have had statement credited to government officials saying that Boko Haram elements have been “technically defeated” at some point.  Much as most Nigerians considered such assertion as official propaganda, the truth remains that the fighting spirit of Nigerian troops is second to none barring the lapses created by officialdom and misadventures in the management of the war against the terrorists.

With inadequate sophisticated weapons to combat the terrorists who are believably backed up by some foreign interests, Nigerian troops have often put their lives on the line, with determination to subdue the enemies.  It may sound too hard to believe given the escalating state of general insecurity in the country, but the truth remains that Boko Haram is much weaker today than what the situation was in 2015 if statistics of events are anything to go by.  

At the earliest stages of the insurgency in 2011 or thereabout, the 27 local government areas of Borno State were infested and taken over by the terrorists such that places like Gwosa, Askira-Uba, Dikwa, Ngala, Monguno, Kukawa, Dam boa, Konduga, Mafa and so on were no-go areas.  The emirs were all in exile but today indigenes are safely back to their domain courtesy of Nigerian troops.

Insurgents at those early stages were so bold to attack and take over military facilities like army barracks at Monguno, Bama, Giwa Barracks and Multi Regional Joint Task Force Headquarters to mention a few.  There were daily bomb blasts in many parts of Maiduguri, the most populated part of the state but all these were soon checkmated by the Nigerian troops.  There is no longer free reign for the terrorists as it used to be.

From records, members of the Nigerian Armed Forces between 18th March, 2020 and 30th December, 2020 were able to neutralize a total of 2,403 criminal elements, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers.  The gallantry of the troops across the country in various operations has led to the rescue of a total of 864 kidnapped victims across the country within the same period.

The troops have also recovered a total of 9,684,797 litres of stolen diesel and 33,516,000 litres of kerosene from criminal elements across the country.  During the period also 1,910 criminal elements were arrested with large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment were recovered.

One can go further to enumerate the achievements of the Nigerian Armed Forces in recent time obviously due to their gallantry. The achievements are many and the troops deserve nothing but appreciation from a society whose last standing institution with pan Nigeria interest is the military.   

Therefore SECURITY has chosen this Editorial to commend the gallantry and determination of all personnel of our armed forces, whether Airforce, Navy or Army who are engaged in fighting the various aspects of criminality across our land. They would continue to remain heroes of our time.

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