Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, monday in Maiduguri, Borno State, unveiled the poster carrying photographs of 55 most wanted Boko Haram members, including their supposed leader, Abubakar Shekau.
The posters, with the inscription, written in English, Hausa and Kanuri languages, is the third edition of such a phone numbers which the public could easily call or text to indicate which of the characters in the numbered photographs they know or have information about.
Displaying the posters at the headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole, Buratai, recalled that the first and second editions comprising 202 terrorists were launched last year.
He pointed out that many terrorists in the first and second editions were either identified, arrested or killed during operations.
Burutai added that the new pictures also comprise some of the other insurgents already in the past editions but not arrested, saying they were now included for emphasis.
According to him, members of the public who have any credible information on any of the wanted terrorists should call any of the phone numbers printed on the posters, noting that the information given would be treated discreetly and professionally.
“I am appealing to the public to come out with information that would assist in the arrest of these terrorists. “The 55 Boko Haram members declared wanted have their faces on the poster. The members of the public should look at the poster very well and report appropriately,” he further appealed.
The army chief noted that the troops have recorded milestone victory in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations as the militants are already defeated, with hundreds of them laying down their arms to surrender.
“The Nigerian army and indeed the military, as the symbol of our nationhood, is determined to eliminate the remnants of the insurgents. We will never allow the repeat of the past bloody havoc wrecked on the populace by the insurgents. Nigerians can indeed acknowledge our ability to stand and defeat the terrorists due to countless changes and improvements in terms of safety as well as security,” he said.
Buratai, who commended the Nigerian army for keeping to the desired task of defeating the terrorists, implored the troops not to be discouraged in case it suffers casualty occasioned by the insurgents through ambush.
The army chief said: “We cannot afford to lose the fight because we are better trained and equipped in every capacity. The whole nation is behind us as well as the president. So let us remain steadfast in this noble cause. Be courageous; we must degrade and defeat the terrorists entirely, and this job must be done because we must make our country men and women proud.”