By IBRAHIM DAHIRU DANFULANI
Some years back, Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State in particular was a no go area for people even as many inhabitants in the area had deserted it due to the criminal activities of the dread Boko Haram insurgents.
But as God Almighty have it, due to the timely intervention of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, under the able leadership of a committed Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai, one may not be wrong to say, today Gwoza parts of the Northeast is a beehive of activities, as many inhabitants have been returning to Gwoza which in the past, was under the grip of the terrorists.
That is not all, most importantly, the political will of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari as well as, supports to the Nigerian Military particular has significantly helped in degrading the Boko Haram insurgents in Gwoza town and the Northeast in general.
Similarly, the enormous cooperation and humanitarian-civil military relations intervention projects of the Nigerian Army in particular has really strengthen the mutually beneficial and respectful relationships between the security forces and residents of Gwoza and indeed the North East in general thereby consolidating on the trust and cooperation of the locals in the area of the war against the dreaded Boko Haram Terrorists.
To show still how committed troops of the Nigerian Army are in the war against the insurgency in Nigeria particularly in Gwoza, Lt Gen Buratai has during a courtesy visit to His Royal Highness, the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Mustafa Mohammed Shehu Idris Timta to condole him over the loss of his father, said – “I am here for the Nigerian Army Medal Parade and Nigerian Army Social activities (WASA) 2019. “
Buratai added, – “The parade is usually organized to honour our gallant officers and soldiers who have participated in Operation Lafiya Dole and have done exceptionally well, shown uncommon courage, Valor and bravery in the efforts to secure our beloved country from terrorists and this time around, we brought it the two important events to Gwoza, in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State 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 as they have been flushed out since and peace has returned.”
According to Gen Buratai, “Clearly now the federal government of Nigeria is in firm control of every territory of our country and we are here to conduct this medal parade to honor our officers and soldiers who have been working tirelessly and patriotically in order to keep our country secure and united.”
Besides, Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai, never hesitate in charging Army personnel particularly troops of Operation Lafiya Dole to redidicate themselves in the war against terrorism, insurgency, banditry and all forms of emerging security threats in Nigeria.
For instance, while addressing troops of 144 Task Force Battalion deployed at Madagali in Adamawa State, he charged troops not to give terrorists any breathing space.
To ensure effectiveness and commitment of troops in the operational arenas, Gen Buratai never joke with the welfare of his soldiers as he assured the troops that, – The authorities would provide all the needed supports to enable them prosecute the war against insurgency and other criminal activities in the country effectively.
Testifying to the efforts been made in the war against insurgents particularly in Gwoza town, an indigine of Gwoza town who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Army Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume in his goodwill message at the presentation of medals to some Operation Lafiya Dole troops held in Gwoza township in Gwoza Local Governemt Area of Borno state recalled that, “Just few years ago if any one asked you to come to Gwoza, you would think that person does not like you because then, it was completely destroyed and dangerous but with the help of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies Gwoza is rescued as well as, with the doggedness and hard work of our governor he has helped Gwoza from ground zero to what you see it today in the areas of infrastructural development.”
“On behalf of Gwoza people we want to thank the Nigerian Army and other security agencies. We will continue to pray for you to get more medals and we will do everything possible to give that supports.”
That is not all, the Emir of Gwoza had also during Buratai’s condolence visit on him, testified to the efforts and commitment of the Nigerian Army in sustaining peace and protection of lives and properties of Gwoza people, saying that, “The presence of Nigerian Army personnel in the emirate gives them confidence to sleep with their two eyes close”.
According to him, “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 our domains and stay with our people.
He further said, “I must confess that the officers that the Army send here are giving us confidence, they are doing a very good job, they are going anywhere on patrols including the hitherto dreaded Sambisa forest, the issue of insurgency is not a one man affair, but requires everybody’s attention, they were defeated, they were sent packing and they were degraded badly, that they had to go on the run. Initially, we are the ones running but now they are the ones running”.
The Emir concluded by saying that, “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 and these make it difficult for the security agencies and I urged all to support them to do much more”.