The Chief of Army Staff, (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, Monday hosted troops of North East Operation HADIN KAI to a luncheon to mark Easter.
The feast was held at Maimalari Military Cantonment in Maiduguri.
Yahaya who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Ali, the Theatre Commander, said the luncheon was in keeping with the tradition of the Army, for the COAS to celebrate with troops in the frontline during festivities.
Yahaya said: “It is with gratitude to the Almighty God and indeed great pleasure for me to send this good will message and well wishes to my officers, soldiers and their families.
“Easter celebration is no doubt of great spiritual importance to Christian faithful worldwide because it’s a season of love, hope, sober reflection and above all fervent reflections and prayers to Almighty God.
“This year’s Easter celebration came at a unique period; Muslim faithful are also observing their mandatory fast of the Holy Month of Ramadan. It is therefore a season of immense spiritual importance to Christians and Muslims,” he said.
The COAS thanked the officers and soldiers for their tremendous efforts in tackling the numerous security challenges confronting the nation.
He hailed the troops for their commitment, dedication, courage, resilient professionalism and the will to succeed.
“I am indeed proud of you all and want to charge you to continue to remain focused, disciplined and loyal to constituted authority.
“While ensuring we continue to carry out our responsibilities professionally in the joint environment we are operating in.
“We must continue to work with, synergise and leverage on the competencies of our sister security services and other organizations in the discharge of our responsibility,” Yahaya said.
According to him, the Army has been recording tremendous successes in the war against enemies of Nigeria.
“It is important to me to state that the Nigerian Army under my watch has recorded great successes in all Theaters of Operation across the country.
“Our collective efforts provided the needed safe and secured environment for socioeconomic activities to thrive.
“We must continue to ensure that every criminal element and group in the country is completely eliminated,” he added.
The COAS also commended the professional conduct of troops in the just concluded general elections, noting that they stood their ground while discharging their duties.
“The nation is indeed proud of the Nigerian Army and this calls for more work.
“We must indeed remain professional, apolitical and committed to the discharge of our constitutional responsibilities,” he said.
Earlier, Ali, the Theatre Commander, represented by his Deputy, Maj.-Gen. Koko Isong, said the theatre had intensified Kinetic and Non-Kinetic Operations which was instrumental to the successes recorded so far.
He said a total 93,000 Boko Haram terrorists and their family members had surrendered to troops.
The commander assured that the troops would not be complacent to avoid the reversal of the gains already made.
He added that the troops would continue to be decisive as they intensify the war against terrorists in the North East.