The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Div. of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Isidore Edet says the division arrests Boko Haram insurgents on a daily basis.
He made the assertion in Lagos on Sunday at the inter-denominational service organised to commemorate the Nigerian Army Celebration Day at Saint Charles Lwanga Catholic Church, Ikeja Cantonment.
“Almost on a daily basis, we arrest Boko Haram members that flee into Lagos just like they flee to other places.
“They have seen that the war is being won so they are running, so the army in conjunction with other security agencies arrest them almost on a daily basis.
“Initially they deny when we ask them questions, but when we probe further, they start revealing where they fought, how they killed soldiers, how they detonated bombs in post office, Maiduguri and so on.
“By this, we do what we need to do by sending them to the higher authorities to do what the laws and the constitution of Nigeria says it will do with them,’’ he said.
The GOC said the officers and soldiers in the army should be thankful to God for witnessing another army celebration day, adding that many colleagues had died during the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
“Many of our colleagues have died in this war against Boko Haram insurgents. Some of them, we have seen their graves and some, we did not see.
“So, we have every reason for those that are still alive to thank God for giving us victory against Boko Haram insurgents.
“So many others are amputated; some are even using crutches because they fought against Boko Haram insurgents so that we would have one country.
“About a year ago, we were object of public ridicule, those of us in uniforms, if we talk, the public will say go and fight Boko Haram insurgents and stop making noise.
“But we thank today that the Almighty God who trained our hands for war has taken the shame away.
“And now Nigerians are proud of us again as their soldiers saying we are at the front line,’’ he said.
The GOC said that terrorism and the insurgency of Boko Haram had taught everyone to be security conscious, adding that security was everybody’s business.
The GOC on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai wished every soldiers and officers of the army a good celebration of the day.
“The marking of this day is very important. The COAS wants us to also thank God for giving us victory over Boko Haram and the enemies of this country.
“While thanking God for giving us victory, we should not also let down our guards because Boko Haram insurgents have not given up, so we should always be at alert,’’ he said.
He also warned soldiers to be careful of what they say in public and the company they keep, adding that their loyalty was to the president and COAS.
The Chaplain, Lt.-Col. Gwom Mairiga, who spoke on divine intervention during the service, said that the soldiers and the country needed divine intervention to win at all times.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inter-denominational service was attended by senior officers, officers and soldiers in the army.
NAN also recalled that a special Juma’at prayer was conducted on July 1 as part of activities to commemorate the Nigerian Army Day Celebration.