Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, has given a 48-hour ultimatum to troops to clear Boko Haram insurgents off captured areas of Borno State.
Marte, a local government in the troubled state, was recently reported to have been attacked and taken over by Boko Haram.
Some communities in the state, including Kirenowa, Kirta, Wulgo, Chikingudo in Marte and Ngala Local Government Areas were also reported to have a strong presence of the terrorist group.
But Attahiru, who on Sunday addressed the troops of the Nigerian Army Super Camp 9, Dikwa, directed that the insurgents should be cleared from the reported areas in the next 48 hours.
He said: “Areas around Marte, Chikingudu, Wulgo, Kirenowa, and Kirta must be cleared in the next 48 hours.”
The COAS, while addressing the troops, said: “You must not let this nation down. Go back and do the needful and I will be right behind you.
“You should rest assured of all the support you require in this very onerous task.
“You are aware of the recent attack on Dikwa and Marte, you should not allow this to happen again; go after them and clear these bastards.”
The COAS, who commended the efforts of the troops in the fight against Boko Haram, said: “I am here to deliver the greetings of Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari. I have spoken with your commanders; we are going to provide you the equipment and weapons you need to end this war.
“We are also going to address the issue of overstay in the theatre. No more issue of overstay.”
The COAS while addressing the residents of Dikwa and those who fled during the recent onslaught on Marte, but now taking refuge in Dikwa, assured them of protection.
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri