Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai has ordered troops involved in Operation lafiya dole – a counter-insurgency operation in the North-East to treat all Nigerians as Boko Haram suspects until properly identified.
According to Peoples Gazette, this was contained in a directive dated November 20, 2020, titled: “COAS Special Order-01 Change to War Mode.”
Buratai, who lamented a slack in personnel performance that had prolonged the war, ordered soldiers deployed in ‘Operation Lafiya Doleé’ to swiftly ready themselves to war mode.
The COAS also directed the directed the special anti-terrorism combat squad to treat all individuals in the troubled region as Boko Haram suspects until properly identified.
“All persons must be treated as suspects unless fully identified and cleared especially in isolated, high threat areas, when on clearance operations and check point duties.
“We are not in peacekeeping operations, internal security operations or deterrence actions. This is real war fighting,” the November 20, 2020, directive said.
OPLD Theatre Commander, Farouq Yahaya, also conveyed a follow-up from Buratai to the soldiers, directing them to “quickly identify” and “immediately neutralise” all confirmed terrorist elements.
This is coming after Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau had claimed that he cannot be arrested by the Nigerian Army because he was doing the work of God and ‘He will protect him’.
Shekau stated this in response to the Nigerian Army’s fresh manhunt for him and other Boko Haram leaders who have been terrorizing the northern part of the country.