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Boko Haram: Buratai Tasks Successor At MNJTF On Rescue Of Chibok Girls

Chief of Army Staff and outgoing head of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Major-General Tukur Buratai (left) with the new head of the MNJTF, Major-General Iliya Abbah, during a handover ceremony in Abuja yesterday.

Chief of Army Staff and outgoing head of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Major-General Tukur Buratai (left) with the new head of the MNJTF, Major-General Iliya Abbah, during a handover ceremony in Abuja yesterday.

THE Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Yusuf Buratai has appointed another Infantry General to take over Command of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) formed by member countries of the Lake Chad Basin to check the menace of Boko Haram insurgents.

At the handing over ceremony performed at the Army Headquarters yesterday in Abuja, Buratai told his successor, Major General Iliyasu Isah, to ensure the liberation of all territories held by insurgents and restore normalcy in the North East and the sub-region as a whole.

He reiterated the core mandates of the MNJTF, noting that they comprise conduct of security operations in the affected areas of the sub-region, ensuring the elimination of the terrorists, rescuing of kidnapped individuals, including the Chibok girls and the liberation of held terrorist communities.

He said as the first Commandant of the sub-regional body, he was aware that “the Task Force has commenced operation; the headquarters is established; the staff officers are there and all the necessary structures needed for take off are also in place.”

He added: “Many multinational organisations and corporations have pledged to assist the Task Force — the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), United Kingdom (UK), European Union and some other regional organisations. Nigeria donated the sum of $21 million (about N4.7 billion) for the take off of the Task Force and the others, EU, UK have all set aside funds given to the AU to be given to the Task Force to enhance the operations.”

Abbah, in his response, said that save for the exigency of the situation, he wished he had received the handover at the war front where he would be operating.

“I have three basic things I need to be in place to carry out this mandate. They are capacity building, that is referring to robust intelligence, logistics and proper structures for administration. I assure you that when we hit the ground running, the story will be different,” he added.

Abbah said operating amongst Francophone speaking nations requires discretion. He noted: “The use of diplomacy would not be thrown away but as an infantry soldier I know that the language of war is the same all over the world. I would use my experience here.

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