Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya
Dole, on Wednesday, urged stakeholders in the Lake Chad basin to work toward restoring and stabilising socio-economic activities in the northeast.
Nicholas made the call when a team of experts from the Lake Chad Basin Commission under the auspices of the African Union paid him a courtesy visit at the command in Maiduguri.
Nicholas said other stakeholders must play their roles in the multi-faceted war against the Boko Haram insurgents before total defeat could be attained.
He added that restoring socio-economic activities in the North East would go a long way in creating jobs for the teeming youths and enabled them to have something to do.
He lamented that there was wrong narrative about the ongoing war on terror which was undermining the operation and misrepresenting it in public domain.
He explained that the Nigerian state was at war and must be recognised as such to enable effective mobilisation of all instruments of national power to prosecute the war.
He said: “It is high time we reversed the wrong narrative that the ongoing war is between the Nigerian military and Boko Haram insurgents: it is rather a war between the Nigerian nation and Boko Haram terrorists.”
The theatre commander noted that the situation in the North East was generally calm as the Boko Haram insurgents had been degraded, adding that “the terrorists resorted to isolated suicide bombing and IED attacks on vulnerable and soft targets”.
Eleanor Nwadinobi, a Gender Advisor, said the AU team was working in conjunction with the Multinational Joint Task Force to stabilise and revitalise strategies for the Lake Chad Basin.Eleanor said the team was mandated to do research and work out strategies in the areas of humanitarian, socio-economic, educational, governance, gender, as well as prevention and countering of violent extremism to revitalise and stabilise the Lake Chad Basin.
She lauded the theatre command and troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for the successes so far recorded in the counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations against Boko Haram.