THE Defence Headquarters, DHQ, on Sunday, February 7, said Boko Haram had been knocked down in Borno State and other parts of the Northeast, leaving Sambisa Forest, about 80 kilometres swathe of thick bush in Borno as the only fighting ground.
The military said Sambisa remained the sect’s stronghold and once the battle for Sambisa is over, Boko Haram would become a thing of the past.
The force, however, pleaded for support saying every Nigerian should join the military in fighting the war against Boko Haram insurgents.
Rabe Abubakar, a brigadier-general and director of Defence Information, said this in an interview with The Nation newspaper against the backdrop of the allegation by Baba Kaka Garbai, senator representing Borno Central, who claimed that half of Borno State was still being occupied by Boko Haram.
Abubakar said: “The situation is clear on how much we have decimated Boko Haram. Technically, we have knocked down these insurgents.
“The insurgents have been beaten and I stand by what I said. I can beat my chest that the insurgents have been decimated.
“All these attacks on soft targets do not mean that Boko Haram insurgents are occupying any territory. They are carrying out these attacks in order to remain relevant. The insurgents are pretending to be alive when in reality they have lost out.
“The attacks on soft targets by the insurgents do not translate to occupation of territories or some parts of Borno State or the North-East.
“The insurgents’ attacks on soft targets are not peculiar to Nigeria. These terrorists do so in the U.S. France, Britain, and many countries. We are doing our best to protect these soft targets.”
Abubakar said: “What is left is Sambisa Forest. That is the last battle ground with the insurgents.
“This Forest is about 80kilometres but I believe very soon, we will overrun the Forest and rout out the insurgents. We will certainly send them packing from the Sambisa Forest.”
“For anyone to make a claim that half of Borno State is under the insurgents is not helping the military. It is just to get media attention. We have decimated Boko Haram. This is the reality.
“We want to appeal to Nigerians to appreciate and support our gallant troops to maintain the high rate of success we have achieved in the war against the insurgents.
“This is a Nigerian war versus the insurgents. Boko Haram is a national catastrophe which requires the support of all to address. Every Nigerian must be seen to be contributing morally to the war against these insurgents. “
— Feb 8, 2016 @ 12:30 GMT