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.
He said, “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.”
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.