From Mustapha Isah Kwaru Maiduguri
Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, representing Southern Borno, Senator Abubakar Kyari yesterday disagreed with Defence Minister, Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali over the liberation of all 27 local governments areas of the state from the Boko Haram insurgents.
The duo spoke at a one day North- East special edition of Town Hall meeting for the military and security agencies held in Maiduguri.
The defence minister declared that all the 21 local government areas of Borno state, which were hitherto held by the insurgents were liberated.
He stated this while enumerating the achievements recorded by the Nigerian Armed Forces in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations.
“Let me make it clear that presently no single Nigerian territory is under the control of Boko Haram terrorists. For instance, before the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari, 21 of the 27 local councils of Borno state were under the total control of the insurgents. But today, they are all liberated”.
“Similarly, under this period, 30,000 persons which were initially held by the terrorists have been rescued. The recent changes in the leadership of Operation Lafiya Dole command has boosted the morale of the troops, rooting out terrorists from their various hideouts inside Sambisa forests”, Dan-Ali said.
“Similarly, the improvement in the welfare of the troops, comprising allowances, provision of logistics, regular promotions, acquiring modern and sophisticated weapons, among others have enhanced the combat capacity of the armed forces against Boko Haram terrorists”.
“The defence ministry has also engaged various professionals for the training and re-training of troops on modern warfare”, he added.
However, in his remarks, Senator Kyari dismissed the minister’s remarks, saying Marte local government which under his constituency, is yet to be liberated from the insurgents.
According to him, though the Nigerian army succeeded in deciminating the insurgents, more efforts are needed to ensure the liberation of Marte local government.
Kyari also hinted that normal socio-economic activities are to normalcy in the areas recaptured from the militants following series of restrictions by the security forces.
He therefore advocated for the review of movements of restrictions placed on the liberated areas so that residents can have a better life.