The Nigerian Army has assured Nigerians that all communities liberated from the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East are safe, once they are certified by the military.
Major General Lucky Irabor, the theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, made this known when he spoke with newsmen in Maiduguri, Borno State on Thursday.
Irabor was reacting to fears expressed by the returning resident of likely cases of landmine explosion in liberated areas.
Irabor said: “Nobody should express any fear because the areas are very safe. We give assurances for people to return based on the operations we conducted in the areas.”
He said that the military had conducted thorough checks before allowing people to return.
He also stated: “Before we give assurances, we ensure that no harmful objects like landmines or Improvised Explosive Device exist in the areas. Once we give assurances for returnees to go back, we always ensure their safety.”
Irabor, however, urged returnees to be extra careful and report strange happenings to the security agents.
Irabor said: “That the places are safe does not mean that some people will not want to take advantage of the situation by planning evil.
“People should be engaged in community policing by passing credible information to security agents near them.”
The theatre commander acknowledged that the military had challenges with the issue of IEDs usage by the Boko Haram terrorists.
He assured: “Of course the issue of IED has been a challenge, but we are doing everything possible to address the challenge,” he said, adding that the military had been able to reduce incidences of IED attacks in communities by the terrorists.
“IED attacks was a regular feature some few months back, but it has drastically reduced now that means that we are doing quite well.
“We are equally doing everything to ensure that the roads said to have been laid with IEDs are cleared. We will ensure that the terrorists do not have access to those roads when the mines are cleared.”
He said that the military had taken delivery of large number of anti-landmines equipment to fast track its operations.
Irabor also stated: “We are taking delivery of a number of equipment for the
discovery and recovery of IEDs. In fact, we just took delivery of some of them and our personnel are being trained on how to handle them.”
He said that the equipment would be deployed in a few weeks time to areas requiring attention.