By Augustine Aminu
The Nigeria Army has said that, 29 personnel of Operation LAFIYA DOLE paid the supreme price during an encounter recently with the bokoharam criminals.
The soldiers were said to have lost their lives as a result of the multiple explosions that occurred when the engine of an army truck conveying artillery bombs, explosives and other ammunitions caught fire after being hit by a Rocket Propelled Grenade bomb fired by the criminal insurgents.
However, not less than 150 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised by the gallant troops while a large number of them retreated with gunshot wounds with many of their equipment also destroyed.
This was contained in a press statement by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu on Friday in Abuja.
According to the statement, briefing the COAS, who paid the troops a visit on the said encounter, the Theatre Commander, Major General Ousegun Adeniy explained that on 22 March 2020, having captured and cleared Gorgi of the criminal Boko Haram insurgents, he led the troops to harbour about 5 Kilometers ahead of the location.
However, at about 7:00 am on 22 March 2020 when the troops were preparing to continue with their advance to clear other Boko Haram enclaves in the area, the criminal insurgents attacked the rear elements of the advance force in an attempt to overrun them.
But the the gallant troops repelled the attack, inflicting heavy casualty on the terrorists leading to the death of no fewer than 150 members of the terrorists group.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai represented by the Chief of Training and Operations (Army), Major General Enobong Okon Udoh on a 2-days visit to the area proceeded to the Headquarters, Sector 2 in Damaturu where he addressed the troops that took part in the Gorgi operations.
The troops who were apparently in very high spirits following their resounding victory over the terrorists during the encounter were commended and informed that the Nigerian Army, and indeed the entire Nigerian nation are proud of their gallantry, patriotism and professionalism demonstrated by them in service to their fatherland.
He also informed them that the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari was proud of their gallantry, patriotism and resolve to defend the territorial integrity of their fatherland.
He noted that the President had given assurances of his continuous support to them in the area of their welfare and equipment.
The Chief of Army Staff also enjoined them to remain focused on the task at hand towards ensuring that all the remnants of the evil Boko Haram terrorists group are totally decimated and that their notorious activities are effectively brought to an end.
Thereafter, the Chief of Army Staff’s Representative presented each of the troops with welfare items including a brand new pair of desert camouflage uniform sent to each of them by the Chief of Army Staff in order to further motivate them.
Furthermore, the Chief of Army Staff proceeded to the Army Super Camp NGAMDU where he addressed the troops of Operation HARBIN KUNAMA IV.
He informed the troops that he was indeed very proud of their discipline, general conduct as well as their achievements so far as they continue their onerous training sessions at the camp.
Brutai enjoined them to translate this high standard into good and commendable operational performance once they complete their training programmes at the camp. The Chief of Army Staff equally used the opportunity to inspect facilities at the newly established Army Super Camp with a view to addressing any shortcomings.
The Chief of Army Staff and his entourage proceeded to the 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital in Maimalari Cantonment to visit the troops who sustained various degrees of injuries during the encounter at Gorgi where a total of 61 troops comprising 7 officers and 32 soldiers who sustained various degrees of injury were currently receiving attention at the hospital.