February 1, 2021
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The newly appointed service chiefs yesterday stormed Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on their first operational tour in the war against terror.

The new military heads arrived in the Air Taskforce of Operation Lafiya Dole before proceeding to the Theatre Command of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maimalari Cantonment.

The team included chief of defence staff, Major General Lucky Irabor; chief of army staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru; chief of naval staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, and chief of the air staff, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao.

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Led by the CDS, Irabor, the service chiefs went into a closed door meeting with the theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Faruk Yahaya, and other principal officers of the command shortly after they arrived.

They also visited the Governor Babagana Zulum before proceeding to pay homage to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi.

Speaking during their meeting with the state governor, the chief of defence staff (CDS), Maj Gen Irabor, assured the people of Borno and North East that the fight against Boko Haram insurgents will get a fresh boost.

The CDS said the service chiefs chose Borno as the first point of visit a week after taking over command because of the cries that have trailed the actions of officers, soldiers, airmen and ratings.

He further appealed for understanding and support from the North East people towards the troops so that socioeconomic activities can return to normal.

Irabor said, “So we have come to have details from the Theatre Commander and the various component commanders to see what we can do to ensure that the wounds being inflicted on the people by the Boko Haram terrorists is brought to an end.

“For this we crave the understanding of the entire people of Borno, the North East to give the troops a chance to do what is necessary in order for them to have a fresh breath of life for them to engage in socioeconomic activities.

“I want to thank you for the support you have given the troops. Sometimes some of the comments you made were harsh but of course, it is also understandable given that peace has not returned.

“Let me equally say that we appreciate every effort that you have made to commend the troops when you assess  their performance, especially recently when you eloquently eulogized the efforts of our troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.”

He added that peace and security is a collective responsibility of every citizen.

Responding, Governor Zulum, while congratulating the service chiefs on their appointment, said it was well deserved.

The governor urged the military to accept criticisms with a view to enhancing productivity in its operations, saying it is an established system which is subject to constructive criticism by well-meaning citizens.

He said, “For us to succeed in defeating Boko Haram terrorists, there should be effective and robust collaboration, coordination and cooperation among the various arms of the military especially, between the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force.

“Incidentally, the chief air staff and the chief of army staff are course mates. So we are not expecting anything less from you rather than effective coordination collaboration”.

The service chiefs were also at the Palace of the Shehu of Borno where they received the royal father’s blessing before returning to the Maimalari Cantonment.

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