The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai said on Sunday that the army had identified one key location of perpetrators of suicide bombings and had destroyed it.
The Chief of Army Staff said in an interview that the “key area’’ was cleared by troops in conjunction with other security agencies.
According to him, this has reduced the incidents of suicide bombings in the last couple of days in Borno, particularly Maiduguri.
He said, “By and large, I tell you it – suicide bombing has been reduced drastically. In the last three days, there has been no Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) attack or suicide attacks and this, we hope it will continue.
“They may decide to come but we are able to take out one key area that we are even suspecting, our troops were able to clear them in conjunction with other security agencies.
“I won’t say at this stage that we have been able to make breakthroughs in respect of suicide bombing, but we have made substantial progress and we hope it will be sustained,’’ Buratai said.
The army chief called for on Borno people to expose the collaborators and indeed, the perpetrators of the dastardly and inhuman act by the Boko Haram terrorists.
He noted that the terrorists still have their sympathisers and collaborators among the people.
“Definitely, there is no way you will say that these suicide bombers, who are teenagers, young girls, some even under-age can move in from wherever they are strapped into the town except with the guidance of someone within the town or vicinity.
“We still suspect that there are some sympathisers and collaborators or some members that have sneaked into town hiding and they direct these would-be suicide bombers to targeted areas.
“The issue of suicide bombing is an issue of intelligence which we are working in collaboration with other security agencies and indeed with the civil authority to see how this can be addressed quickly,’’ he said.
According to him, the suicide bombing must be stopped once and for all.
He added that having won the war, there was the need to also win the peace. He said this required the collaboration of both the military, other security agencies and the people.
On the plan to reorganise the Operation Lafiya Dole in 2017, Buratai, stressed that the reorganisation was now ongoing in spite of pockets of attacks and incidents of suicide bombing.
“That position is still being held, the reorganisation is ongoing. We will do it.
“That reorganisation does not, however, mean lowering the tempo of the operations, it does not mean stepping down the various operations we are doing; be it the counter-insurgency operations, all the humanitarian support as the case may be.
“But we are reorganising the theatre command to be effective, to be much stronger because we are getting more equipment and procurement is ongoing.
“And we are even raising the tempo of the operation than it was before,’’ Buratai said.