It was a narrow escape for Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS ), Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai on Saturday as his convoy was ambushed by suspected Boko Haram gunmen while going from Maiduguri to Dikwa, near the border with Cameroon.
Colonel Sani usman, in a statement narrating the encounter said the the leading column of the convoy was ambushed by suspected Boko Haram terrorists at Faljari village between Mafa and Dikwa.
According to him, the terrorists encountered an overwhelming fire power from the troops in which 10 of them were killed. The troops captured five terrorists.
“During the encounter, sadly, we lost a soldier, while an officer andfour soldiers sustained gun shot wounds. The arrested terrorists have been sent for interrogation while the remains of the gallant soldier and the wounded soldiers were evacuated back to Maiduguri.
“The wounded soldiers are stable and responding to treatment at 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services. At Dikwa, the COAS interacted with a mammoth crowd of internally displaced persons where he assured them of their safety,” said Usman.
He added that General Buratai thereafter addressed some elements of 112 Battalion and he told them that the Boko Haram terrorists should not have any freedom of action or movement within their area of responsibility.
The 140km journey, said to be a dangerous trip, was to serve as a morale booster to the troops fighting Boko Haram terrorists with Buratai visiting them in the frontline of their operations.
The COAS visited troops at Mafa, Dikwa and Logomani, in Borno State, Sani
Usman, public relations officer of the Nigerian Army said.
At 112 Battalion at Mafa, the COAS commended the troops and enjoined them to continue to be hardworking and dedicated.
At Logomani, where troops of 7 Division Strike Group where refitting, Usman said the COAS informed them that Nigerians are very proud of them.
Usman recalled that the unit recaptured Dikwa and now heading to the next objective. He also said that he was adequately briefed by the GOC 7 Div about their problem.
According to Usman, the COAS also delivered President Buhari’s goodwill message.
“One interesting aspect of the visit was that Nigerian Air Force led by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar gave air cover and conducted armed air recconnaissance on the general area.
While the IDPS were excited with presence of the COAS , troops at various locations were equally in high spirit and good to go.
“The troops indicated their readiness to carry out assigned tasks,” Usman said.