The Concerned Professionalsâ€™ Congress (CPC) has said the successful negotiated release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls from Boko Haram terrorists is a major morale booster to the courageous Nigerian troops currently engaged in counter-terrorism operations in the North-east.
The civil advocacy group which stated this yesterday in a statement made available to THISDAY, said against the backdrop of the girlsâ€™ release and the changes in the leadership of Operation Lafiya Dole, the successful negotiations for the girlsâ€™ freedom is a major morale booster to the troops.
In the statement issued and signed by CPC Chief Media Strategist, Emeka Nwakpa, Coordinator of the group, Tukur Musa Tilde, said apart from boosting the morale of the troops, the release of the girls has further raised the profile of the Nigerian military without whose determined resolve and resilience to hunt down the members of the sect, it would have been impossible to force the terrorists to the negotiation table.
The group maintained that Sambisa Forest finally fell following the militaryâ€™s sustained ground and air bombardments resulting in several heavy casualty suffered by the terrorists which led some of their commanders to be captured, injured or killed, â€œa situation which forced some of the sect members to surrender in droves to embrace the Operation Safe Corridor which the military high command created as a facility to absorb them for rehabilitation, re-integration and de-radicalisation.â€
According to CPC, â€œThe point is worth-stating that but for the determined efforts of our troops some of whom have paid the supreme price, it would have been near-difficult, if not impossible, for the Boko Haram terrorists to agree to come to the negotiation table. Our military has proved to be as asset to the nation at this crucial, critical and defining moment in our history as a nation. The girlsâ€™ release is a reward for their courage, hard work and professionalism.
â€œDonâ€™t forget that President Muhammadu Buhari had indicated that rescuing the Chibok girls was central to the defeat of Boko Haram. It is obvious that the military leadership under the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, took that charge seriously and ran with it with determination, resulting in a situation where the federal government, having gained the upper hand, went to negotiation table with confidence. Rescuing 82 girls in one fell swoop is indeed a huge haul.â€
The group lauded Olonisakin, saying he has galvanised the Nigerian military in collaboration with other security agencies to turn the tide against national security threats employing a mix of kinetic and non-kinetic measures to guarantee a safe, stable, secure, united, peaceful and progressive nation that has become the envy of the world.
It stated â€œthat the popular thinking today is that President Buhariâ€™s government deserves praise for carefully selecting a crop of focused, highly committed military men whose chemistry synchronised with his vision to provide security to the Nigerian people..
â€œWe are now reaping the benefit of the presidentâ€™s diligent search for such competent service chiefs led by the CDS whose appointment and synergy has changed the face of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in such a way that has significantly turned the tide against terrorism and insurgency thereby re-positioning Nigeriaâ€™s image in the comity of nations.â€
It expressed confidence that the troops would soon finish with the anti-terror war considering their excellent records in the United Nations peace-keeping operations abroad, noting that the renewed commitment, gallantry, enthusiasm and fresh tactical and strategic approach of the military under the leadership of the present CDS has inspired hope and confidence that the days of terror in the Northeast are numbered.