The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it had rescued 30,000 women and children held by Boko Haram in Sambisa Forest in the last 14 months.
Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, the outgoing Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Nigerian Army, made this known at the handover ceremony in Maiduguri.
Ezegwu attributed the successes recorded so far in the fight against insurgency in the North-East to doggedness, hardwork and determination of troops in the frontline.
“Successes recorded so far is as a result of collective efforts of all of you here.
“I cannot take this glory alone because I could not have achieved anything without your support and encouragement,” he said.
The GOC, who urged troops to increase the momentum in the campaign to flush out the remaining terrorists in the region, said all hands must be on deck to end Boko Haram.
Ezugwu paid glowing tribute to the past GOCs of the Division for laying solid foundation at the formative age of the Division.
“We cannot forget the efforts of our past GOCs, who laboured to build this Division before my assumption of duty as the sixth GOC.”
He pledged that the Army would not forget those who died in the service of the nation.
“The death of these gallant men and women will not be in vain.
“We that are still alive must double our efforts towards total elimination of insurgency in the region so that their death will not be in vain.”
He thanked the Chief of Army Staff for providing necessary support needed to execute the war in the North-East.
“Let us thank God for giving us Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai as the COAS. He provided us with all we needed to fight this war.
“He practically took it upon himself to plan the war strategies and we all can see the results of such efforts”.
Ezugwu described the incoming GOC as a hardworking and gallant senior officer, who knew the terrain very well having served as Brigade Commander in the Theater.
He urged troops to extend the support he enjoyed to the incoming GOC.
The outgoing GOC was recently posted to Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria, Kaduna State and is being replaced by Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Yusuf after serving for 18 months as the Acting GOC of 7 Division.