The Bring Back Our Girls Campaign group in Nigeria has asked the military to designate independent journalists as part of its contingents within the Multi-national Joint Task Force, to ensure third party independently verified accounts of the war against insurgency and terrorism in the nation’s north-east.
This call formed part of the group’s second week brief on the monitoring initiative, which they said was set to help entrench accountability and improved performance in the on-going counter insurgency operations.
The campaigners, who said they fully support the on-going offensive which is expected to quell insurgency in Nigeria, also requested that the military publish the list of towns and communities still under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents, to enhance Nigerians’ appreciation of the reclamation victories made by the soldiers.
They had earlier expressed hopes that the heightened counter-terrorism offensive by the military against the terrorist group in Nigeria’s north-east, would lead to the rescue of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last year in Chibok in Borno State.
They observed that the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh had, not long after the girls were kidnapped, said that the military knew where the girls were.
The House of Representatives in Nigeria, on the other hand, had also commended the military on its recent victories that led to reclaiming of some communities in the north-east region previously under the control of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Lawmakers, who spoke on the matter, encouraged the troops to sustain the offensive and help ensure that other areas under the control of the insurgents would also be reclaimed.
The Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said in a statement that the Nigerian military backed by air strikes, recaptured the town of Baga in Borno State, north-east Nigeria from the Islamist group Boko Haram.
He also noted that Apart from the 5 anti aircraft guns and the rifles captured from the terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and 5 vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting as troops headed for Baga.
The Defence Spokesperson further noted that “similar exercise is being carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa and other localities where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations preceding the entry to Baga.
“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations”, he added, insisting that the “morale of troops remain high”.
The Nigerian Military also said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna State to the Air Force.