By Duku Joel, Maiduguri
Defence Minister Bashir Magashi on Sunday challenged troops to step up the fight against terrorists by becoming more daring and should not be afraid of “the bullet.”
Magashi, a retired Brig.-Gen. said what should be on the minds of the troops while battling insurgents should be to secure the country.
He spoke during a morale-boosting visit to the troops in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital; with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt. Gen. Lucky Irabor, and service chiefs.
Also on Sunday, Army spokesman Brig.- Gen. Mohammed Yerima announced the arrest of one Modu Ari, for providing Boko Haram terrorists with vital information to assist their attack on troops at Kamuya on the border of Borno and Yobe states.
Addressing the troops at the Theatre Command Headquarters in Maiduguri, Magashi said: “You should not be afraid of the bullet because it can even meet you in the house if it means you dying by it.
“But if you are not meant to die by the bullet, it will never kill you even at the heart of a war.”
The minister assured them of the government’s readiness to improve on their welfare.
Theatre Commander, Maj. Gen. Farouq Yahaya, lauded the sustained commitment shown to the operations of the Theatre by the minister, the chief of defence staff and the service chiefs.
Stressing that the troops were grateful for the minister’s visit, he recalled that immediately after their appointments, Irabor led the service chiefs to visit the Theatre Command headquarters.
Yahaya explained that apart from collective tours, the service chiefs also visited individually to ensure smooth operations.
The minister and his team held a meeting with component commanders.
Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have come under heavy attacks, the most recent being in Damasak.
Army Spokesman Gen. Yerima in a statement, said: “Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole arrested suspected Boko Haram informant whose spying activities and that of his accomplices were responsible for the attacks on troops position by terrorists in Kamuya, Yobe State.
“The informant who was identified as Modu Ari was apprehended by troops of 27 Task Force Bridge.
“On interrogation, he confessed to having revealed troops’ movements and position to his Boko Haram collaborators. Investigation is however ongoing to unravel the network of local informants whose nefarious activities have endangered troops on clearance operations around the fringes of Timbuktu Triangle.
“The unfortunate sabotage of troops movement by Ari and his accomplices made it possible for the terrorists to attack the rear element of troops on patrol. Though the attack was swiftly repelled by troops from the Tactical Headquarters of 27 Task Force Brigade and Army Super Camp 3 Buratai, own troops suffered some casualties.
“In spite of the setback, the Chief of Army Staff has encouraged troops of Operation Tura Takaibango to keep their fighting spirit up and to remain dedicated in the effort to flush out the remnants of the terrorists as quickly as possible. He charged them not to relent even in the face of gross unpatriotic acts of some locals who are snitching on their movements and positions.”
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