Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai said some external forces may be behind the recent violence on the Plateau and in some North-Central States to destabilise the country.
“We’re not ruling out the possibility of external forces destabilising the country,” Buratai declared at a press briefing in Maiduguri on Friday to flag off the 2018 Army Day celebration.
He described the killing on the Plateau as dastard. He said the army has taken steps to prevent escalation of the violence. He said the army was equal to the task of ensuring that nobody is allowed to continue in the violence. “We have deployed more troops as reinforcement.”
He also canvassed for development of long-term solution to some social problems that may have fueled the violence. “We must be thinking of solving some inherent problems that may have caused the crisis,” he counseled.
He said the army decided to hold its celebration in Borno this year to consolidate on the successes recorded in the counterinsurgency operation. He said the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL), which commenced yesterday would be used to showcase the combat capability of the army.
“The celebration is to consoli- date our success in the fight against Boko Haram. The situation that was prevailing in this country in 2014 and 2015 was grave. We believe bringing the celebration here will further consolidate our successes. We want to show that the Nigerian Army has lived up to its bidding,” he explained.
He said the Nigerian Army Day Celebration came into being in 1976, adding that the celeberation was a reminder of the sacrifices made by troops of the Nigerian Army to keep the nation together.