FILE - Nigerian army chief Lt. Gen. KTJ Minimah, during a function in Lagos, Feb. 19, 2015.
FILE - Nigerian army chief Lt. Gen. KTJ Minimah, during a function in Lagos, Feb. 19, 2015.

Nigeria’s chief of army staff embarked on a morale boosting visit to troops fighting Islamist group Boko Haram on the frontlines in Borno and Adamawa States.

Lieutenant General Kenneth TJ Minimah urged troops to be dedicated and disciplined, and to continue to show professionalism as they work to destroy Boko Haram camps and hideouts. The troops have seized of weapons, ammunitions and vehicles. They have also freed people kidnapped by the militant group.

A Military spokesman, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman says the army chief praised the troops for their valor, courage and bravery.

“The chief of army staff used the opportunity to on behalf of the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army and indeed Nigerians to commend them…They realized that the world is with them, the Nigerian society is with them. So it brought about renewed vigor and energy. It was overwhelming really,” said Usman.

The army chief’s visit came after the army established military command and control centers in Maiduguri and Yola.

“He went there to see things for himself and also went to the frontlines, precisely, Pulka, Gwoza and Mubi, to interact with the troops and wish them well. Principally, he also commended their effort for turning the tide against Boko Haram terrorists,” said Usman.

He added that a meeting between Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and other regional leaders will help in the fight.

“Certainly it is going to help tremendously because…There is a collective determined kind of resolve to deal decisively against Boko Haram terrorists. So, definitely it is going to impact positively on the fight against terrorism and insurgency, not only in Nigeria, but also in the sub-region,” he said.

Some Nigerians credit the military’s recent successes to newly acquired weapons.

But, Usman declined to comment.

“At the appropriate time, we will tell you what motivates the troops to fight back and reclaim all the lost territories. And we have promised all Nigerians and the world never again will any terrorists would be allowed to hold ground,” said Usman.

He also says the army seeks more cooperation and information from civilians to help in the fight against the militants. 

Clottey interview with Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman spokesman for Nigeria's army 1834356