By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin declared yesterday that Boko Haram is gone forever whether its so-called leader, Shekau is alive or dead.
Speaking with journalists through the acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar at a media parley in Kaduna, he said Boko Haram insurgency had been, “totally degraded, decimated and 100 per cent defeated”.
He however cautioned the media against casting headlines that would create division in society and inflame conflict.
“Today, I am pleased to inform you that we have defeated Boko Haram. It is not an easy feat. Yes, you may heard that an inaccessible village has been attack or that there was an attack somewhere. But, that is the last kicking of a dying group” he said.
According to the Defence Chief, Nigeria had been able to set a record by defeating insurgency.
“Check at the history of insurgency in the world, there is no country that has defeated insurgency under six to seven years like Nigeria. Is it Sri Lanka, Mali, Columbia or Somalia?
“Boko Haram is gone. It does not matter whether its so-called leader, Shekau is alive or dead.
“The war is not about him as a person, it is about his group and they have been defeated. There is no inch of soil in Nigeria, where Boko Haram’s flag is hoisted. No more! Boko Haram has been totally degraded, decimated and 100 per cent defeated, and may God never allow such kind of evil to re-appear in Nigeria again”.
He stressed further that “Our success was noticed by Mali which has been battling with its own problem. One of Mali’s Defence Chief had to come to Nigeria to ask us how we did it. So, that is to tell you that Boko Haram is gone.
“Let’s celebrate our success in the news, not the propaganda of terrorists and their sympathisers. Yes, we have also had casualties, but it’s like all conflicts. “But, you can see that even developed and well secured countries such as France and Britain are not even totally immune from terrorism.
“I will appreciate if the Press can focus on the good and positive things that make our country great. What do we have to gain as a country when we promote headlines that will cause division and plant hatred and violence? This is the only country that we have. If anything happens and you leave this country, no matter where you find yourself, you are a refugee.
“As for the Army, Navy and the Nigeria Air Force, we are carrying out 14 operations in deferent parts of the country. Some of the operations are joint ones with other security agencies. Very soon we will kick off Operation Accord, which aim is to take care of the nuisance of “herdsmen once and for all”, he said.
However, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was absent during the retreat held at the Giginya Hotel, Sokoto.