The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has disclosed that the inability of the army to curb incessant suicide bombings in Borno State is because Boko Haram still has sympathizers among the people.
“I won’t say at this stage that we have been able to make breakthrough in respect of suicide bombings, but we have made substantial progress and we hope it will be sustained,’’ Buratai said on Sunday in an interview.
The army chief called on Borno people to expose the collaborators and indeed, the perpetrators of the dastardly and inhuman act working for Boko Haram terrorists. He noted that the terrorists still have their sympathizers 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 sympathizers 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. The army chief disclosed further that the army had identified one key location of perpetrators of suicide bombings and had destroyed it.
He said 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 but today’s suicide bombings put a lie to the army general’s assertion.
“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.
He added that having won the war, there was the need to also win the peace, an effort, saying this required the collaboration of both military, other security agencies, and the people.
On the plan to reorganize the Operation Lafiya Dole in 2017, Buratai, stressed that the reorganization was now ongoing in spite of pockets of attacks and incidents of suicide bombing. With PM News