Gone Are The Days Of Suicide Bombing Reports In North East — COAS

However, the army chief believes that complex threats remain in the region with troops on standby to battle them.

The Chief of Army Staff says the security situation in different parts of the country has improved, especially the North East which witnessed a brutal insurgency in the past decades.

Lt-General Taoreed Lagbaja said this on Wednesday during Channels TV’s special programme reviewing one year of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

“Gone are the days when reports of suicide bombing, attacks on our government infrastructure, attacks on troops’ locations, dislodgement of our troops and so many reverses in the North East used to be the in-thing in the news headline,” Lt-General Lagbaja said. “Today, there is relative peace in the North East.”

However, the army chief believes that complex threats remain in the region with troops on standby to battle them.

“We are still confronting the challenge of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It’s understandable because the threats we confront are complex, ill-defined, and adaptable,” he said.

Part of the gains made by the military in the North East, according to him, is the recovery of military equipment carted away by terrorists years ago, at the peak of the insurgency.

Over the past year, the military has carried out several clearance operations in the region, eliminating terrorists, recovering equipment, and rescuing several people from places such as Sambisa Forest.

Lt-Gen Lagbaja, referencing that, said, “We have been seeing photographs of our mine-resident, ambush-protected vehicles being brought out of the Timbuktu triangle, (and) from Sambisa Forest; places that the troops previously dreaded in the past to enter. Now they go there almost on a weekly basis to ensure there are boots on the ground, and the domination of the geographic space.”

‘Socio-Political Factors’
Though the situation in the North East has improved, the situation in the North West is different.

“In the North West, the threat matrix is becoming emboldened, I will say that,” the Army chief said. “This can be attributed to many socio-political factors, clearly outside the purview of the military.

“The challenge has always been the Yankasai, the local vigilante groups, against the pastoralists.”

While part of the issues are beyond the military control, according to Lt-General Lagbaja, troops have continued to play their part and have taken out several of the bandit kingpins in the region.

He also believes that the military’s actions have led to security improvements in the South East with the illegal sit-at-homes tackled, while in the South-South there has been improved crude oil output due to the military’s actions in tackling oil thieves.

The army chief believes the troops should be commended for fighting to secure the nation against the odds.

“Looking back at where we were years ago and the threats that confront us as a nation, I will say that the troops in the field and even the staff in the headquarters deserve the highest commendations for working in a very difficult environment and delivering results despite the challenges,” Lagbaja said.

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