In an interview with newsmen shortly after a routine visit to troops in Betta, near Sambisa forest, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major-General Yushau Abubakar, said the military will capture Sambisa forest, the hideout of the Boko Haram terrorists, before the December presidential deadline.
“We have achieved a lot and we are still doing much, but you know that the job is still there until we finish it. We are very close to Sambisa, we must enter and capture the forest before the Presidential deadline.”
“Our major concern is that we must fight Boko Haram to a standstill and ensure that we eliminate them,” he said.
“I am happy that we are progressing very well, we have not reached the promised land but we are making progress. We are making efforts to clear all Boko Haram terrorists camps.”
Abubakar said a number of Boko Haram terrorists had been taken into custody after they surrendered their weapons.
“For those surrendering we have shown all the human side of the military to them, we are receiving them and some of them are very impressed by what they are seeing.
“We are screening and de-radicalising them for eventual re-integration back to society.”
Abubakar said his visit was based on a directive by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) that they have to be close to the troops.
“We must be able to know what they are doing, guide them, look at their challenges, move with them and encourage them to fight the war. When I addressed the officers that was exactly the message I gave them.”