Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 revealed that the newly appointed National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana Monguno and Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Tukur Buratai cannot afford to lose the fight against Boko Haram insurgents as close relatives of theirs are currently captives in the hands of the extremists.
Speaking at the Borno Government House in Maiduguri, while hosting members of the Insurgency Victims Support Fund Committee, led by Theophilus Y. Danjuma, Governor Shettima said he was overjoyed because both men are Borno citizens and as such would take the fight against insurgency seriously.
His words: “Yesterday was the happiest moment of my life. President Muhammadu Buhari made a strong statement by his decision to appoint two highly competent sons of Borno to the offices of the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Army Staff.
“I think his strategy was to get people with ancestral knowledge of the Borno terrain. Maj-Gen Tukur Buratai is even a direct victim of Boko Haram attacks. He lost family members when his residence was attacked earlier this year in Buratai, a town in Biu Local Government area.
“Monguno (town) was destroyed and once occupied by Boko Haram and that is where the new NSA, retired Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno, hails from. In fact, a key family member of General Monguno is still being held captive by Boko Haram insurgents.
“These two generals are from Borno; they know exactly where it pinches and, most importantly, they understand the terrain and can easily connect with communities to get local support.
“Added to them is also the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who hails from Bauchi, also in the Northeast. AVM Abubakar spent many of his formative years in the military here in Borno State. He has spent over 10 years in Borno; he knows the terrain very well also and connects with the people.
“I think, for us, it is now or never because the President has generously put the sons of Borno and the Northeast to lead the battle for the freedom of Borno, the Northeast and rest of Nigeria, from the murderous threats of insurgents.
“Insha Allah, with the combined efforts of other competent Service Chiefs and all Nigerians, the war on terror will soon be won by the supremacy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”