The military has again assured parents of Leah Sharibu and others held captive by terrorists and bandits, that their children will be rescued.
It also welcomed the gazette that affirms bandits as terrorists and vowed a change in its battle against them (bandits).
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Lucky Irabor stated this on Good Morning Nigeria, a programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
Leah was one of the 110 female students of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, abducted on February 19, 2018, by Boko Haram terrorists.
While others were released by the terrorists following negotiations, Leah, then 14, is still being held for reportedly refusing to renounce her Christian faith.
During the programme, Irabor said the military was working hard to ensure that everyone in the captive of either terrorists or bandits, is rescued.
He said: “With the privileged position that I hold I am aware of plans and of course, processes that are in place to ensure that not just Leah Sharibu but every other person held captive is released.
“About three weeks ago one of the Chibok girls was rescued. I would like to reassure Nigerians and the world at large that the Federal Government, using the military, is working very hard to ensure that everyone that has been held captive regains their freedom.
“The military remains at the forefront for bringing peace and security.”
The CDS, who also welcomed the official recognition of bandits as terrorists through a gazette, assured Nigerians that the military would give bandits a bloody nose.
His words: “That is a news that is quite gladdening, that has always been what we had desired. What it means is that the technics, tactics, and procedures (TTPs) we used in handling them (bandits) certainly will have to change.
“We have factored that and I believe going forward, I am sure Nigerians will be reading what the outcomes of those engagements are. It might be inappropriate to begin to tell you what the details of those plans are; it is not for the public.
“Tagging them (bandits) as terrorists also gives it a global disposition, a global form that will enable other key global actors to take certain important actions against them. For me, it can only get better and we will give them the bloody nose that they so desire.”
Asked if the military was fighting a global war, the CDS replied: “Of course, Nigeria is part and parcel of the global system. The international system of course is bedeviled with transnational criminals – criminal elements and some who have also developed criminal franchises.
“Currently, when you hear of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), it is not only localised in Nigeria. It equally has affiliations with ISIS; affiliation with other criminal gangs like Al Shabaab and so on and so forth.
“When you are looking at terrorism, insurgency and other criminal enterprises there are networks; networks that are local, networks that are international in nature because the funding is very critical.
“When you also have drug barons, drug networks there is an interplay, there is a marriage with other elements of criminals. This interplay between criminal elements remains the key.
“Criminality comes in different shapes and forms and so these elements, working across the world, try to have some form of handshake to be able to meet their objectives. Nigeria is not left out because we are within the international system.
“Criminality is not defined by borders, criminality is also not defined by ethnicity or religion and so for a criminal himself, the goal is for him to achieve his objectives. The end for him (the criminal) justifies the means.
“So for us we put all these things in context in our analysis to be able to redress them and that is precisely what we have been trying to do. Sometimes a few individuals may not actually know the complexities that are involved.
“When the results are not coming as expected, I am talking about within a timeframe it is by virtue of the complexity that is involved in the bringing out of solutions to it that perhaps leads to an extension of timelines in terms of meeting operational objectives but I must say so far so good it has been a good period of knowledge, new experiences and of course new partnerships which have now put us in better stead to forge ahead and increase the steam.
“I am hopeful that Nigeria certainly will continue to heave a sigh of relief in terms of peace and security – related matters.”