The immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin (Rtd) on Tuesday said it was tedious for the military to recapture territories captured by Boko Haram terrorists in 2015.
Olonisakin, who spoke during his Pulling Out Parade at the Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja, stressed that he and other top echelons in the military, with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, had to develop capacity to protect the country against cyber and asymmetric threats.
- 10 things you probably did not know about the new EFCC boss
- How bandits are turning Kaduna communities to ghost towns
According to him, his appointment as CDS came at a time Nigeria was confronted with several security challenges like Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast, banditry in the Northwest among other threats, saying confronting those threats was his major pre-occupation as military chief.
“Prior to my assumption of command along with the immediate past Service Chiefs in July 2015, the Boko Haram terrorists held sway in parts of the North East. Our immediate challenge on the assumption of office was to flush out the Boko Haram and restore Nigeria’s sovereignty over these occupied territories.
“Gratefully, with the support of the political leadership, particularly Mr President, Commander-in-Chief, and indeed all Nigerians, the Armed Forces of Nigeria, under my leadership was able to reclaimed territories that were hitherto under the control of the terrorists.
“While the security threat posed by the Boko Haram is still being contained, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have, in the past five years, continued to develop capacities to contain insurgency and other asymmetric threats to our nation,” he said.
The Ambassador-designate insisted that he transformed the military from being inexperienced in asymmetric warfare and has over time, built enormous capacity, and gained valuable experience in fighting asymmetric threats to the nation.
Daily Trust reports that the pulling-out ceremony was attended by the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi; members of the National Assembly; Ekiti Gov. Kayode Fayemi; current Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.-Gen. Irabor and other services chiefs.
Others in attendance were the traditional ruler of Ode-Ekiti, as well as a representative of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.