Olusegun Adeniyi, the Theater Commander of the army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, has said that the major factor that hinders the Nigerian army from defeating Boko Haram is the lack of an “army aviation.”
He said this when he received a delegation of the National Assembly joint committee on the army on Thursday.
Adeniyi, a major general, who took over the command of the military’s counter-insurgency operation about two months ago, said Boko Haram has never been a “formidable force” as they are perceived to be.
“The only thing that needs to be given to the army now is Nigeria Army Aviation,” he said.
“There is a way you solve a problem that will change the game. The army needs combat helicopters to end the Boko Haram war. If we have it, it will not be deployed like air force assets, air force jets which are for bigger strategic goals.
“These helicopters will sleep with us in the trench, they will be with us in the front line. These helicopters and the rifles are dispatched together.
“I know this has been on the table for years. When this is done, Nigeria can forget about Boko Haram.”
“Let me say Boko Haram is not a formidable force, Boko Haram is not strong; Boko Haram cannot sustain 15 minutes of intensive firing. I personally exchange with Boko Haram in Marte, in Delta, in Gubio as deputy theatre commander and as theatre commander,” he said.
Mr Adeniyi asked the lawmakers to “please go and tell Abuja that Boko Haram is not a formidable force that the military cannot defeat.”