Ending terrorism requires support of all Nigerians —Buratai

CHIEF of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Yusuf Buratai, on Monday, said the support of every Nigerian was key to ending terrorism in the country.

He said the military was on its own, working to wipe out the remnants of Boko Haram, while describing the death of a top military officer, Abu Ali, at an offensive by Boko Haram as “loss that cannot be in vain.”

Buratai spoke in Abuja, at a seminar on insurgency, adding that “it is a challenge for all of us to ensure that the fight against insurgency receives total support from everybody.”

The army chief noted that caution should be applied in handling anything that had to do with the army in particular.

“We need to work together and synergise together. Insurgency is a situation whereby the insurgents have melted into the society, and we have some elements within the society that are still supporting them.

“Defence and security is an issue that should be the concern of everybody. It is an issue that should not be discussed as a political issue; it must be discussed with caution and high sense of patriotism.

“Welfare of our troops is key, so we call on the Nigerian press to take note that if they are Nigerians, they should not smear the military,” he said.

Also speaking, John Peter Pham, who is the Director of African Centre for Atlantic Council, noted that there were few relationships in Africa that were strategically important to the United States government.

“So part of these reasons is why we have the interest and the opportunity to see what is being accomplished and what further needs to be done,” he said.

He went further by saying “it is important that our two sides get the opportunity to speak and understand better the pressures, the demands and requirements of each side.

“That is what our partnership is about, open communications. So I’m very privileged to be able to come to Nigeria, building the partnership we need for international security in the 21st century,” he said.