There is nowhere you will not find Boko Haram-Tukur Buratai

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, has said no part of Nigeria could be said to be free from the presence of Boko Haram insurgents, including Lagos.

“There is nowhere you will not find Boko Haram, even in Lagos here, there are Boko Haram. In Kaduna, there are Boko Haram. There are more across the North-east. Many have been arrested here in Lagos. We have been tracking them. We arrest them and take them into custody,” the army chief said.

In an interview with ThisDay newspaper in Lagos this week, Buratai said Boko Haram members are everywhere in the country, including Lagos, adding that there are more across the North-east.

“There is nowhere you will not find Boko Haram – even in Lagos here, there are Boko Haram (members). In Kaduna, there is Boko Haram. There are more across the North-east. Many have been arrested here in Lagos. We have been tracking them. We arrest them and take them into custody,” he said.

Buratai said the military has defeated insurgency in the North-east but is now facing the challenge of terrorism. He insisted that even though insurgency had been defeated, terrorism would remain in the country for years.

Buratai added that it is important to distinguish insurgency from terrorism.

“We have defeated insurgency, but now facing the challenge of terrorism,” he said.

“We must differentiate between insurgency and terrorism. I have tried to tell them at the national assembly. Someone said three local governments are under Boko Haram. How? These guys are not controlling any territory. They attempted to establish their territory, caliphate in Gwoza but they have not been able to because they were flushed out. That is insurgency. They are not holding any territory.

“Typically, that is the end of insurgency. But what of terrorism? Terrorism will outlive you and me and probably everybody in this house because terrorism, since it started, just like armed robbery, like kidnapping, burglary, cultism, it would continue.

“These are all smaller parts of terrorism. It is when it goes higher that you have arsonists, like it happened in Borno yesterday, murder and so on deliberately, no cause.

“What is happening now is just criminality. Since last year, we have not given them any respite. They are now blocked. They no longer have access to foods; their movements are constrained; they no longer get the fuel they need easily because we have strangulated them.

“They are now in a depressed state; so, they go out with vengeance to attack commuters, to abduct individuals and targeting certain religious persons just for their propaganda. This also is one of Boko Haram’s strategies – propaganda,” Buratai added.

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