President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed conviction that the Boko Haram insurgents are very close to defeat. Buhari spoke in Yola on Friday during a morale-boosting visit to the Nigerian military in Adamawa State where he honoured three soldiers who sustained serious injuries in ongoing operations against Boko Haram, with the Purple Heart Medal for Gallantry.The president, who was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, charged the military to quickly clear the remnants of the insurgents whom he described as criminals, from wherever they might still be hiding.
President Buhari also urged them to remain vigilant, alert and focused in order to prevent the Boko Haram insurgents from sneaking into communities to attack soft targets.
“These very deserved medals are in recognition of your sacrifices. I hope it will inspire you to give more to the nation and I urge you to maintain your determination to bring peace to our father land.
“With what I have seen today, I believe that the Boko Haram are very close to defeat and I urge you to quickly clear the remnants of these criminals from wherever they may still be hiding. I also urge you to remain vigilant, alert and focused to prevent Boko Haram from sneaking into our communities to attack soft targets", he stated.
The president urged the army to continue to operate within its rules of engagement and with due regard for human rights and its responsibility to protect civilians in areas of conflict.
At the conferment ceremony, Buhari said the honour to the three wounded soldiers was in appreciation of their heroic contributions to the ongoing efforts by the Nigerian Armed Forces to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
Those decorated with the Purple Heart medal were Lance Corporal Kenneth Kulugh who was wounded in a battle with Boko Haram at Magar Bridge, near Madagali.
Others were Private Anthony Sunday who was wounded in a battle with Boko Haram at Gubla in Adamawa State and Private Danga Umar who sustained multiple gunshot injuries to both thighs at Magar Bridge, near Madagali.
President Buhari also presented the Operation Lafiya Dole medals to other four soldiers. The Operation Lafiya Dole medal is presented to men and officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces who have served gallantly in theatre of operations in the northeast beyond six months.
The president commended the armed forces for the successes so far recorded in the ongoing fight against the insurgents.
He urged the military to remain focused on the objective of completely defeating Boko Haram before the end of the year, assuring that his government would continue to improve the welfare of troops in the frontline states.
Buhari also visited the Internally Displaced Persons camp in Malkohio, Jimieta, Yola, where he assured the IDPs that his administration was doing everything possible to ensure the safe return of all displaced Nigerians to their native communities.
Buhari also paid a courtesy visit to Lamido Adamawa, Dr Muhamamdu Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha and concluded his visit to Adamawa by attending the Wedding Fatiha of three daughters of Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, after attending the Jumat Prayer at the Airforce Mosque in Jibson Jalo Army Barracks, Jimeta, Yola.
The president was accompanied to Adamawa State a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Senator Ahmed Lawan and Senator Kabir Garba Marafa.