The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on Monday visited troops in the North-East for the Eid-El-Kabir celebrations.
The visit came two days after the Boko Haram insurgents attacked Army’s 5 Brigade, killing four soldiers.
The Boko Haram fighters, aided by the deadlier Islamic State West African Province terrorists, on Saturday invaded the brigade in Gubio, Borno State, in an attempt to steal weapons but were repelled by the troops. The soldiers lost four soldiers in the encounter.
A yet-to-be-confirmed number of soldiers were also injured in the encounter and have been evacuated to the military medical facility in Maiduguri, according to army sources.
Our correspondent learnt that some of the troops fled from the Brigade during the crossfire to neighbouring locations.
“The fighters attacked the army base around 5.30pm on Saturday as we were preparing for the sallah break. We lost some military equipment and there were no reinforcements from other military bases. We lost four soldiers while several others were injured,” a military source said.
Our correspondent gathered that the terrorists stole some military gun trucks and assault rifles during the attack.
Buratai on Monday visited some of the injured troops at the 7 Division Medical Centre and Hospital Services, Maimalari Cantonment Maiduguri, and urged them to “redouble their efforts and justify the confidence reposed in them by Nigerians.”
The Army Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.Gen Enobong Udoh, represented Buratai and read his message to the troops.
“The Chief of Army Staff commended the sacrifices of troops in the ongoing operations across the country as they discharge their statutory responsibilities, adding that their dedication to duty had ensured that the Nigerian Army remains the bastion of the country’s unity.
“The COAS paid tribute to troops that had paid the supreme price in various operations across the country and assured that the army would continue to meet its obligations to their families to ensure that the void left by their loved ones is not felt,” the army spokesman, Col Sagir Musa, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Also, Abubakar visited troops in the frontline in Yola, Adamawa State, and urged them to work harder to ensure that Nigeria remained safe.