Nigerian troops combating Boko Haram terrorists in restive northeast region have crushed Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa forest, President Muhammadu Buhari said Saturday.
In a statement made available to Xinhua, the Nigerian leader lauded the troops on the successful capture of the Boko Haram enclave in Sambisa forest.
Buhari who expressed delight, said he was proud of the troops.
“I am delighted at, and most proud of the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army, on receipt of the long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa forest,” he added.
“I want to use this opportunity to commend the determination, courage and resilience of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole at finally entering and crushing the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at Camp Zero, which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa forest,” he said.
“I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the Camp fell at about 1:35 p.m, local time on Thursday, Dec. 22, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide,” the Nigerian leader said.
He urged the troops to maintain the tempo by pursuing the terrorists and bringing them to justice.
The president called on all Nigerians to cooperate and support the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies by providing useful information that would expose all the terrorists hiding among the populace.
He urged the troops to further intensify their efforts toward liberating the remaining Chibok girls still in captivity.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Chief of Army staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai also commended the efforts and sacrifices of gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army currently engaged in the counter insurgency operations in the North East and other operations across the country and abroad.
“I congratulate you for your bravery, doggedness and loyalty in these endeavours. I want to urge you all to maintain the momentum and remain steadfast as we continue to professionally and responsively carry out our constitutional roles,” Buratai said in a Christmas and New Year message to the troops.
“On my part, I will continue to ensure that troops’ welfare and that of their families, remains my utmost priority,” he said.
The Nigerian government said in December 2015 that Boko Haram had been “technically” defeated and was no longer capable of conventional warfare, instead resorting to guerrilla attacks on soft targets.
The Sambisa forest, especially the mountainous region of Gwoza near the Cameroon border, was used as a shelter of the jihadist Boko Haram group.
The Boko Haram seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the Constitution of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and biggest oil producer in the continent.
Nigeria, with approximately 180 million population, shares land borders with Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east and Niger in the north.
The northern part of the country is plagued by violence, including attacks by the Boko Haram sect. Enditem