The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, said on Sunday in Maiduguri that an operation tagged “Operation Crackdown’’ to take over the Sambisa forest from the Boko Haram terrorists by troops had commenced.
Olonisakin spoke while fielding questions from newsmen after he inspected some military fighting equipment at the headquarters of the Threatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole.
Olonisakin said that alongside the operation crackdown, ‘Operation Safe Corridor Initiative’ had also been put in place for the terrorists to surrender.
“That is the corridor for them – terrorist to surrender. That corridor is always open.
“However, we will not wait until they surrender. Hence, operation crackdown, to ensure that we take over the Sambisa forest. We will clear the terrorists from those places and make the place safe for development,’’ Olonisakin said.
The chief of defence staff said that he was in Maiduguri for operational visit to encourage the troops to continue the fight and commend their efforts so far.
He also commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai for ingenuity and creativity in the war against insurgency in the North East.
Before embarking on the inspection, the CDS had met behind closed doors with the Chief of Army Staff. Also in attendance at the meeting were Commander, Threater Command, Maj.-Gen, Lucky Irabor and senior military officers at headquarters of the Threater Command.
NAN also reports that Olonisakin visited wounded soldiers at the 7 Division Hospital at Maimalari Cantonment.