Elections: Group lauds troops for paying supreme price in North East

Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Army addressing the troops

Concerned Professionals’ Congress (CPC) has lauded troops for paying the supreme price that enabled the people of the North East, especially Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs), to vote freely in the recent Presidential and National Assembly elections despite Boko Haram’s threats and attacks.

An officer and three soldiers reportedly died while some suffered injuries when insurgents attempted to attack 27 Task Force Brigade in Bunu Yadi, Gujba, local government area of Yobe State but suffered heavy casualties, losing over 14 of its members during early morning explosions on February 16 while trying to wade through military blockade into Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The group’s chief media strategist, Mr Emeka Nwankpa, and the Northern Regional Rapporteur, Baba Al-Kasim, who briefed the press on Thursday in Bauchi paid tributes to the courageous military men who paid the supreme price.

According to CPC, the troops sacrificed their lives to enable the North East people in the three frontline Borno and Yobe States to defy Boko Haram and cast their votes.

It praised the gallant troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and other security agencies for their combat successes on February 13, and 16, 2019 leading to the killing of 11 insurgents in Madagali LGA of Adamawa State and the elimination of three key commanders of Boko Haram and their dislodgement at Warawara area of Borno metropolis and Gaidam in Yobe State.

He noted that the massive turnout of voters recorded during the elections in the region was significantly encouraged by the adequate security in place which complemented the commitment of the INEC officials, describing it as fulfilment of assurances of adequate security and safety before, during and after the polls to all Nigerians by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, in company of the Acting Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Adamu Mohammed, at a press briefing in Abuja a fortnight ago.

‘’Our hearts go to the families of the fallen heroes whose supreme sacrifice will never be forgotten because they died for good cause. We have confidence in the current military leadership led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin. His team has successfully changed the dynamics of the fight against terrorism.

“We should remind ourselves where we were before and where we are now and what has happened in-between. The people of Borno State know that our military has done very well in the last three and half years by dislodging Boko Haram to grant them peace”, Nwankpa said.

The group maintained that the adequate security enabled the people to come out to vote thereby further raising hope of a quicker return of normalcy to the zone and the overall deepening of democracy in every part of the country.

Commending the people for their resilience and urging the gallant troops to keep the guard in order to shore up voter turnout in the remaining elections, the group stressed the need to maintain the momentum towards sending a clear message to the insurgents that their days are numbered.

“Our people should continue to be alert and resilient while our professional troops remain resolute and decisive. They deserve our total support. It is in our collective national interest. National security has nothing to do with politics. It should not be politicized’’, Nwankpa said.

CPC commended the military for successfully check-mating threats to national stability through its existing operational strategies such as Op Whirl Punch along Abuja-Kaduna axis, Op Sharan Daji in North West of Zamfara, Kaduna, Birnin-Gwari axis, Op Safe Haven in Plateau-Bauchi, Op Whirl Stroke in Makurdi, Nasarawa and Taraba, Op Awatse in Lagos-Ogun, Op Clearance in Kogi and Op Delta Safe in the Niger Delta.

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