·Abducted army colonel found dead
Senator Iroegbu in Abuba and Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
After a ten-day siege on Alargano forest, troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces on Monday successfully captured what has long been considered the spiritual headquarters of Boko Haram in the Northeast.
Addressing a press conference in Maiduguri, Borno State on Tuesday, the head of the counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor said the troops offensive to capture Alargano since March 18 was successfully concluded on Monday.
He said the offensive commenced on March 18 at about 0900 hour with troops of the 3 and 7 Divisions, assisted by air bombardment by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
Irabor, however, revealed that the advance was halted several times due to planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along the routes leading to Alargano, adding that during the operation troops had to clear Yajiwa, Joba, Mosa, Ariwuzumari, Missene Sansan and Kagalmari villages, all on the fringes of the forest.
He said: “Our gallant troops finally entered Alagarno on March 28, 2016, during which several Boko Haram terrorists were killed along the route.
“This operation demystified the Boko Haram terrorists’ spiritual power base in Alagarno.
“Throughout the operation, the NAF monitored the operation, consistently resupplied the advancing troops and assisted in evacuating soldiers who were wounded in action.”
Irabor, while claiming that the military recorded tremendous successes against the insurgents, further disclosed that in the last one month, Nigerian troops also captured Kumshe. He said this was achieved in conjunction with Camerounian forces.
He said during the operation, 24 armed insurgents were killed. The weapons recovered from them included one truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun, two AK47 rifles as well as 60 mm mortars.
He said the capture of Kala-Balge on March 23 by troops of the 22 Brigade in conjunction with the Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF) battalion and Army Headquarters Strike Group (AHQ SG), was another major advancement in the ongoing war on terror.
He said the military remained steadfast in ending the war on a successful note and the recent video of Shekau stating that he had surrendered would not stop the military from stepping on the throttle to see the war through.
But at the military celebrated the capture of Alargano forest, the Nigerian Army announced that Colonel Samaila Inusa who was kidnapped on Saturday night was found dead at about 6 pm yesterday.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman who confirmed this in a statement, said preliminary investigations revealed that it was most likely the senior officer was killed on same day he was kidnapped by his assailants.
“This is because the body was found already decomposing around Ajyaita village, off the eastern bypass Kaduna in Kaduna State,” Usman said.
He said arrangements were made to move the body to the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna.
He also promised that his murderers will be fished out to face the full wrath of the law.
“We wish to state in unmistakable terms that whoever was behind his abduction and murder would be fished out to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.