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5630 Terrorists Surrender, Weapons Recovered In Lake Chad, Says Nigeria Army Chief

Addressing the frontline troops, COAS Lagbaja highlighted the substantial progress made over the last four months, emphasising the positive peace indicators through the mass recovery of equipment and insurgents' surrender. 

Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), has commended the efforts of Nigerian troops in the Lake Chad region, marking a “significant improvement” in regional security. 

During a visit to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, North East Nigeria, on Monday, Lagbaja celebrated the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival with soldiers recuperating from injuries sustained in Operation Hadin Kai. He expressed his admiration for their bravery and resilience.

Addressing the frontline troops, Lagbaja highlighted the substantial progress made over the last four months, emphasising the positive peace indicators through the mass recovery of equipment and insurgents’ surrender. 

“A total of 963 individuals were successfully rescued from insurgent captivity, “ the army chief said. “Additionally, 5,630 insurgents, including a key figure – Muhammed Usman, the media operations controller for Abu Ali, an ISWAP  sub-commander – surrendered to Nigerian forces. Since January, the military has neutralised 282 insurgents.” HumAngle cannot independently verify these claims. 

Furthermore, he said troops at the Operation Hadin Kai Theater Command in Maiduguri have recovered and refurbished over 50 high-calibre weapons previously seized by insurgents. 

“This year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration is particularly significant as it comes just six days before I complete my first year as Chief of Army Staff,” General Lagbaja said. “It is a period to reflect on the past year and show gratitude for the relative peace we have restored to most parts of our country. Our troops have displayed uncommon courage and faith in defending our dear country.”

Lagbaja underscored the recoveries and surrenders as signs of peace returning to the region. “The Nigerian troops have shown exceptional bravery and dedication, and their sacrifices, both seen and unseen, are the bedrock of our nation’s security and prosperity,” he remarked. 

Rusty artillery shells lined up on ground with a military vehicle and motorcycles in the background.
Some of the weapons recovered from Boko Haram terrorists. Photo credit: Abdulkareem Haruna/HumAngle

The COAS also acknowledged the country’s economic challenges and their impact on the scale of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebrations. 

“As we commemorate this ‘Feast of Sacrifice,’ I enjoin Nigerian Army personnel and their families to renew their commitment to personal sacrifice for the growth and development of our great country.”

“The Nigerian Army looks forward to more formidable partnerships and continuous support from the public,” he added.

A green artillery cannon on display outdoors with motorcycles and trees in the background.
More weapons were recovered from Boko Haram terrorists and refurbished by troops of the Nigerian military. Photo credit: Abdulkareem Haruna/HumAngle

Major General Wahidi Shuaibu, Theater Commander of the Joint Task Force (Northeast) Operation Hadin Kai, echoed these sentiments in his welcome speech, emphasising the operational successes achieved during the dry season offensive phase. 

“The displayed items highlighted the efficiency of our operational engagements through the doggedness and bravery of the troops,” Shuaibu said. “The rescued individuals surrendered women and children, neutralised JAS/ISWAP fighters, and captured/recovered equipment and platforms are significant representations of the sacrifices of our gallant troops.”

Shuaibu pointed out that the presence of wounded soldiers at the luncheon was a testament to their sacrifices. “To the Wounded in Action, you have our utmost respect and commitment to ensuring your full recovery,” he assured. “We also pray for the souls of those who paid the supreme price during various operations.”

The event also showcased the initiative of Affordable Home Ownership Option for All (AHOOA)—Soldiers, which aims to appreciate and encourage troops. Shuaibu elaborated on the various vehicles and equipment repaired by the Theater Main Repair Group, which enhanced operational efficiency and boosted troop morale. 

“The experience garnered from the repair works has enhanced on-the-job training for 107 Division Equipment Support personnel,” he said. “These refurbished platforms will be re-issued to the Sectors to further improve their operational efficiency.”

A group of individuals in blue uniforms standing behind metal chairs with a person on crutches in the foreground.
Some of the wounded-in-action soldiers currently recuperating in a Military hospital in Maiduguri. Photo credit: Abdulkareem Haruna/HumAngle

As the Nigerian Army transitioned to wet season operations, Shuaibu assured the COAS of their continued commitment to maintaining the operational tempo. “We promise that having you with us today will further spur us to strive for more success,” he affirmed.

The highlight of the COAS visit included commissioning roads and an engineering complex within the Brigadier Maimalari Barracks of the 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, and a luncheon session where the Army Chief personally served wounded soldiers, treating them to various cuisines. 

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Abdulkareem Haruna

Abdulkareem Haruna is a Nigerian journalist currently employed as the Editor for Lake Chad at HumAngle. For over a decade, he has demonstrated a passionate commitment to reporting on the Boko Haram conflict and the crisis in the Lake Chad region of northeastern Nigeria. He is a graduate of English Language and holds a Diploma in Mass Communications. Prior to his current role, he served as an assistant editor at both Premium Times and Leadership Newspaper.

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