By Ahmed Obafemi
Maiduguri — THE Nigerian Army has pledged to eliminate the Boko Haram terror group in the next four months.
A new exercise, codenamed Operation Last Hold, has been launched amid desperate efforts to quash the Islamic militants that have killed an estimated 100 000 civilians and displaced 2 million others since the insurgency began in 2009 to overthrow the government and establish an Islamic state.
Last Hold replaces Operation Lafiya Dole (Peace by Force) rolled out in 2015.
Army authorities said the operation would entail the deployment of six additional brigades and other critical assets in the northeastern Borno State where the Boko Haram is operating from.
The new operation is intended to ensure the destruction of Boko Haram camps and strongholds in the Lake Chad Basin. Lafiya Dole drove Boko Haram off Sambisa Forest.
It is anticipated thousands of civilians held captive would be rescued during the new operation.
“The operational end-state of Operation Last Hold is the total defeat of the Boko Haram terrorist sect,” said Major General David Ahmadu, Chief of Training and Operations in the Nigerian Army.
Ahmadu called for civilians’ vigilance and consciousness as suspected insurgents might flee military operations and seek safe havens in communities.
“The public is also reminded to report any suspicious activity or movement to the nearest military formation or other security agencies for prompt action.”
The military has recorded mixed fortunes against Boko Haram.
It has previously claimed capturing the sect leader, Abubakar Shekau, only for him to re-emerge with more attacks.