Burutai: We’re Still Searching for Chibok Girls

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By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, Monday said the search for the remaining abducted Chibok girls was still on.

Buratai spoke while delivering the maiden lecture of the Centre for Contemporary Security Affairs at the Igbinedion University, Okada in Edo State.

276 students of Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014,. While 107 of them had regained freedom through intense negotiations by the federal government, the remaining are still in captivity, while some are believed to have died.

Lt-General Buratai also said activities of Boko Haram had been confined to Lake Chad region and fringes of Sambisa Forest.

He stated that complex security challenges like the Boko Haram insurgency required political and security solutions that will ensure democracy rebounds stronger.

Buratai said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari had fulfilled the pledge to support the MNJTF by donating the sum of $100 million.

The Army Chief said the current political leadership had also demonstrated strong political will, purposeful direction and provision of resources that galvanised the nation against the terror group.

He informed the gathering that adequate resources were provided to procure more arms and ammunition, vehicles and other logistics required to prosecute the campaign against insurgency.

According to him, “Military leadership invariably draws inspiration from the political leadership and this allows it develop military strategic objectives that are to be achieved

“One of the silent but radical changes in the operations was changing the orientation and mind-set of troops from a defensive to an offensive posture. We also created the Theatre Command to coordinate the activities of the divisions involved in the operations.”

He further said,  “Socio-economic activities and free movement of people and goods have resumed in many areas. Significant improvements can be attributed to the systematic campaign led by the Nigerian Army in conjunction with other services and elements of national power.

“Success recorded so far is an indication that for Nigeria’s democracy to be consolidated, the military must not only play its part but must also fulfil the constitutional roles assigned to them.”

He assured that the Army under his leadership would partner with the institution to build officers’ intellectual capacity.

Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, said the centre when operational would carry out research that will interrogate emerging security challenges of local and global concern.

Prof. Ezemonye noted that the strategy was to create a faculty that provides knowledge based interventions for effective enforcement response, being a rich blend of academic researchers in security affairs and practitioners from the military and allied agencies.