The Federal Government has congratulated the gallant troops of the Nigerian military for finally seizing the Sambisa Forest from the Boko Haram terrorists and securing the North-East, paving the way for yesterday’s re-opening of two strategic roads in Borno State.
This came as former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida; and Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State described the military’s recapture of the dreaded Samibisa forest as a global achievement made possible by the political will of President Muhammadu Buhari and the commitment of the Armed Forces and other security agencies.
In a statement in Lagos, yesterday, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, appealed to Nigerians to continue to support the troops as they clear the remnants of the terrorists who are now on the run.
He also called for increased vigilance among Nigerians, as Boko Haram escapees seek to integrate themselves into communities far and near, saying eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
We urge Nigerians to keep our gallant and victorious troops in their prayers, and to also imbibe the mantra of ‘if you see something, say something’ as a way of ensuring that no escaped terrorist is able to wreak havoc in their communities.
“It is also important to know that now that they have been dispossessed of their fortress, the Boko Haram escapees will intensify their cowardly attacks on vulnerable targets if only to maintain an illusion of terror. But there should be no panic because the worst is over,’’ Alhaji Mohammed said.
While commending the military for the re-opening of the Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak road and the Maiduguri-Mungono-Baga road, which link Nigeria with neighbouring countries, he hailed Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, for his unwavering support for the military and his administration’s determination to quickly restore normalcy across the state.
IBB, Niger gov laud Buhari, troops
Meanwhile, Babangida, in a statement issued by his media officer yesterday, said: “It is a sign of relief, that the military has finally smoked out Boko Haram terrorists from their notorious enclave of Sambisa Forest.”
Babangida also saluted the courage and determination of President Muhammadu Buhari, Army chiefs as well as armed men and women and other security personnel for their sacrifice for the painful liberation of Sambisa Forest and adjoining abode of Boko Haram.
“May I rejoice with the government and Nigerians on the successful dislodging of Boko Haram from their base in Sambisa,’’ he said.
He expressed hope that with the successful takeover of the forest, the remaining Chibok girls would be located and reunited with their families.
On his part, Governor Bello said the destruction of Sambisa forest was a clear and strong message to all criminal elements in the country of the capacity, willingness of the Armed Forces and other security agencies as well as the political will of the President every every inch of Nigeria.
In a congratulatory message, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace, the governor said the destruction of Camp Zero was an indication that with the right leadership, temperament, conducive environment and political will, the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies were capable of defeating any criminal elements operating within the country.