By Dipo Olowookere
Federal Government has congratulated the gallant troops of the Nigerian military for finally seizing the Sambisa Forest from the Boko Haram terrorists and securing the North-east, paving the way for Sunday’s re-opening of two strategic roads in Borno State.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday, Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, appealed to Nigerians to continue to support the troops as they clear the remnants of the terrorists who are now on the run.
He also called for increased vigilance among Nigerians, as Boko Haram escapees seek to integrate themselves into communities far and near, saying eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
“We urge Nigerians to keep our gallant and victorious troops in their prayers, and to also imbibe the mantra of ‘if you see something, say something’ as a way of ensuring that no escaped terrorist is able to wreak havoc in their communities.
“It is also important to know that now that they have been dispossessed of their fortress, the Boko Haram escapees will intensify their cowardly attacks on vulnerable targets if only to maintain an illusion of terror. But there should be no panic because the worst is over,” Mr Mohammed said.
While commending the military for the re-opening of the Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak road and the Maiduguri-Mungono-Baga road, which link Nigeria with neighbouring countries, he hailed Borno State Governor, Mr Kashim Shettima, for his unwavering support for the military and his administration’s determination to quickly restore normalcy across the state.
The Minister said it was in recognition and celebration of the great feat performed by the military that he decided to lead over 30 Nigerian and international journalists to join Minister of Defence, Mr Mansur Dan Ali, the Service Chiefs and the Governor of Borno State, at the opening of the two strategic roads in Borno on Sunday.
“Unfortunately, due to bad weather, our flight to Maiduguri from Abuja was cancelled after several hours of waiting at the airport in Abuja.
“However, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, accompanied by the top brass of the military, re-opened the two arterial roads. This is very significant because the two major roads, which were closed due to the activities of the terrorists in the area, are of strategic importance to the economy of the Lake Chad Region,” he said.
Mr Mohammed said overall, the leadership provided by President Muhammadu Buhari provided the much-needed impetus for the military’s victory in the North-east, and urged Nigerians to continue to give their unalloyed support to the President in his untiring efforts to restore peace and security across the country and also revamp the economy.
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