The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the Nigerian Army is getting set to launch “Operation Fireball” in a final onslaught on Boko Haram insurgents in North East.
Buratai made this known in hs address at the just concluded Chief of Army Staff Combined Conference in Maiduguri.
“We are approaching a crucial phase in our Counter Terrorism/Counter Operations in the North East with the imminent commencement of Operation Fireball.
“My recent directive on the relocation of AHQ DATOPS and AHQ DOAL to the North East Theatre is geared towards ensuring that AHQ provides maximum support to the Operation. Additionally, I issued the COAS Special Order 1 specifically so that all troops will switch over to a War Mode.
“This is necessary for the final destruction of the criminal insurgents. I am happy to note that this has been disseminated to all officers and men in the Theatre.
“I want courageous and exemplary leadership to be displayed at all levels during the Operation as highlighted during one of the panel discussions at this Conference. Gentlemen, all hands must be on deck. No excuses will be tolerated whatsoever in the accomplishment of the set objectives of Operation Fireball,” Buratai said.
The COAS noted that the conference had afforded the army the opportunity to appraise ongoing operations in different parts of the country such as the operations against the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists, armed banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism and militancy, among other violent crimes.
He observed that the assessment so far showed that significant progress had been made by the Nigerian Army in addressing the myriad security challenges confronting the nation.
Buratai charge field commanders not to rest on their oars, and that the need to maintain a positive disposition and attitude towards improving the current operational successes.
“You must sustain the tempo of operations across the various theatres of operation in order to create the enabling environment for socio-economic activities to thrive in our dear country…
“As we gradually approach the end of the year, the Nigerian Army will continue to be responsive in the performance of its Constitutional roles. As you go back to your various formations, I want you to be constantly conscious of the onerous responsibility that we are saddled with in providing security and ensuring the stability of our dear Nation.
” Accordingly, we must be decisive and consistent in all our actions. As I mentioned during my Opening Address, the forthcoming Ondo State Governorship Election provides us yet another opportunity to display the high level of professionalism which the Nigerian Army is well known for. Similar to the Edo State Elections, we must be apolitical, above board and professional in all our actions.
“Going forward, this posture must be reflected in all our operations and activities to retain the admiration and respect of the citizenry,” the COAS stressed.
He expressed gratitude to Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari for his support to the Army, and pledged the unflinching loyalty and commitment of the Army to the defence of democracy.
“I wish to also commend all participants for your thought-provoking contributions during the discussion sessions, which has led to far-reaching decisions. I particularly wish to congratulate the COPP(A) and the TC OPLD as well as members of both the Central and Local Organising Committees for this Conference for a highly successful event.
“On this note, it is my pleasure to declare the Chief of Army Staff’s Combined First, Second and Third Quarters 2020 Conference closed,” Buratai concluded.