The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General T.Y. Buratai has said, the complex and adaptive nature of the Boko Haram insurgency has resulted in the dissident group still being engaged in abductions, attack on soft targets, Improvised Explosive Device attacks and suicide bombings.
Buratai, who was represented by Major General AM Dikko during a briefing on Tuesday, at the Theatre Command of Operation Lafiya Dole also recalled that,
Nigerian Army is engaged in the conduct of several counter insurgency and other operations, most prominent of which is Operation LAFIYA DOLE in the North East region for some years with considerable successes.
He said despite the challenges, the Nigerian military is undeterred by the mutating posture of the Boko Haram, as the Nigerian Army is determined to consolidate on its recent gains in the ongoing push especially in the Northern part of Borno.
” Accordingly, this year’s Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2018 will be commemorated with the conduct of an operation tagged Operation LAST HOLD in Northern Borno within the North East Theatre.
“The design is to deploy personnel and equipment to showcase the combat efficiency of the NA and thereafter conduct operations to totally destroy Boko Haram locations in the Lake Chad Basin general area, ” he added.
Buratai said, the Operation LAST HOLD to totally clear Boko Haram in the northern part of Borno was expected to last for 4 months and it will entail deployment of additional manoeuvre brigades and other critical assets in Borno State.
“The operation is intended to facilitate the clearance of the Lake Chad waterways of sea weeds and other obstacles obstructing the movement of boats and people across the water channels.
” It will also ensure the destruction of Boko Haram Terrorist camps and strong points in the Lake Chad Basin general area. The operation will also facilitate the rescue of hostages. ” he said.
According to the Army Chief, “The aim of Operation LAST HOLD is the total defeat of the Boko Haram Terrorist sect in northern Borno. This will pave way for the return of local administration and people to their responsibilities and communities.
“Strategically, the conduct of Operation LAST HOLD will facilitate the restoration of fishing, farming and other economic activities in the Lake Chad Basin.
“Additionally, it will facilitate the relocation of Internally Displaced Persons from IDP camps back to their communities. ” he explained.
Adding, “Operation LAST HOLD is conceptualized to involve the conduct of population influence activities targeted to improve Civil-Military relations in the North East region.
“In this regard, law abiding members of the public in Northern Borno State are enjoined not to panic as their safety and well-being have been deliberately factored in the operation.
“The general public is requested to remain vigilant and be security conscious, as suspected insurgents may be fleeing from military operations in the North East and finding safe haven amidst our communities.
“The public is also reminded to report any suspicious activity or movement to the nearest military formation or other security agencies for prompt action.” The Chief said.