By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has visited His Royal Highness, the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Mohammed Shehu Idris Timta to condole him over the loss of his father, who was his predecessor.
During the visit on Sunday December 29, 2019, he said that he was there to condole him as well as witness the Nigerian Army Medal Parade.
“I am here for Nigerian Army Medal Parade. The parade is usually organized to honour our gallant officers and soldiers who have participated in Operation Lafiya Dole and this time around, we brought it to Gwoza and it’s quite symbolic the misadventures of the Boko Haram terrorists that were here sometime, and attempted to declare it their headquarters this is now history they have been flushed out and peace has returned.
” For us to further consolidate on this is to say that the federal government is in firm control of every territory of our country and we are here to condole this medal parade to honor our officers and soldiers who have been sacrificing their time and their blood and indeed their energy in other to keep our country secure and united.
“Apart from the medal parade, we will use this opportunity to turn off the year 2019 and usher in the year 2020 by conducting our traditional cultural activities which we all know as the Nigerian Army Social Activities popularly know as WASA.
He then condoled the Emir of Gwoza and prayed for Aljannatu Firdaus to be the final abode of the Emir’s late father, while describing it as a loss to the entire people of Gwoza, Borno State and Nigeria at large.
In his response, Emir of Gwoza said that the presence of Nigerian Army personnel in the emirate gives them confidence to reside there.
“I have been saying if Boko Haram want to die, they should come to Gwoza.
Honestly the action of the Nigerian military motivated me and most of us to come back to my domain and stay with my people.
“I must confess that the officers that the Army send here are giving us confidence they are are doing a very nice job, they are going anywhere even the Sambisa itself,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that the issue of insurgency is not a one man affair, but requires everybody’s attention.
“Yes they were defeated, they were sent packing and they were lost badly, that they had to go on the run. Initially, we are the ones running but now they are the ones running, even three days back,” he said.
He hailed the Nigerian Army for community service rendered to boost military/civil relationship in the emirate.
“I praise our gallant officers here in Gwoza. They have cleared my own farm house land in Jaji. I most commend the Nigerian army because of the relationship with them and my people is very cordial, we are working as a family.
“Initially, Gwoza is the headquarters of Boko Haram because of the terrain of this place, we are in the middle of the Sambisa Forest in the Western part, the Mandara Mountain, the hidden area of the Boko Haram in the Eastern part.
“Definitely they have been degraded that they will not be able to fight even our hunters with the complete support of the Nigerian military,” he said.
The Emir advised the Army to engage local hunters who know the terrain to guide them in their patrols.
” But we need more because the terrain of the mountain cannot be succeeded without an indigenous person that will show the hidden places.
” In the mountain, there are many caves, the Nigerian military alone cannot be able to achieve this because they don’t know the terrain but I believe if one of the Nigerian Army will know this terrain, Boko will have become a thing of history,” he advised.