The Nigerian Army has revealed that troops have recovered New Marte and adjoining communities in Borno, killing scores of Boko Haram/Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists who had laid siege on the area for some days.
The Director, Nigerian Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima said in a statement that the feat was achieved on Tuesday, February 23, at about 3 p.m.
Yerima said the troops achieved success in less than 48 hours, after the Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru had given the troops a 48-hour directive to recover the town.
He said the troops, backed by air cover from the Nigerian Air Force, successfully swept through Marte town, destroying several Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) and landmines laced across their routes.
According to him, scores of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists were killed.
“The gallant troops are currently in total control of the general area,” the Nigerian Army spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has bemoaned the use of ‘excessive force’ by the Nigerian military in the region.
1st News had also reported that the Nigerian military had performed some raids in trying to dislodge operatives of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), from forests in Orlu local government area of Imo State.
However, the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, who spoke while visiting the traditional ruler of Amaifeke in Orlu, His Royal Majesty, Eze Dr E. C Okeke, on Monday, February 22, frowned at the use of force, intimidation, and violence in the area.
He added that if it is allowed to get out of hand, it could lead to a national catastrophe.
Obiozor said those who “preached or preferred military solutions to Nigeria’s problem were equally a threat to Nigeria’s unity; as those enemies they were fighting.”
“Nigeria is in a precarious situation and a great caution must be taken by the leadership; to avoid events that have the capacity of incrementally aggravating or opening more threats of national crisis,” the Ohanaeze chieftain said.
“The use of the violent method will lead to a synchronised national crisis and ultimate disintegration of Nigeria; this too must be avoided.
“Insecurity in the country is real and should be treated as a matter of national emergency. That is the only way we can get out of this quagmire so that it will not consume us as a nation.”