Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has described the defeat of the Boko Haram terrorist group as the best Christmas and New Year gift to Nigeria.
He noted that the sacrifice of the Armed Forces was a gift to a nation that had been under tremendous stress on account of the deadly activities of the insurgents.
Atiku, who is also a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, said this in a statement by his Media Office in Abuja on Tuesday.
He stated that the North-East geopolitical zone could rejoin the nation’s development process, which it had been denied by the over seven-year insurgency.
The former Vice-President commended the officers and men of the Nigerian Army for the invasion and sacking of Camp Zero, the last Boko Haram stronghold in the Sambisa Forest.
He described the success of the soldiers as “a military feat worth celebrating,” saying the Army had made good its promise to finally defeat the terrorists and bring peace to the North-East.
The statement partly read, “This spectacular victory is the result of committed and focused leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the military commanders at the battlefront, the intelligence agencies and the unity of purpose exhibited by the nation’s military chiefs to rid the country of the Boko Haram menace.
“He also thanked the international community and close partners of Nigeria in the anti-terror war. The final routing at Sambisa Forest hopefully should herald the end of terrorism in the country.”
The APC chieftain also noted that the victory presented the people and government of Nigeria as well as the country’s international partners with the challenge of consolidating the peace by joining hands for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and re-development of the North-East.
Also, the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations has lauded the efforts of Buhari and the military for dislodging the Boko Haram insurgents from the Sambisa Forest.
The group described the feat as the best thing that should happen, taking into consideration the violence and havoc done to the country by the sect.
This commendation was contained in a statement by the National President of the association, Alhaji Kamalddin Akintunde, in Abeokuta, on Tuesday, a copy of which was made available to one of our correspondents.
The statement read in part, “We commend the military for its doggedness, ruggedness and sense of patriotism exhibited in combating insurgency in the country.
“The feat has rekindled hope and life of citizens living in the affected region, just as it has restored confidence in the country’s leadership.
“We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the realisation of the feat. It is a resounding success and cardinal achievement of his administration.”
The group urged the military not to relent on the anti-terrorism war, noting that the cooperation, collaboration and networking among stakeholders and inter- military agencies were important in the onslaught against terrorism.
The group was optimistic that with the conquest of the Sambisa Forest by the military, more of the Chibok girls would soon regain their freedom and safely reunite with their families.