Boko Haram Terrorist's Ability To Confront Military Now Non-Existent – Minimah




Immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah (rtd) has declared that his actions of sanctioning hundreds of soldiers who reverted to deserting the force, running away from battle and playing the roles of fifth columnists in the wake of the operations to dislodge Boko Haram terrorists from Nigeria territories during ‘Operation Zaman Lafiya’, helped to inspire and rekindle the fighting spirit in the Nigerian military.


He said: “I am happy to state that the story is different today and the situation much better than I met it. Today, the country is more secured and stable.

The ability of Boko Haram terrorists to confront our security forces in open combat is virtually non-existent. Its leadership is in hiding, afraid for their lives and no longer intimidating the public with their propaganda videos.”

Recalling that the situation of the Nigerian Army when he assumed office on January 16, 2014, was one that called for concern, Minimah, who spoke at the pulling out ceremony in his honour said: “As I settled down to work, I was confronted with the decay in the service due to long periods of neglect the army had suffered.

Former Chief of Army,Staff. Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah at his pulled out ceremony at the Abacha Barrack in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

“As you would recall, my appointment came at a time our army and indeed the nation was going through one of its worst crises in our history.

The level of violence and insecurity unleashed on innocent citizens by Boko Haram terrorists had reached unprecedented heights. There was spate of bombings across the country. Attacks on soft targets such as civilians, and vulnerable communities were on the increase.

“The armed forces and security agencies appeared helpless to address the situation and sadly, the nation began to lose confidence in its army and military. The situation was no less grim in the North Central and North Western zones where armed bandits, cattle rustlers and ethnic militias held sway.

The nation seemed to be heading towards the much publicized disintegration many had predicted would occur in 2015.

“An assessment of the situation revealed that the Nigerian Army needed to harness its capabilities and optimize its capacity to deal with the challenges that bedevilled the nation.

I, therefore, prioritized efforts towards enhancing our overall operational readiness through the three pillars of improved training, modernization of equipment and enhancement of troop’s welfare. Above all, I inspired and rekindled fighting spirit in troops backed by military sanctions.

“Sensing imminent defeat, Boko Haram has resorted to targeting innocent and vulnerable civilians. I am convinced that this also would soon be a thing of the past as the days of terrorism and insurgency are numbered. In the same vein, I can confidently say that the security threats in the North Central and North Western zones have been sufficiently addressed.”

Threat of terrorism rapidly expanding

Warning that the threat of terrorism is rapidly expanding across the globe and demands the collective action of all nations, Gen. Minimah said: “Boko Haram may have its greatest impact in Nigeria but its ability to hurt other nation’s interests no matter the distance, is real.

In the last decade, we have seen the extent to which people who habour evil against their fellow humans can go to inflict pain and death on innocent people.


“This is the time for all to rise in unison to not only condemn but take actions against the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal elements in order to foster peace and security in our society.

Perhaps, if we all stood against the terrorists at the onset through public condemnation of their activities and active collaboration with the military to confront them rather than use it as a tool to advance sectional, tribal, religious and political interests, we would not have been where we found ourselves today.

We must, therefore, all unite and support our government and security forces to tackle the current security challenges.”

Thanks media

While thanking the media for its support in the fight against insurgency, Minimah said: “Though our relationship was not always smooth, due to what we perceived to be media insensitivity to our operations and national security, I am glad to note the change in attitude especially when the tide of war changed in favour of our forces in the field.

“While inviting the Nigerian media to be an all-weather ally of our armed forces, I would implore them to always exercise caution and restraint when reporting on national security issues.

The call is for the media not to promote the activities of terrorists over those of the security forces or join some foreign adversarial media to castigate or malign our troops who sacrifice their lives to bring peace, stability, security and development to our nation, as no foreign national can love Nigeria more than Nigerians.”

On his advice for the nation, Minimah said: “A nation is as strong as its armed forces and the strength of the armed forces is in the quality of the individual soldier and his fighting spirit.

Fighting spirit imbues him with confidence to stand up to the adversary rather than flee like we witnessed in the recent past; while adequate attention to his welfare demonstrates his nation’s commitment to his well-being and motivates him to sacrifice everything including his life; discipline and sanctions confines him within the military laws.

“For long, our nation has toyed with the health and vitality of its military. This is the time for our country to reinvigorate the armed forces by investing in the armed forces.

“Government must provide the necessary resources and right political environment to recruit, train, equip, kit and remunerate our servicemen. We all have a role to play to make our armed forces great again.

“Sometime, all it takes is a simple thank you and encouraging words to the men and women who watch over our freedom and liberty. Never; Never Again’ should we allow ourselves to walk this path. Never Again.” (Vanguard)

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