No terrorist-hoisted flag in Borno villages —Group •Army to launch ‘Operation Rescue Final’ —Buratai

THE North-East Coalition Against Terrorism (NECAT) has said reports in some sections of the media that Boko Haram terrorist group has hoisted their flag in some Borno villages, is untrue and a total misrepresentation of the true situation in the affected villages.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, NECAT national coordinator, Yusuf Mshelizza, called on Nigerians to avoid giving attention to the propaganda of the terrorists.

He commended the Nigerian Army for its globally acclaimed operations against the terrorists, while also appealing that the army leadership should not relent in  evolving innovative solutions to tackling terrorism.

“Strong consideration should be given to expanding the Motorcycle Brigade that was inaugurated  by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, so that troops can arrive in remote villages faster and in larger numbers,” he said.

He further said:  “We, however, observe recent reports that insinuated that the terrorists hoisted their black flag in Kubirivour, Boftari and Kuburmbalah villages, near Chibok,  in Borno State. This report caused such anguish and despondency among the populations of neighbouring communities, who became understandably agitated in fear that the terrorists were back. It is in the interest of these citizens that we deemed it necessary to set the record straight that no single village around Chibok is under the control of Boko Haram.

Also, the Nigerian Army will soon launch “Operation Rescue Final” aimed at rescuing all abducted persons.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, made this known on Wednesday, when the House of Representatives Committee on Army, led by its chairman, Rimande Shawulu, paid him an oversight visit.

Buratai thanked the committee for increased budget allocation to the army in 2016 and solicited more support to enable it to carry out its statutory functions.

On the issue of human rights, he promised that the army would continue to respect and not infringe on the rights of the people, while carrying out its duty.

Buratai, however, noted that whatever had happened in course of personnel performing their duty was not “deliberate.”

He said, to ensure respect for human rights, discipline and professionalism; the army launched its human right policy on Tuesday.

Earlier, Shawulu commended the army for the fight against insurgency and other security challenges nationwide in spite of the challenges of poor funding, inadequate equipment and state of their barracks.

The chairman, however, noted that because they were deployed in almost all the states, performing functions, which ordinarily were not theirs, there had been “friction” with the civilians.

“We are requesting for quicker responses to the issues and matters referred from the committee to you.

“This is important to assure members of the public that there is a channel that can lead to legal, constitutional and peaceful resolution of their complaints.

“This will ensure that people do not seek extra legal resolutions,” Shawulu said.

He assured that the committee would continue to support the army to enable it to discharge its duties effectively.

However, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has promised to rebuild churches and other structures destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents in Lassa, as he visited liberated communities in the Southern senatorial zone of the state.

“We will rebuild churches, private and public buildings destroyed by the insurgents,” Shettima said when he accessed the level of damage in Lassa, in Askira-Uba Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.

He expressed shock at the magnitude of destruction, saying government would commence the rehabilitation in a short while.

He also visited the Emir of Uba, Alhaji Ali Mamza and the Emir of Askira, Alhaji Abdullahi Askirama, where he pledged to rebuild the Askira-Uba Local Government Area secretariat and other structures damaged by the insurgents.