General Lucky Irabor, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), has declared that there is no local government area in Nigeria that is under the control of Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists.
Gen. Irabor made this declaration at the 21st Century Chronicle Roundtable with the theme: “Going for Broke: Fighting Insecurity in Nigeria”, in Abuja on Wednesday, February 23.
The CDS recalled that state of emergency was imposed on a number of local governments in the North East in the past, especially in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
According to the defence chief, the measure taken at that time was necessary as the country had protocol outlined to manage such crisis.
“Looking at these issues, the military had to emplace measures by way of crafting operations to suit peculiarities of every geopolitical zone.
“We have Operation Lafiya Dole now Hadin Kai in the North East, Hadarin Daji in the North West and different operations in the North Central.
“There have been recovery of space. At the peak of insurgency, 14 local government areas especially in Borno were under the control of Boko Haram but currently there is non under their control.
“Equally in Yobe, almost four local governments were under the control of Boko Haram as well as in Adamawa but currently, Boko Haram is not in control of any local government.
“We have recovered arms and ammunitions as well as arrests and surrender of Boko Haram terrorists,” he said.
The 4 star general said the military had absorbed a good number of Civilian Joint Task Force and deployed them to relevant areas.
He said that 80 per cent of the armed forces personnel were currently deployed across the 36 states of the federation providing security and performing police duties.
According to Gen. Irabor, that is the more reason he joined those advocating community policing.
“Yes there is a community policing framework currently, but it has to be escalated.
“The NPF is already working on this to see how they could boost community policing mechanisms beyond what it is right now.
“Nigerians need to understand the basis of our involvement and the basis are internal confrontations.
“Of course, our constitution mandates the armed forces to play a supporting role to the civil authority, in this case the Police, in circumstances that we have found ourselves.
“The manifestation of these insecurities have assumed such a proportion that the military will be at the forefront of addressing them,” he said.
The defence chief also said the security challenges in the country had been politicised.
According to him, the politicisation of military approach became so profound that the good intentions of the military were skewed.
Gen. Irabor blamed the insecurity in the country on the Libyan crisis, which according to him, led to free flow of arms through Nigeria’s porous borders.
The CDS called for allocation of more resources to defence and security sector to meet the needs of the military.
Gen. Irabor said Nigeria look inward for its military hardware to gradually replace imported ones.