Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.), has rated the Nigerian Army high.
Magashi said the Army remained one of the best in Africa and capable of defeating any enemy when given the right arsenals and assistance.
The minister said the troops are capable of winning the Boko Haram war in North-East Nigeria given their exploits in many foreign missions in West Africa and other parts of the continent.
According to him, “In Africa, Nigerian Army should be adjudged one of the best, we have conducted so many operations outside Nigeria. We went to ECOMOG (Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group), we did the very best we can. We went to Sierra Leone, we did the very best we can and some other places. We are a force that is reckoned with in Africa but because of the nature of the prolongation of this war, people are getting tired.
“They (Boko Haram terrorists) are not concentrated in one particular place, it is an operation that they hit and run, we don’t even know their bases. Now, we know that the best way to fight these people is to get enough intelligence and go out there to fight them and this is what we are doing. Every day, we are getting information and the Nigerian Army and Air Force are running them down.”
Magashi, who spoke while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme, noted that Boko Haram terrorists have been dislodged from Borno State but they occasionally launch fatal attacks to attract the attention of the international community and embarrass the adminstration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “They don’t hold any ground in Borno State. The only thing with this kind of insurgent operation is that they want to surprise you, embarrass you and do whatever they think will attract international news or commotion. That is what they have been doing and that is why we are trying very hard to adopt tactics and other forms of operations in order to stop these people embarrassing this nation.”
The minister expressed optimism that though Nigeria has not been receiving the needed support from some nations, the country is determined to get rid of the Boko Haram sect.
“At the moment, most people think because of these sporadic attacks here and there, we lost control or we are not doing our best. Most people know the problem of this country; the Armed Forces are overstretched, we are not supported by some of these countries we call our friends, they are not ready to give us what we need. But certainly, Nigeria is better of than what it was years ago,” he stated.