AFRICANGLOBE – Nigeria’s army has driven Boko Haram militants out of their strongest hideout in the dreaded Sambisa Forest, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday, claiming a huge blow has been dealt to the insurgents.
“I am delighted at, and most proud of the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army, on receipt of the long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram mlitants in their last enclave in Sambisa Forest,” the president said in a goodwill message to the troops.
He said the militants were driven out of the notorious “camp zero” located deep inside the vast northeastern forest, a day after an army spokesman alerted Nigerians of the need to be vigilant and report strange persons to security agencies.
“I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the camp fell at about 1:35pm on Friday, Dec. 23, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide. I urge you to maintain the tempo by pursuing them and bringing them to justice,” said the president.
“I, therefore, call on all Nigerians to cooperate and support the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies by providing useful information that will expose all the terrorists hiding among the populace.”
He added, “Further efforts should be intensified to locate and free our remaining Chibok girls still in captivity,” referring to 276 female students abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.
Boko Haram occupied Sambisa – a huge forest reserve estimated at the size of Lagos – shortly the 2009 crackdown which led to the killing of their leader Muhammed Yusuf. The militants have used various camps in the forest to launch attacks across the northeast region.