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60 % of terrorists now are not Nigerians –– Buratai



The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday said that judging by the current activities of the Boko Haram terrorists, 60 per cent of them are not Nigerians.

Buratai said this in Maiduguri when he received the Special
Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Dr. Mohammed Ibn
Chambas, at the headquarters of the Theatre Command of
Operation Lafiya Dole at the Maimalari Cantonment.

“Your Excellency, I want to bring to your attention that while the
Boko Haram (insurgency) can be said to have started in Nigeria,
by and large as at today, I can say that almost 60 per cent of
the insurgents are from our neighbouring countries.

“You can see that almost all of the recently surrendered insurgents are not Nigerians.

“This is a challenge that impacts more on the Nigerian side
than the other countries. But by and large, our military is up to
the task and we will continue to do our best to ensure that our
country is secured,’’ Buratai said.

He said that there was no doubt that the terrorists had been
defeated but added that troops would continue with their
operations until the insurgents finally surrender.

The army chief thanked the UN for identifying with Nigeria in its
efforts to rout-out the terrorists and solicited additional support from the world body.

Speaking earlier, Dr Chambas said that his visit was an
expression of the UN’s identification with Nigeria in the fight
against Boko Haram and efforts to restore peace to the North-
East region.

He restated the UN’s condemnation of the terrorists’ group,
adding “we are behind the Federal Government’’ in its efforts to
defeat the terrorists.

Chambas noted that the immediate consequence of the
insurgency was the “huge humanitarian crisis’’ in the North-East
and assured him that the UN had stepped up efforts to
address it.

He called on the international community and donor agencies to
come to the aid of Nigeria in addressing the crisis.

He said that Nigeria had always been involved in the UN
peacekeeping missions across the world.

The UN representative used the occasion to commiserate with
the Federal Government, the Nigerian Army and families of late
Lt. Col. Muhammad Abu-Ali, who along with six other soldiers
were killed by the insurgents on Nov. 4.

He said that their sacrifices and those of others who had died
in the course of the war would not be in vain as Nigeria would
be supported to win the war

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